Ariel Pink Shows Off His Acrobatic Talents at New York's Rock and Roll Circus
The Rock and Roll Circus descended upon Manhattan on Monday and Tuesday, but instead of setting up in a deserted lot, it was nestled in the courtyard next to Lincoln Center. The tented arena was a labyrinth of face-painting booths, snack stations and a giant ring for music acts that included Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti and Amazing Baby. Nightlife personality Acid Betty, dressed in a Marie Antoinette-meets-David-Bowie get-up, served as the master of ceremonies for the evening, and frequently encouraged the crowd to "scream like banshees." Despite the pleas to let loose, the Tuesday concert stood in stark contrast to the previous night's event, which ended prematurely following a riot-inducing set by Japanther.
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Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner and ASKA kicked off the showcase, seated facing each other at the center of the ring. The duo played their instruments wordlessly as circus performers clad in spandex danced around them. ASKA then performed an ambient set sans Zinner, sharing the spotlight instead with five female contortionists in matching red unitards. The Kenyan Boys, a troupe of four acrobats with a pole and tremendous balance, warmed up the crowd before Saint Motel hit the stage. The L.A.-based rock act wore matching white button-ups and black pants as they delivered their high-energy power-pop.
Despite the invasion of indie rock acts, the audience had frequent reminders that they were in a circus-sponsored event, including the flashing "Big Apple" lights that hung behind the stage and the fleet of milky-white ponies that ran before the crowd. By the time Brooklyn natives Amazing Baby performed their neo-psychedelic tracks like 'Black and White' and 'Headdress,' it was nearly