Walking to The Fillmore and being accosted with, "Yo, Juggalo, can I use your phone for a minute?" should have been the first sign that the normal world was somewhere else. Opening act, Kung Fu Vampire had already performed, but Potluck took the stage and laid on us one rap after another about the virtues of marijuana and the adventures surrounding its procurement and enjoyment: "I smoke more than Afroman and more than Cheech and Chong."
Elsewhere, the wonders of hot boxing were extolled, alongside jabs to the sub-intellect, and former president George W. Bush. At one point, 1 Ton and UnderRated let DJ Wicked show off, mixing in bits of Public Enemy and his admittedly impressive scratching skills. Good will flowed freely between the band and to the audience. Potluck was a little silly, but at least the unit put some real passion behind the delivery. They closed with "Shut the Fuck Up" about the town gossip who "ain't 'bout nothing but startin' shit."
Anyone who has seen ICP, knows "The Family" can get kind of rowdy, but there wasn't much of that for the Twiztid show. None of the colorfully hilarious chants. However, the enthusiastic "Whoop whoop!" shouts when Twiztid finally came out on stage sounded like gibbons during mating season or football hooliganism for the tweaker set. Maybe it was an off night, but Twiztid's performance lacked a certain demented spirit of mayhem that you'd expect from one of the act's shows.
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Opening with "Serial Killa," Jamie and Monoxide went through the motions well enough, but even "Diemuthafuckadie" didn't have the zeal that normally makes the song fun for people who aren't necessarily fans of this band. The whole thing seemed more Too Short and less NWA -- able lyrics without the conviction to back them up. This is, after all, a group that named its most recent album W.I.C.K.E.D. for "Wish I Could Kill Every Day."
Nonetheless, the audience sure knew the between lyrics chants and filled in the silence with an impressive level of timing. It was like being at a sporting event without the athleticism and a lot more sartorial creativity. Twiztid wasn't completely up to snuff, but the fans seemed to have a great time with this music that lets them feel powerful and part of something, even if for only a few hours.
CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Personal Bias: This whole Juggalo thing and Psychopathic Records is both repulsive and anthropologically fascinating. Random Detail: No Faygo at the sho'. By the Way: It's hard to hate something harmless that makes other people feel good.