'Happy Daze Tour 2010'
(Meadowbrook Music Theatre, Rochester, MI - May 15, 2010)
On a quiet, unassuming stage on the campus of a quiet, unassuming university, pandemonium erupted Saturday night in the form of a concert, with a lineup consisting of acts such as Kittie, Kottonmouth Kings, Coolio, and Insane Clown Posse on what was called the Happy Daze tour.
Kittie was the first band I saw take the stage. Prior to the show, I’d had opportunity to briefly speak with members Morgan and Mercedes Lander, and Ivy Vujic.
Backstage, they were very kind and welcoming, but underneath the stage lights, their performance completely belied the polite nature, or even the band’s innocent-sounding name. The bottom line soon became apparent: Kittie had claws.
“What the f**k up, Juggalos?” lead singer Morgan questioned of the crowd, who remained only semi-responsive throughout the act, at least from where I stood. The command was given to throw up the horns and bang your head as Kittie performed ‘Never Again’ from their 2007 album, Funeral For Yesterday.
Musically, they were excellent. Kittie had a sound that was loud and raw, an anomaly in a bill filled with rap and hip-hop artists. Bassist Ivy was perhaps the member of the band with the most stage presence, whirling her hair around like a long, brown windmill as she played. Mercedes beat the metallic pink drum kit into submission continually. Fourth member Tara McLeod absolutely shredded the guitar, making a novice player like me incredibly jealous.
Morgan’s vocals alternated--quite often--between beautiful, melodic tones and guttural screaming. Perhaps that is where the problem existed when it came to Kittie: It was incredibly difficult to differentiate one song from the next, or even one lyric from another. One unknown number seemed to have a baseline that resembled that of Alice Cooper’s ’School’s Out,’ which was enough to keep me at least interested.
“Are you motherf***ers ready to party?!” Morgan asked again. That garnered a somewhat more lively reaction from the audience, but it didn’t matter in the long run--Kittie’s time on stage was almost up. After a few more moments of introductions and gently plugging their latest record, In the Black, Kittie left us, but not before belting out a tune from that album entitled, ’Forgive and Forget.’
Yes and no, Kittie. I can easily forgive them for the ten minutes my hearing had been blown after the fact, but by no stretch will I be forgetting the all-chick heavy metal band that held their own at the rap concert any time soon.
The fun kept coming with Coolio, the hip-hop star from back in the day--1995 to be precise--who, along with his son and nephew, drove home the vocabulary of the night, what the Juggalos and Facebook users alike like to call the “woot woot!” The trio also taught us a refrain that would also be repeated (albeit only in action) throughout the evening: “Let’s get stupid and act retarded!” After performing the signature piece, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise‘, Coolio went off, and the crowd was starting to get warmed up.
In between Coolio and Kottonmouth Kings, there was a deejay. DJ spun mixes of songs for each act on the bill, the most entertaining being, by far, was ’Chop Chop Slide’, an obscenity laced, Posse-fied version of the Cha-Cha Slide, with such commands as “Be the s**t” and “spin like rednecks” in addition to a rambled list of more or less every word banned from American broadcast television!
There wasn’t much substance to Kottonmouth Kings…no substance other than cannabis, that its. Yes, it was all about the pot with such rousing numbers as ’Where’s the Weed At?’ and ’Proud to be a Stoner.’ Halfway through, it was obvious that the crowd was restless, waiting for what was the main act of the night: ICP.
From what very little I could manage to stand of the Insane Clown Posse, the introduction was a very circus-like atmosphere, complete with an over-the-top ringmaster, and creepy clown music. The two makeup-laden performers shot Faygo soda pop into the raucous audience during ’Hocus Pocus’, wielded hatchets for ’My Axe’ and proceeded to be joined on the stage by zombies while singing about cannibalism and ’Dead Body Man.’ Once again, Alice Cooper would be proud.
“Something special, in your face…something exclusive for you,” they crowed at one point. They were definitely in my face. The backstage Kittie introduction before the show could certainly be considered special. And in the end, the only thing that was Exclusive was the Magazine that had sent me there.
The quiet, unassuming stage and the quiet, unassuming university were desecrated in a matter of hours by an infusion of heavy metal, rap, drugs, and alcohol, most likely to be resurrected only when the sound of the symphony rings through the trees, restoring order where chaos had reigned.
‘Happy Daze’ indeed!
Review by: Ashley Trombley
Looking to see the The Happy Daze Tour 2010 in your neck of the woods? Check out www.razorgator.com to see if they have any tickets available.