Where to start, – well this is coming out long after most gathering reviews, and that’s intentional on my part. It’s all had time to set in, everyones seen the pictures, read the reviews, and are now getting all hyped for Hallowicked. So What could I possibly add about the gathering? Lots of things of course, it was the GATHERING! The greatest 4 days, wait, 6 days of the year. I attend as a fan, as a juggalo, as a videographer, as a photographer, and as a TJF guy. Had a epic time, and already looking forward to next year. Huge thanks to Psychopathic Records for putting this down once again, as well as the open communication with us about the event!
Of course there were a lot of stale things that happened, that is always the case, but nothing surpasses this event. I have already turned in my vacation time for work next year, have already purchased a large party tent for next year, and in the works of replacing the trusty lil toyota RV with something else – possibly something a little bigger.
Some of the stale things this year would be of course the “No Shows”, the late starts, the throwing of things at the performers (no not empty plastic bottles), etc that happens every year. Some of the other stuff that really stuck with me is the Hopsin set getting cut, the attempt at a Tattoo contest, and the food/vendor situation, and the shutting down of all tattoo artists but the non-juggalos stand, but ill get into all that shortly.
You can check out our photo gallery at the end of this review. In it are photos taken by Myself, Hashly, Chris, and Deania. You can check the TJF Youtube Channel or my youtube channel (for the raw footage) – where you will find a ton of video shot by Myself, some shot by Chris, Denia, Tahya, and Blackie. I want to throw a huge thanks out to the Iowa crew that rolled down this year. As well as the entire TJF crew: RandomNinja, JesterJules, NinjaShaman, Witchy, Stitch, and anyone in our camping area including faygoluvers.net Scottie D, PsykoScott and Oxi, of FLH/Riff Raff crew for a great setup, camping with homies is always the way to go. Hoping to have more of my local crew as well as more TJF/FLH people there next year.
So after previous years of getting stuck in line with the RV where everyone goes around you when the hill starts to move. I decided to leave a lot earlier – unfortunatley that meant leaving 3 of my homies to ride down a couple days behind us. Which for me meant picking up some new locals to help cover gas. All turned out pretty good, and made some new friends in the process. We stopped in the good state of Missouri for the cheap cigarettes.
Proceeded down to Mt. Vernon, Il. The last Walmart on the way there. Who was virtually out of Sunny D. Now Sunny D. is my secret weapon in previous years, it really does not need refridgerated, easy to drink, easy to mix with liquor, and keeps you healthy. As it turns out this is the first year I came home from the gathering sick. Next year you better believe I’m carting some Sunny D all the way and not counting on Walmart anymore.
So since we left way early we also avoided highway patrol, speed traps, etc you usually see along the way in southern Illinois. The last little town had a force in preparation though. Our last stop to make sure everything was full of gas, and empty of piss was in Eldorado, they had 4 nice police chargers and cops with bulletproof vests on… clearly needed in this little town right? No trouble for us though, we casually went to the gathering from here.
We got setup that night at our usual spot across from the 2nd Stage in Scrub Central. We hung out and helped out a bit with the Club Lotus setup crew before turning in for the night. We where informed in the morning though that the Club Lotus crew had been in a bad car accident on their way up. So they promptly departed to go be with them. As it turns out Area 51 got setup in their place as the grounds started to fill in the following day.
Wednesday, August 10th.
Gates opened up and people starting swarming the grounds. Our area filled in pretty slowly but by the time everyone was in, it seemed like tents where on top of us. Anyway, up at will call it was a little hard getting out the gate to get in line, to get tickets, then coming back in was completely searched, which was new this year. I didn’t see them actually remove anything from anyone, however did hear them explain to people that drugs are bad and they should make better choices. So drugs where ok in the search, hope they weeded out some items, because as usual there was all kinds of glass bottles, and other forbidden items in the grounds.
Wi-Fi signs where set all over the place at some point, and there was wi-fi access you could buy in 4 hour blocks. This was new this year, and a nice feature for us as it allowed me to get video out faster then anyone else, as well as twitter updates on things as they happened.
Now the drug bridge had great 3g cell phone service this year to, on verizon that is, till later in the day when it transformed from a regular bridge into the drug bridge. After that cell phone service was hit or miss like past years. This place takes a lot of heat from people, however I think its a staple at the gathering. I am no druggie, however the spectacle of it, plus in the wee hours of the morning when not shit else to do, always something going on there, you cant see anywhere else back home.
The gathering is setup, and nothing going on. Wednesday night is always a party, bounced around meeting people, comparing ink, having a good time. The key is to start to get your sleep schedule in order… Silly to go to bed early Wednesday because on Thursday your not going to.
Thursday, August 11th
New Shit: Face Painting Booth – Areas for Other Artists Merch – Head Shop – Custom Embroidery: Bizarbie Hood had her own Face Painting Booth up and was rocking out some super amazing work – Should be a review up soon on just this. Head shop was a over priced glass piece store, the other open area had people selling like blunt wraps, or like King Gordy merch, Potluck merch, and vanilla ice merch – Rob was cool as hell when we talked to him as always.
Custom Embroidery stand. What to say about this place. Great idea, bad execution. I bought a 30 dollar hat I wouldn’t of bought just to get my name put on it by these people. I did it early Thursday. I also had a kick ass Blank Adidas basketball jersey I gave them to drop a couple large hatchetmen on and Mr. Hatchets name across the back since he couldn’t make it to the gathering. Checked in every day and nothing, kept telling me to check back. Sunday they gave me my hat back with nothing done to it and the Jersey with just the hatchetmen on it and some of my money back. Lot of other people had problems to with orders not being filled. Apparently the Z in Hazin was breaking it according to them…. nice… Epic Failure on a great idea though. I have all kinds of blank jerseys I could be pushing their way, however will find local people in future.
Riding down in a RV, we always carry plenty of food to last us the whole time, however its not a gathering without the vendors and trying some of our favorite food. Lunch we decided to hunt down the Burrito man – this hunt lasted till Monday afternoon when most had left the gathering I ran into him as he was packing up. He had stated then that he had to keep moving and stay hidden due to the way things where done this year.
Which is another new thing this year and something I had actually found out Wednesday chatting with the carny ride people. The Vendors where all one company, so they where complaining about the small regular vendors since they had been contracted for it, thus the smaller known guys where getting shut down. Thus many ninjas never found Burrito man, also Stoner Boats where not there till a vendor started making them by request. All around the food prices where insane, the huge pork chops and the chicken on a stick where good, however the prices and lack of juggalos like burrito man – kept us eating in the camper.
Another Thursday thing we like to do is hit all the carny rides will things are starting to ramp up. they said the day before that the rides where picked by psychopathic, I was disapointed at no swing ride this year, but owell. Maybe next year? (one of best chill out rides at the gathering in previous years)
2nd stage acts we can pretty much pay attention to from where we are camped, however I walked over and seen North Side Ninjaz rip it up. We recently had done a interview with them, you can see HERE. The rest I heard all sounded good, nothing amazing and nothing horrific.
Contests at the Gathering are always blah for me, how hard would it be to get some official judges – it wouldn’t have to be like shaggy, but some official judges and not go on who has the biggest crew in the crowd or tits, or whatever. All the contests judged by crowd participation I think are stale, my opinion of course. Wet T-shirt contest, I’m not sure why they call it that, T-shirts – what are those?
The magician, what can I say… if letting a guy beat on you with a plastic bat while you get out of a straight jacket is magic… then this guy was amazing. Otherwise, pretty bland for me (my personal opinion)
Flec’s Bizzaro Circus Sideshow – the crowd got into this and I thought it was good. I typically have not been a fan of the little acts like this at the gathering, however this should be a yearly thing, and I don’t say that about many acts. (MUSHROOMHEAD!!!) lol
This is where the epicness of MC Hammer went down, but also where the huge delays started that lead to Hopsin being pulled down in middle of his set (which is the worst choice and stalest moment of this years gathering).
I caught DJ Quik, which really just seemed like a hangout of people waiting for the show to start, Then after that Paul Wall flat out didn’t show up to the gathering. You have nothing going on at the gathering during this time period but main stage acts, and its a boring act followed by a no show. Rather then move people forward and go ahead of schedule a little bit, nope we sat around and waited. Dustin Diamond informed us at least that Paul Wall was a no show (Previous years there was a huge lack of information flow to the crowd). E-40 did his set followed by MC Hammer who had all the “Real Press” reporting he’d be boo’d off stage and hit with feces, or even killed. This was one of the best shows of the gathering. Right off the bat he jumped down and got in the crowd and congo lined it through the pit!. He then ended his set with Cant Touch This by having tons of people fill the stage and dance with him.
All of a sudden we go from that to waiting again, Busta Rhymes was late – again no schedule adjustment (if it would of been possible to move someone like AJAX or Hopsin to main stage at this point – that would of been amazing)
Busta Rhymes finally shows up and does his set, it was good, busta been ripping shit up a long time, and he did so here! However at the end to me it seemed like he milked the mic for a long time, blah blah i want to come back next year, blah blah – delaying the set change for Dark Lotus even longer.
Dark Lotus – Painted up – Older Tracks – fucking amazing way to end main stage on day 1. Headlining Mainstage with Lotus night one is a great idea, however having Rydas Play later that night was not smart in my opinion. Hopsin should of headlined 2nd stage, let Rydas headline 2nd stage the 2nd night so J’s voice can recover, and last the weekend. By the end of the gathering that shit was getting harsh.
Late Night Acts:
I caught Bobby Brown just for the spectacle of it, and I wanted to see Kittie perform anyway. Both had huge crowd participation and where amazing sets! After Kittie went over to 2nd stage to catch Hopsin who for me was the biggest non-psychopathic artist this year. Had briefly talked to him earlier in the day, and was stoked to see his set. Crowd was hugely into it, however about 2/3rds through the music cut, and psychopathic asked him to leave so Ryda’s could take the stage, sound check, and start on their set. I can not express how dissapointed I was at this, I really hope things where smoothed over and Hop comes back next year. This is by far the stalest moment of the year.
Ryda’s had the stage full of people dressed up, and they rocked out a really long set (could of easialy dropped off a few tracks and gave Hopsin more time in my opinion) We ventured over to see if the “Murder of Crows w/Boondox” thing was going to happen at all, however it had been canceled. This was supposed to be a Dubstep event with Boondox and Ill E. Gal originally – however she was not invited this year and The crew didn’t want to do it as it was to late.
Friday, August 12th
One thing I like to do on Friday is ride the hellicopter and see how the grounds filled in. Again they had the one with the doors I dislike, and the price jumped 10 bucks a person from previous years, So i just skipped out on it. I’m sure someone has it up on youtube anyway – hell at 20 bucks a person i hated it but always took the lette up every year, so they missed out on 40 bucks this year from me.
At this point it was safe to say. WHY THE FUCK DIDN’T I BRING SOME HOODIES? i have never been that cold in the early hours before, its always been extremely to hot all the damn time.
2010 was clearly the year of the butterfly – they where everywhere, which was cool as hell. This year was clearly the year of the dragonfly though – they where all over the damn place.
So Friday, what to do. I had to choose between the ICP Seminar the the Tattoo contest and I choose the Tattoo contest for some reason, thinking it would be done right… however sounds like the ICP Seminar was delayed a ton so I probably could of hit both. Tattoo contest was crowd participation, which its pretty damn hard to see ink from 20 people back… not to mention 3rd place went to a spider man chest piece (No offense, cool ink, but definatley not psychopathic related). 2nd place went to a hot lette (yep she was cute, all i can say). 1st place was actually some good ink and psychopathic related. However would much rather see, 3-5 judges from psychopathic doing this thing right in future years. Come on!! Some of the “official media” was stopping contestants and taking pictures as they left the stage, a couple of pieces that they and I thought should of won got photographed.
2nd stage acts where all pretty good.
Main Stage: CKY, Dayton Family, Juvenile, KMK, Lil Jon, Ice Cube, and ABK – all great shows, this is how main stage acts should go. KMK rocked it with a killer screen behind them, great show! ABK headlining was a great finish to the night. Huge ABK fan, and his newer tracks where good to see live once again!
Late Night: I choose to hit the Freakshow tent over the 2nd stage shows for the night, So Sick Social Club, Kung Fu Vampire (Mars joined him on stage for a bit), Critical Bill, and Wolfpac all amazing as usual, these are the shows I cant see anywhere else and a huge draw for me every year. I had heard and seen video of King Gordy walking off stage when I returned to the camper that my homie Chris had went to – which is upsetting since Gordy actually sat out all day Thursday and Friday by the merch area. just meeting lo’s and lette’s and chilling. Lil Wyte killed it from what I heard, I had seen him last year so skipped it for freakshow tent. Unlike Gordy who was chill and hanging out – he was getting all crazy on a tricked out golf cart earlier and actually running into people – was officially asked to put it away earlier in the day from what I heard as well. (what i heard)
Saturday, August 13th
I woke up to late to check out the ABK event, however caught some 2nd stage acts and relaxed, ate some grub, chilled with homies, then a large chunk of my Iowa crew went to the Neden Game, where Hashly and John from my crew where contestants. Video of these did not make it to youtube due to the content. However one fun part was when Ron Jeremy lied, and it instantly started storming… I did catch Ron afterwards playing the harmonica. And later that night Chilled and chatted with him for awhile while he was eating at a corndog stand – some clueless ninja approached him and asked him if he had any more corndogs for sale, classic.
Miss Juggalette – needless to say this is like the wet t-shirt contest, I’m not against these events just not into them i guess. better ways to get attention lette’s
Main Stage Acts: Potluck, Vanilla Ice, George Clinton, Blaze, Tech N9ne, and Twiztid. Another great lineup – the only thing out of place here was George Clinton and while it was cool to see him attempt to perform since he clearly will not be doing it much longer, it just didn’t belong here. A lot of psychopathic artist pre-gathering interviews said this was the show they where looking forward to the most. From my vantage, he didn’t perform, his set/crew did. He was present though and putting in some effort, and like i said, it was cool to see him once in my lifetime.
On a side not, Charlie Sheen – best host of the gathering this year, catching a can of redpop chucked at him! Classic moment, watching the video isnt nearly as electric as being there
Potluck, and Blaze both great sets, good stage presence. Vanilla Ice killed it as always, did the bong “stage prop” bit again this year. Tech N9ne was once again fucking amazing. If you have never seen Tech N9ne perform at the gathering, there is something wrong with you. His entire set was great, I wish i could hold my busted ass elbow in the air long enough to just record his whole set start to finish for you ninjas! After all this Twiztid took the stage, and you could tell the crowd was on edge, waiting to see if they where actually gonna do a set or bail like last year. They stayed! and the crowd loved it. This is why they headline Saturday night. Amazing! Good recovery from last years staleness. Jamie Madrox lost some weight and was all over the stage. Looking good!!
Late Acts: I say late because things are still way off schedule due to delays on things like Busta Rhymes the first night, ICP seminar the 2nd day, and I think wrestling the third (sorry wrestling fans, that’s one thing I wont cover, however other TJF staff will).
HogDaddy’s Hellfire – something you got to catch at least one night a year, its a huge ass fire, what else can I say.
Scum, Claas, Menace 2 Sobriety, and Hed p.e. – all yearly acts that everyone should catch. On the way back to the RV noticed AMB was still on stage, and there wasn’t much of a crowd over there, so we went and caught the end of their set as the sun came up. Chilled and talked to ABK, DJ Clay, and Otis afterwards for a little bit before catching the first big sleep of the gathering for me.
Sunday August, 14th
Somehow I crashed out and slept in pretty late – no idea what happened at the fishing contest, this was something I wanted to hit this year, I didn’t even hear anything about it later on in the day.
I was able to catch Izzy Dunfore on 2nd stage who we recently did a Interview with. You can see it HERE. Also caught Freddy Grimes who I have a interview with, that will be posted in the near future.
After that it was time to wrap up the gathering with the Main stage acts.
Prozak put on a good show as expected, Saliva was a bit out of place and made me remember there was supposed to be a “metal night” headlined by saliva or something… another gathering hype that didnt happen. Speaking of gathering hype – who enjoyed those surprise guests one from east coast and one from the west?? Saliva did their popular songs though and it was ok. Boondox, what can I say – I love this man. No not gay, he just brings it, the lyrics, the instrumentals, the whole package. Another epic show by Boondox.
Before Paris took the stage it was expressed how he is a personal friend of J’s and he should be treated with respect – this was due to the lack of knowledge I’m guessing to who Paris was and the thought that he would be the 2011 “I got biffed in the face by the juggalos” recipient. However this did the trick, Paris went on and did his set with no incidents. The host Sunday was Flava Flav – and each time he took the stage he just said the same stuff – blah. Mystickal and Xzibit where up next, and although not usual attendees of the gathering, these are the acts I like to catch, cause if they rolled through my town I sure wouldn’t go catch em, but throw them at the gathering and hell yeah I’m down. Both rocked it out and did good. I think mystikal had no clue where he was, he just showed up for the next gig. But still good. Xzibit didn’t want to pimp our rides but still put on a good show.
The clowns – I have seen them perform more then any other act, and ya know what? I still enjoy that shit, even when I am at the point I can predict the whole set. By this point my arm was tired as hell, 4 days of recording whatever I could for the ninjas back home – and I super appreciate the comments and feedback, even heard some of the footage was better then the pay per view. They went above and beyond with the fireworks this year – way more then in previous years and that was a nice finishing touch.
Its the last night – everything is done, what to do? Party till you pass out!! hell yeah. Apparently some of my crew hung out and watched Shaggy roll a golf cart in front of 2nd stage at 4:30am Monday morning. Good times.
So I pack up late Monday morning unlike most and roll out with the last of the people. The grounds: still a littered mess – a touch better this year, but huge room for improvement guys. We helped clean up a bit before we split. Something Id like to say – if you leaving behind perfectly good shit, don’t throw it in the mud – set it on the road or something, maybe a ninja in need will find it so it don’t end up in the trash. Seen multiple crates of water just flung down into the muddy woods, clothing, bicycles, pipes, shoes, etc. Come on now, that’s not cool Maybe next year ill start some kinda 1.) Lost/Found at the TJF Camp area, and 2.) Donation box – well see.
In closing id like to quote Scottie D. of Faygoluvers from his review:
“Before I officially close out this review, I want to say Rest in Peace to Jesse Waters who was found dead Sunday morning. Judging by The Article that was written about him by the Village Voice, he was a sincerely cool person with a bright future ahead of him. Our thoughts and warmest wishes go out to his friends and family.”
With that, ill leave ya with this. WHOOP WHOOP: See you all at Hallowicked? Ill be there!