Clownsurfing is a real thing. Pics by Rebecca, more below.
The Rock and Roll Circus, a two-night spectacle at Lincoln Center that started Monday, was billed as a homage to the Rolling Stones’ 1968 event by the same name, a multi-ring extravaganza scattering big-top attractions among sets in the ring by the Who, Marianne Faithfull, Jethro Tull, and a supergroup with John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, and Keith Richards. The first night of the 2011 version climaxed with a set by Japanther, whose overzealous fans compelled security to stop the show before it all got too reminiscent of Altamont.
Initial impressions were disappointing -- no stripes on the circus tents. (Jagger would have insisted on stripes.)
Nor was the low-rent administrative spaceship vibe in the vendor area befitting of a legend.
The performance area was sufficiently dramatic for the occasion. First up in the ring: Electric Tickle Machine from Brooklyn, featuring this guy, maybe channeling Jethro Tull?
The next band, the Pharmacy, entered via slide -- cool
The So So Glos wore their finest Ed Sullivan ensembles
Japanther megafan Rudy and a guy in a clown mask started getting rowdy
Soon everyone was in on it
Security was not pleased and promptly cleared the floor. This did not bode well for the Japanther set. As anyone who's seen them knows, Japanther fans are a force of nature that cannot be reckoned with (unless you're at
Barnes and Noble).
Two of the event organizers, dancing in the aisles
Next, L.A.'s Voxhaul Broadcast shut everyone up for a while with some bluesy psychedelic strutting and dancing
Their singer looks like Nathan Williams sans baby fat
When Japanther started, things immediately got nuts. People flooded the ring, though security did all they could to stop it.
Showpaper founder Joe Ahearn
The set was stopped after a few songs and the ring was cleared, and the band was allowed to restart only if the crowd stayed out of the ring. This led to crowdsurfing, piles of bodies, and general mayhem in the stands. People were pissed -- the tramplers and the trample-ees.
Matt from Japanther: Can't we all just get along? Well, sort of.
Stay tuned for night two,
a much tamer (and pricier) affair, with Ariel Pink, Nick Zinner, and a cast of circus performers.