A little over a week ago, I was given the privilege to bring my camera into The Vogue Theatre to photograph the Beats Antique show. It was the first time I was given a photo pass anywhere. Before Beats Antique took the stage, Pinky D'Ambrosia, the lovely songstress and woman of many talents, warmed up the crowd with a few of her ditties, managing to engage the clots of people drawing nearer towards the stage into a miniature tournament of rocks, paper, scissors. Moon Hooch followed with a set that transfixed the remarkably large crowd that grew by the second, filling nearly every spot left in the Vogue. People swelled and swayed and jumped to the their music. When he wasn't blaring through his sax, Wilbur would alternate between cooing and rapping into the microphone while McGowan solemnly, though sporadically, bent over a keyboard throughout the evening. The two often came back together and played their respective saxophones head to head; the crowd cheered each time they did. Muschler drummed on and on without end, the smoke tumbling down onto him as he shut his eyes firmly in the midst of a particularly grueling beat.
Just before Beats Antique took the stage, The Keshvar Project, a belly dance troupe from Cincinnati, OH, performed a number with a gaggle of musicians. The lights dimmed and when they began to slowly illuminate once again, Zoe Jakes was riding atop a giant bicycle. The theme that would run throughout the night was of hyperbolic curiosities that evoked the fantastical elements of a carnival. During half of the songs, Zoe Jakes was absent, presumably making costume changes back stage. In those moments, the musicians engaged the crowd despite being pulled to the very back of the stage. At times, Jakes would pair up with another dancer for burlesque acts, the two of them flinging feather fans about in sync. For other songs, Jakes performed solo sets of varying styles. When Pink D'Ambrosia wasn't playing a trumpet behind the scenes, she would don an appropriate costume and join the other women at the front of the stage. The trio performed a set with Japanese-style drumming and later on in the night, they were enveloped by a giant, inflatable monster. By the end of the evening, the crowd was throbbing, those in the front doubled over the barrier separating the stage from the crowd. Arms were undulating and bodies mimicked rolling waves. When Beats Antique came and went after their encore, the crowd was still dancing and singing along to whatever song came over the speakers.