The first annual Canadian Juggalo Weekend was a massive hit, loaded with show-stealing sets from acts like Kissing Candice, Onyx, Kung Fu Vampire, ICE-T and many more. Each night ended as the wicked clowns themselves – Insane Clown Posse – delivered incredible headlining sets: the first night being a complete performance of ‘Riddlebox’ and the second a greatest hits inspired set with a couple surprises and deeper cuts thrown in to shake things up. True Rhythm did an astounding job producing the festival, which also featured circus performers and Juggalo Championship Wrestling – hosted by the hilarious Kevin Gill (who is officially my all-time favourite wrestling commentator ever).
On April 7th and 8th, The Insane Clown Posse will return to Calgary, Alberta Canada for the first ever Canadian Juggalo Weekend! Two days of concerts, wrestling, circus performances and more at the Marquee Beer Market & Stage, do not miss this must-see festival brought to us all by the magnificent True Rhythm production company who was responsible for getting the Psychopathic Records team into our country in 2016 after a decade-long absence.
Juggalo Championship Wrestling
I had never seen a JCW match prior to Canadian Juggalo Weekend. Now that it’s all said and done – I don’t think I can watch a WWE or pro wrestling match without Kevin Gill’s commentary going forward. He was hilarious, vulgar (who knew that “Oh fuck” would work so well after a huge slam?) and he knew how to play off the energetic Calgary crowd. The action was also damn fun to watch, as Moshpit Mike travelled to the show to take on some Canadian indie talent with his barbwire laced Kendo stick. I watched him suplex a man 2 feet in front of me onto the hard ass pavement.
Another highlight was seeing Calgary wrestler Ravenous Randy actually FREEZE TIME in order to get out of a “dick licking chinlock” (KG’s words not mine) in one of the funniest things I witnessed all weekend. JCW was a blast and I stopped watching pro-wrestling over a decade-plus ago.
I didn’t know a single Lyte tune before Psychopathic Records’ newest talent hit the stage but he did a solid job entertaining our crazy asses. He definitely has a unique style all his own and I’m curious to check out his debut album this year when it finally drops.
Hip hop icons Fredro Starr and Sticky Fingaz put on one of the best live sets that I’ve ever seen. Onyx delivered an incredible high-energy and professional show loaded with hits that got the crowd rowdy as hell. From ‘Slam’ to set closer ‘Turndafucup’ (my favorite song of theirs), they paid homage to fallen rap greats and showed that despite being in the game as long as they have, that they can slay any young hip hop act with their enigmatic presence on that stage. Not counting ICP — Onyx stole day one for me with the strongest set of the day. I’ll never forget that show.
The 2 Live Crew
Sex rap royalty 2 Live Crew were not prepared to deliver anything worthy of a set this weekend. They constantly forgot the lyrics, the song order and Brother Marquis was a trainwreck. At one point, between rambling about not being accepted by society (which Juggalos can relate to), he did bring a female out of the audience and proceeded to dry hump her in an uncomfortable moment that really missed the mark… Marquis didn’t even realise his set was over after the other guys left the stage for a good five minutes. Fresh Kid Ice couldn’t make the show, so I’m wondering if shit fell apart in his absence. It was the only bad performance of the entire weekend.
Madchild and Prevail reunited to perform a fast but furious set of classics (thank you for closing with Fuel Injected guys – SO GOOD). The Canadian Rap Icons hit the stage a little later than planned and there was some confusion as to why their set ended so short (5 songs tops?) but they really lit that place up with what little time they had. I grew up listening to Swollen Members and this was the first time I had seen them live – their energy was infectious. Bonus: – Madchild returned on day 2 to do a surprise show!! Outta nowhere and mere minutes after Big Hoodoo, Madchild emerged from the back because he just damn well felt like it and delivered a wicked solo set. At CJW – anything is possible.
The only metal band on the two-day bill, Kissing Candice were fucking spectacular. I don’t know who else is in this category, but these guys are easily the most intense and promising masked metal band since Slipknot. It’s easy to draw comparisons, but there’s just this special energy surrounding Kissing Candice and their horror theatrics (TROLL 2 INSPIRED METAL?!?! YES PLEASE) and brutal moshpit inducing liveshow was one of my favourite performances all weekend. The guys also stuck around to hang out with fans and at one point I’m positive I saw their lead singer throwing a half full bottle of Faygo into the crowd after ICP’s final performance on Saturday. True Juggalos and valiant metal warriors, Kissing Candice delivered an intensity that was unrivalled all Canadian Juggalo Weekend long.
Canadian rap artist Merkules does not mess around – he knows what the Juggalos want and he delivers – at the cost of his damn liver. He was pouring liquor into fans’ mouths and proceeded to do the same to himself right on stage (I didn’t even mention the weed he partook in minutes before that too). The man knows how to put on a show and halfway through his latest single ‘Way Down’ (which is incredible — check it out), he noticed that the crowd maybe wasn’t feeling a slower track (I WAS MAN! I WAS) so he cut the song and opted to do LASH instead. Haha – Maybe ‘Way Down’ isn’t a set closer, but I loved hearing ‘most’ of it live and think it’s awesome that Merk isn’t afraid to give the fans what they want – and they wanted that fast shit apparently.
Kung Fu Vampire
I didn’t know that Kung Fu Vampire performs with a band, but my god… When you add drums and bass guitar to his songs – they become 10 times more high-octane in a live-setting. The Vampire tore Calgary to pieces with an amazing show packed with crazy classics like ‘Dead Girls Don’t Say No’ to new shit like ‘Turnt Up’ which sounded wicked as hell live. Kung Fu Vampire even had the crowd doing the wall of death (that’s when he parts the audience so there’s a gap in the middle and then both sides charge and mosh into one another in a frightening display of insanity).
I was floored by the energy, lyrical flow and raw talent displayed upon that Marquee stage by Kung Fu Vampire as he delivered in my opinion the strongest set on Saturday (not counting ICP — because that’s a whole other thing itself). I was a casual fan before the show and now I’m a die-hard Kung Fu Vampire supporter – he represented hard and I loved every minute of it (I didn’t hear another live show end with a single boo… the fans just didn’t want the man to leave).
There may not be a stronger rap album from 2016 than Big Hoodoo’s ‘Asylum’. So I was legit excited to see the big man deliver a wicked set for the Juggalos and I wasn’t wrong. I don’t know if most of the crowd were overly familiar with his songs however, because during the sing-along moments it wasn’t as loud as it should have been sans a die hard group of Juggalos near the front (right where I was). But that’s cool – and Hoodoo was emotional as hell – giving an incredible speech about his love for the family and I don’t know if I felt a song hit me harder all CJW than ‘Never Had’, which chronicles the horrors of child abuse… Damn – that song is hard to stomach, and hearing it live was just as tough – but I’m happy that Hoodoo brought it because his dedication and devotion to the Juggalos felt unrivalled that Saturday night. He connected with all of us on some next level shit.
The original gangsta. Flawless is the one word that comes to mind when describing the man, the legend, the gangsta rap phenom, ICE-T. Whether you’re a fan of his mind-blowing metal crew Body Count (and I sure as shit am – their new album is HARD as nails and heavier than all Hell), or maybe, just maybe you’re a fan of ICE’s historic rap career – then you were probably in that crowd Saturday night singing along to a brilliant live set by the man himself — ICE-MUTHAFUCKIN-T. A true pro in every sense of the word and a man who supports the Juggalo community so much that he’ll even attempt to travel into CANADA because Violent J asked him to. Apparently one of ICE-T’s guys had a case on him from 1980 which held them up in customs for a long time. 1980… Damn near 40 years ago.
ICE-T told some of the most horrifying (and hilarious) pedophile jokes that I’ve ever heard. Coming from the man who acts on Law & Order: SVU, the delivery was all the more jarring and at one point even ICE told the crowd after his punchline “You guys are supposed to be the crazy motherfuckers in here – not me!”
Insane Clown Posse
Two shows. ICP delivered two of the craziest live-sets I’ve ever seen (and I was there to see them in Calgary last year – review HERE). I haven’t seen them do a ‘Riddle Box’ set yet, so it was cool seeing them perform that record front to back on Friday and getting to hear some songs that I haven’t listened to in ages. My Juggalo fan status kicked in around the Great Milenko era, so Riddlebox is mostly about ‘Chicken Huntin’ for me personally. Their Saturday hits set was where I truly lost my shit because they destroyed that stage and crowd with a blistering non-stop liveshow comprised of the best ICP sing-a-longs: ‘Blaaam, Halls of illusions, Tilt-a-Whirl’ and many, many more. They even did a couple deeper cuts from Hell’s Pit that I never, ever would have expected to hear live such as ‘Truly Alone’ so I was stoked to have that chance.
The Faygo was in full force (that shit was everywhere – including a straight stream blast to my ear at one point) and I also saw a dude crowdsurfing in a wheelchair. Violent J himself did a divebomb crowdsurf roll into the crowd but after halfway through, some dickheads dropped the man. Thankfully my cousin CJ was close by and helped J get to his feet. Don’t kill Violent J Calgary – we need him alive so we can keep this Canadian Juggalo Weekend train rolling!
ICP put on the best liveshow that I’ve ever seen – ever. I’ve been lucky enough to see them three times now in the last couple years and as long as they keep coming back to Canada – I’ll continue to see the wicked clowns live. There is no other show that is packed with this much love from the crowd, chaos on the dancefloor and straight up fun like no other concert could ever dare to come close to.