Jul 19, 2004

2004 Gathering Of The Juggalos

Gathering Of The Juggalos
Nelson Ledges Quarry Park - Garrettsville, OH
The 2004 Gathering Of The Juggalos is in the books, and hey... look at that!  They spelled the name of the city right on this year's ticket!  I'm going to try to get a wrestling match list and concert setlist together for each of the nights at the Gathering, but I still haven't gotten last year's together... or the two years before that for that matter.

The special guest for the opening ceremony on Thursday night was Bone Thugs N Harmony.  It was supposed to be a secret, but pretty much everybody knew well in advance.  It didn't matter though because it was awesome to get to see such an iconic group perform live.

Friday night's lineup was WolfpacJumpsteadyAnybody Killa, DJ Swamp and Dark Lotus.  The crowd was extremely disrespectful to DJ Swamp and spent most of his set throwing shit at him, which is a damn shame because he's a talented dude and he was putting on a great show.  I got to meet him over the weekend and he was a hell of a nice guy, and he certainly deserved a hell of a lot better treatment than he got.  Dark Lotus was awesome as always, but it would have been a lot more awesome if the positive energy that we had for them was going for the whole night.

Saturday started off with Zug Izland.  Next up was Blaze Ya Dead Homie followed by Esham.  All three sets were great and went off without a hitch.  Things took a turn for the worse when Kurupt took the stage.  The crowd were just flat out brutal to that dude.  I don't know if they're just dead set on booing whoever performs before the headliner, of if they were annoyed that Kurupt kept randomly shouting out Cleveland.  Whatever the reason, the way he was treated was completely uncalled for.  He threw a mic into the crowd and stormed off stage just a few songs into his set, and quite frankly, I don't blame him a bit.  They're going to need to figure this shit out because it feels like they're just picking out special guest performers to give the Bubba Sparxxx treatment just for the sake of doing it and it's flat out lame.  Naturally the crowd was back to having fun when Twiztid closed out the night and they had a hell of a set, but If I'm being honest, I went to sleep on Saturday night feeling pretty ashamed to be associated with a lot of the people standing next to me in the pit.

Sunday night went a lot smoother.  Tech N9ne led off the night and Vanilla Ice was next.  Both are Juggalo favorites, so there was no issues expected, but next up was Ol' Dirty Bastard and there was some tension in the air.  He's a rapper who is not a member of Psychopathic Records, he's had mainstream success, and he was going on right before ICP... all of the elements that have led to some pretty shitty crowd behavior.  They gave ODB a glowing introduction before he took the stage.  I don't remember exactly what was said, but the subtext here was clear... they were pleading with the crowd to show some respect.  Look, I don't know a damn thing about rap or hip hop, but I know that ODB is a legend and that we were lucky to see him perform.  Thankfully, their words did not fall on deaf ears and ODB got through his full set with the crowd showing him the respect that he deserves.  Last but not least, the Insane Clown Posse closed out the show on Sunday night with an incredible set.

Don't take what I'm about to say the wrong way, but I think this is going to be my last Gathering for a while.  I first got into ICP in 1997 from their work in pro wrestling with ECW, WCW and WWF.  A few friends and I got to meet Violent J four years ago at the Comfort Inn in Hazleton.  He was a hell of a nice guy and spent an hour and a half chilling with us in the lobby at 2:00 am talking about life, music, movies, and an idea that he and Shaggy were working on for an event that became the annual Gathering Of The Juggalos.  I've made a lot of friends at the shows and have had a hell of a lot of fun, but money is tight these days and the drama between different factions of Juggalos has been getting on my nerves.  I started coming to these events to escape that kind of bullshit, not to see it played out with Faygo and clown paint.  I may end up changing my mind, but for right now, I think I'm going to need to back away from this scene for a little while and focus on other aspects of life.