Briefly — I went to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus tonight at Lincoln Center. All around the event was a bit uneven in it’s organization and planning, but there were some highlights. For about 25 some odd minutes, last minute headliner Ariel Pink totally confused/captivated the audience with his bizarre performance which was swiftly ended 30 minutes early when he simply walked to one of the tent exits and just kept going…
With a pre-recorded music track, Ariel treated the crowd with what came across as part performance art part Ariel Pink doing Ariel Pink karaoke covers. Dressed like a one man drunken Where’s Waldo? pajama party, Ariel was a sight to be seen, slowly circling the ring with a lackadaisical walk, seemingly with no intended direction or purpose, other than to keep him from falling asleep during his own show. The act was basically exactly how I imagine it would be like if you caught Ryan Adams, during his drug-fueled days of the early 2000s, while sleepwalking and talking after a nights worth of Halloween shenanigans.
During one point of the performance Ariel decided the only way to go was up, so he started to climb one of the lighting rigs, much to the horror of the Big Apple staff:
Seemingly lost and possibly bored, Ariel also took some of the set to sit down and chat with audience members, give one concert-goer a hug, and eventually he made his grand exit by calmly walking out of the venue.
Confounding, discombobulating, but utterly fascinating, Ariel Pink was the only act to bring a little good ol’ fashion intrigue and drama to the night.
Part of me wonders if he basically gave up on trying to compete with the herd of magical white ponies had mesmerized the crowd minutes before his own set. I’m not sure how someone is supposed to follow PONIES.
I’d like to take this moment to apologize to the girl sitting in front of me since I think I screamed “PONIES!” for 5 minutes straight into her ear while the galloping troupe of heaven sent ponies pranced around and around the ring.