Bizarre Noir’s 4th Annual Big Crazy Circus Seduces Fountain Square

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!

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Photo and video footage shot for Photographic Melodie by Melodie Yvonne Ramey. Shot with Nikon D800E
All footage copyright Melodie Yvonne Ramey and/or the performing artists. No usage is permitted beyond non-profit online sharing without written permission from Melodie Yvonne Ramey and/or the performing artist. Photos are not for commercial sale. It is ILLEGAL to sell concert photographs without the permission of the artist. It is ILLEGAL to use these photos for anything at all without permission from the photographer. Please send any and all inquiries of usage requests to Non-profit online sharing of images is permitted only when following these specific guidelines… images are NOT to be altered in any way. This includes, but is not limited to cropping, adding filters, removing color from, any other changes, and/or removing the watermark. Also absolutely no making money off of, and/or taking credit for my images as it is illegal, and makes me long for death.

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Melodie Yvonne

Melodie Yvonne Ramey, owner, editor, & contributor at Photographic Melodie, grew up in the small southern Indiana town of North Vernon. She picked up her first camera at the young age of 5, and was immediately hooked. Every trip, even just to the local park, was turned into a fantasy scene of her own imagination that would later be turned into epic tales in word and photos.

Melodie spent her teen years learning from and mentoring under professionals such as Richard Young, John Sheckler, and The Grand Conundrum. She received an Associates of Applied Science in Visual Technologies majoring in Photography from Ivy Tech in 2002 after studying under acclaimed professors such as Hoosier photographer Darryl Jones, Jonathan Wilson, and many other masters in the field.

Melodie’s main focus has always been music photography. Growing up with photography and listening to amazing musicians inspired her dream to create visual images that made people feel the way they do when they hear the music. She wanted to help people SEE the music by capturing every magical moment of concerts that she could only dream about as she gazed into music magazines like Rolling Stone and Spin.

Melodie has done numerous jobs around the country ranging from working for bands to even being the official photographer on many southern Indiana Poker Runs. Her specialties are in nature, music, and candid event photography, as well as one of a kind photographic creations. Melodie published her first print book Photographic Memories: In the Beginning, a collection of poetry, in 2011, and has since published 2 more print works, Photographic Memories: Meet me in the Middle and Hoosier Heavens, her first photo book. Melodie currently acts as publisher, editor & lead contributor at Photographic Melodie and does freelance work with many other media outlets, venues, and artists.

Melodie says, “I started out with a Tweety bird camera and a dream and I never let go. I will always love photography and the vessel it has given me to share the images of my heart and mind with the world. I have found that every single person on this earth visualizes the world in very different ways. Some people are optimists, some are pessimists. Some people are daydreamers, and others keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. Photography allows me to show some of these different visualizations. It allows the rationalist to see that it’s okay to dream, it can show the monsters hidden in the dark, and it can show even the saddest of people that there is still joy in the world.”

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