Thursday night was like any Thursday night, at least in the beginning. At 5:00 PM we were warm, dry, and innocent to the ways of the Dark Carnival, but thirsty for some serious local hops. I can honestly say that the last thing on either of our minds was any flavor Faygo pop or exactly what a Juggalo is, much less sordid history of “The Great Milenko.” It seemed the fourth Joker’s Card had yet to trick us with his necromancy…..
A quick check of Instagram revealed that SØLE Artisan Ales had a new juicy and refreshing IPA brewed with Mandarin orange zest and dry hopped generously with El Dorado and Australian Melba hops (Sticky Pop) weighing in at 6% ABV, so we decided we needed to visit Søle Bar+Bottle. While I’ve had Faygo Orange some number of decades ago, this had absolutely no bearing in our decision to visit Søle Bar+Bottle. Or perhaps that was The Great Milenko’s illusion in calling us to his 20th Anniversary Celebration…?
After tasting several of SØLE Artisan Ales offerings, including doubling up on Citra Nerd, we decided a walk around the area to take in some fresh air was a good idea. Within a few feet of Bar+Bottle’s door, grease painted faces presaged a night we would never forget. It seemed a bit early for Halloween and these twenty-somethings were definitely too old for trick or treating, something strange was happening and we were fairly certain it wasn’t just the beer talking. As we reached the fountainhead of all these clown faces and baggy jeans at One Centre Square, we disinterred that tonight was the Insane Clown Posse’s The Great Milenko 20th Anniversary Tour.
While familiar with the Insane Clown Posse, neither of us were ever considered a Juggalo/Juggalette but this spectacle was to great too be missed. Legend has it that these shows are equal parts insanity+fun+messy+Carnival so without delay, we flipped the doorman some cash for tickets, got frisked and were in with open minds and clean, dry clothes.
However legend the spectacle of an ICP show may be, the actual real-life, flesh, blood and grease paint phenomenon is well in excess of said legend.
The amount of Faygo used in the now infamous “Faygo Showers” is mind-boggling. Chants of “family” filled lulls (however few there were) in the show and strobe lights disoriented the crowd so that the Faygo baptisms, horrorcore lyrics and powerful smell of the sugary drink could re-orient the congregation to Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope’s vision of the Dark Carnival. Throughout the show, amplifying the sights and sounds was the tastes of Faygo’s root beer, orange, cola, diet cola, etc. SHIT WAS WILD, to say the least! Absolutely NO violence but maximum comradery and fun with equal parts hilarity and messy to amplify the overall extravaganza. The only casualties of the nights were probably a few cell phones, my shoes, and a SHIT-LOAD (read 300+ bottles!) of Faygo 2-liters!
All in all, it was a spectacle in the absolute sense of the word. Not only did it not disappoint, it grew an already massive legend into epic proportions! We cannot imagine how One Centre Square will not FOREVER smell like Faygo, despite their efforts to wrap everything in plastic! While we wouldn’t hesitate to see another ICP show, rest assured that next time, we will dress appropriately, have ziplocks for our cellphones and have a change of clothes and some towels waiting in the car.
As a bonus, we shot a little video before the Faygo Shower could murder the cellphone. You are encouraged to check it out here.