Insane Clown Posse brings an early Halloween to Riot Fest

Duo treats the Douglass Park Juggalos to a suspenseful wait, menacing clowns and the usual geysers of Faygo.

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Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse, performs Saturday at Riot Fest in Douglass Park.

Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse, performs Saturday at Riot Fest in Douglass Park.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

All day long the gathering of the Juggalos was waiting at Douglass Park for Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope to take Riot Fest’s Rebel Stage at nightfall. And then the Juggalos waited some more as the rappers and their crew of stage squatters kept the makeup-heavy flock of fans at bay for 30 extra minutes past the advertised set time.

When they did arrive, it was an all-out explosion — of the countless bottles of Faygo soda that sprayed down a large swath of the crowd as well as a verbal barrage on tracks like “F- - - the World” and “Hey Vato.” ICP delivered on its “ultimate hip-hop horror show” promises with the whole shebang seeming like an early Halloween attraction: the waiting in suspense, the dark overhang of trees near the Rebel Stage, jesters and clowns every which way you turned.

But the biggest shock of all might have been the moments the band paused the horrorcore to take on a political tone — no more so than on “Your Rebel Flag” (a song often paired with imagery of burning Confederate iconography).

It’s hard to believe the dark carnival duo, formed in Detroit in the late ’80s and releasing a debut album in ’92, have been able to keep the shtick running for 30-plus years (and no doubt has kept Faygo in business in all that time too). It’s clear the much-revered “gatherings” are nothing short of a family reunion that just keeps growing. — Selena Fragassi

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