Modern sideshow at the Mel 

Sure, conventional circus sideshows have all but disappeared, but that just means the spectator eager to see performers testing the limits of endurance and pain now has to look towards the underground. New Orleans' Sunken City Circus puts an industrial, leather-clad, thoroughly tattooed twist on the traditional sideshow, performing flesh-piercing, contortionist stunts alongside groups like the Jim Rose Circus and at metal roadshows like the Family Values Festival and Mayhem Festival. Two of the circus' troupes, Pain Tribe and the C-Ba$ Sideshow, roll into the Melody Inn April 18. The sideshow promises traditional tricks -- including props like the bed of nails, bed of blades and live chicken consumption by the geek -- while the Pain Tribe will swing from the rafters, all manner of appendages and organs attached to hooks and wires, and rods shoved through human pincushions. With live projected animation by [R]3VO Industries and local industrial one-man band Seamstress Scavengers. The show runs from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. and tickets are $5. The Melody Inn is located at 3826 N. Illinois St.

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