Japanther starts a mini riot under the big top. Not your average circus.
Hipster clown moshers, hot women on stilts, Asian hot dogs, a booth for circus-themed tattoos and a whole lot of indie rock—the first night of The Rock 'n' Roll Circus wasn't the usual Big Top fun. Despite its high-brow Lincoln Center digs, the two-day concert seemed decidedly geared toward the outer borough/Todd P. crowd. Performances by Electric Tickle Machine, The So So Glos, Voxhaul Broadcast and The Pharmacy, performed under the Big Apple Circus tent, went off without a hitch. Fans of headliner Japanther, however, caused a mini riot on stage, leading to a shortened set and some security intervention. Here's hoping night two (a ticketed event with Ariel Pink, Amazing Baby, Saint Motel, Aska and Nick Zinner) won't have the organizers "jumping through hoops." Or "walking a tightrope." Pick your own circus pun. —Kirk Miller