Photos originally shot for Indy Star Party Crashers
Article and photos by Melodie Yvonne Ramey
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – There once was a time when circuses were aplenty, and they were teeming with not just amazing animals and crews of clowns, but with a specially talented amazing group of humans as well. These people brought a special kind of joy to show goers in the way of the traditional circus sideshows. Unfortunately, these right proper sideshows have went by the wayside over the years. In the 90s for a brief moment one could find a good old-fashioned sideshow on every corner. Thanks to artistic musicians like NIN and Marilyn Manson acts like the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow were brought to light.
Once again the macabre was gloriously in the forefront, and even celebrated in special events on popular shows like The X-Files with an entire episode dedicated to the Jim Rose performers. Unfortunately, this most beautiful tradition became diluted with the gaining popularity of other shows like Jackass shortly after. Moreover, growing technology made everyone in the world a star in their own right overnight, so the antics became increasingly juvenile. Suddenly there were just too many jackasses to choose from. Of course, with any new fad it fades as quickly as it catches on, and leaves a hole that needs filled. Finally, there has begun another rise in the glorious old circus traditions as witnessed by the multitudes enjoying the beautiful Fountain Square Brewing Co. recently.
The wonderful spectacle in question was brought on in part by the phenomenal men of Bizarre Noir. The show was advertised as their “4th Annual Big Crazy Circus“, and it would not disappoint. The first opening band, SpaceWords, got the crowd warmed up nicely with a chilled 90s rock feel. They wooed the crowd with an amazing rendition of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” to go along with their unique hard rock originals. Chiasma came on next, and whipped the crowd up into a frenzy with their phenomenal style.
The third act in this 4th annual 4 ring circus was the mind bendingly talented Tinderbox Circus Sideshow. They performed some of the traditional acts like sword swallowing and fire eating with a style like none other, and even had a few specialized wonders of their own thrown in for good measure. They spent every minute they were on stage with a fierce passion continually upping the ante. They would not be satisfied to simply walk on broken glass. They went that extra mile… upwards that is, and jumped on it. They even entertained at the conclusion of the performance too as they encouraged the audience to give tips. A dollar or less went in the bucket, but anything $5 or more gained that person the privilege of stapling it to the performer of their choosing.
Throughout the evening Chris Charles introduced the acts, and even participated like the ringmaster he was born to be. This genuine flair carried into his performance as well during the last set of the night when he took the stage with his prodigious band mates in Bizarre Noir. Their music is a force to be reckoned with defying most every known genre. The band somehow creates a circus in the melodies themselves leaving the crowd with mouths agape and hungry for more. Bizarre Noir, somewhat like the act before them, was not content to just play music. They create an entire performance including not just their songs and their careful costume choices, but also in their brilliant demeanors. Together these men create a magical wonderland, and it’s true when they say it takes a village. Periodically beautiful characters would show up on stage accentuating the harmonies with mesmerizing dance moves that charmed the crowd into submission even further.
The end of the set brought a slight sadness to the house as they were startled out of the evenings seductions. Many swore to their companions and themselves to return again next year, or next show as well for that matter as they promised allegiance to the band. In the end, Bizarre Noir brought Indianapolis and the Fountain Square Brewing Co. exactly what it didn’t know it needed, and now that the magic is here it’s here to stay.
Check out the full photo gallery below to relive the evening, and scroll on past for a special video playlist as well!
SEE even more of the Music on Melodie’s YouTube now!
View more of Melodie’s concert and event photography at melodieyvonne.com/photo-galleries/concert-and-events/
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Photo and video footage shot for Photographic Melodie by Melodie Yvonne Ramey. Shot with Nikon D800E
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