Now this is a collaboration that both C-Squad fans and Barbz have been waiting for…
- Posted on Jan 5th 2011 11:15AM by Ginny Yang
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images
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 impossible to distinguish the dancing fans with painted faces from the hired circus performers prancing around the stage.
However, the artist who most embodied the spirit of running away with the circus was Ariel Pink, a last-minute replacement for previously announced headliners OK Go. The lo-fi hipster had the difficult task of following the aforementioned ponies but managed to keep tongues wagging throughout his discombobulated set. Dressed in a sequined sweater and polka-dotted pants, Pink was flanked by two leggings-and-fur-clad women with hula hoops. The eccentric singer climbed through the audience, hugged fans and cut songs short in between falsetto-filled croons. After playing tunes like 'Can't Hear My Eyes' and 'Fright Night (Nevermore),' Pink even did his own impromptu acrobatic act, climbing the metal beams at the center of the white tent, before stalking out of the venue in front of a bewildered audience.