Pink Talking Fish Presents Junta Circus At The Capitol Theatre In Port Chester

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All photos by Adam McCullough

Ever since Pink Talking Fish formed five years ago, the Phish/Talking Heads/Pink Floyd tribute act have mixed their typical performances with concept shows based around the theme. Pink Talking Fish presented their most ambitious concept show yet on Saturday night at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. Junta Circus not only featured a complete performance of Phish’s debut studio album intertwined with Talking Heads and Pink Floyd classics, but they also recruited Greg Ormont of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong as The Ringmaster and members of the Big Apple Circus to provide “attractions” both on and off of the stage.

The marathon evening started at Garcia’s, the bar that is adjacent to The Cap, where members of the Big Apple Circus showed off their skills. When Pink Talking Fish took the stage at the main venue, they vamped on “Esther” as Ormont read a poem that served as an introduction. Then, drummer Zack Burwick kicked into the familiar drum riff that opens “Fee.” Greg Ormont provided lead vocals, fed through a megaphone on “Fee.” Ormont stuck around for “Once In A Lifetime,” which featured an aerialist performing stunts above the band. Next was the pairing of Phish’s “You Enjoy Myself” and Floyd’s “Learning To Fly.” Multiple members of the Big Apple Circus pulled off a choreographed dance on trampolines during “YEM” and Greg Ormont added guitar, was part of the trampoline dancing and took part in the song’s vocal jam.

Junta was named after Phish’s first manager Ben “Junta” Hunter. Ben emerged to sing “Free Four,” a Pink Floyd song from the band’s 1972 album Obscured By Clouds. The set continued with an “Esther” in which the Big Apple Circus acted out the song. Ormont returned dressed in a big suit and was joined by Big Suit Clowns in dancing along to “Life During Wartime” as images of David Byrne were projected on the walls of the historic venue. The first set concluded with a “Golgi Apparatus” that included commemorative ticket stubs falling from the balcony.

Pink Talking Fish got their second set going with “Foam” as bubbles filled the room. In addition, a performer emerged in a large bubble in which she danced with feathers. Ormont came back out for a “Have A Cigar” that featured a contortionist and stilt walking clown. Greg also added to a version of “Dinner & A Movie” that saw him bring a date to the stage for … well … dinner and a movie as the Big Apple Circus set the stage vaudevillian style and played characters during the song. From there, Pink Talking Fish covered the Talking Heads’ classic “Cities” and then performed “Divided Sky” with “Great Gig In The Sky” mixed in. An aerial show took place during “Divided Sky,” while Maryn Azoff provided vocals on “Great Gig In The Sky.”

The quartet then lit into “David Bowie” complete with David Bowie’s “Fame” within. Ormont was on hand for “Fame” as were “Glam Dancers.” Next up was “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” and a “Fluffhead” that saw members of the Big Apple Circus juggle pins and other circus flare. The concert rolled on with The Ringmaster riding a Hobby Horse for “Contact” as dancers twirled hula hoops, members of the circus rode unicycles and a performer spun in a Cyr Wheel. While Phish had never performed “Union Federal” live that didn’t stop PTF from tackling the tune with a clown show. In another brilliant medley, Pink Talking Fish inserted Phish’s “Sanity” within “Brain Damage” by Pink Floyd. The members of the band laughed away in the middle of “Brain Damage” to provide the perfect segue into “Sanity.”

The Ringmaster was on hand for “Sanity,” which also featured the entire ensemble acting crazy, and stuck around for the rest of the show. Azoff added to both portions of “Brain Damage” as well as the “Eclipse” and “Icculus” that ended the second set. Greg Ormont provided the narration for “Icculus” that thanked the audience for coming. For the encore, Pink Talking Fish, Ormont, Azoff and the Big Apple Circus teamed up on a “Burning Down The House” that contained “Tweezer Reprise” teases. Kudos go out to Pink Talking Fish bassist Eric Gould for organizing a memorable concert that featured many moving parts. It will be hard for the band to top what went down at The Cap on Saturday night.

Soundboard Matrix Audio (Taped by Keith Litzenberger)

Fan-Shot Videos

Foam Captured by Jeff Klein

Divided Sky Captured by Jeff Klein

Great Gig In The Sky Captured by Jeff Klein

Burning Down The House Captured by Jeff Klein

Once In A Lifetime Captured by Jeff Klein

Contact Captured by Jeff Klein

Life During Wartime Captured by Jeff Klein

You Enjoy Myself Trampoline Jam Captured by jackstrawfromwitchita

Setlist

Set One: Circus Intro*$> Fee*> Once In A Lifetime*%, You Enjoy Myself> Learning To Fly> You Enjoy Myself*$$^, Free Four^^, Esther%%, Life During Wartime*!, Golgi Apparatus!!

Set Two: Foam+, Have A Cigar*++> Dinner And A Movie*=, Cities, Divided Sky> Great Gig In The Sky==?> Divided Sky==, David Bowie> Fame*{> David Bowie, This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody), Fluffhead{{, Contact*[, Union Federal[[, Brain Damage?”> Sanity*””> Brain Damage*?””> Eclipse*?””> Icculus*?””!!!

Encore: Burning Down The House*?%

  • *w/ Greg Ormont as The Ringmaster
  • %w/ Big Apple Circus ensemble – various acts
  • %% Big Apple Circus acted out the story of Esther. This included Human Marionette with strings being pulled by a Stilt Walker. She also did an arial performance.
  • $ Introduction over the music of Esther. The Intro had various Junta character references
  • $$w/ The Ringmaster and Circus Troupe jumping on trampolines
  • ^w/ Greg Ormont on guitar and vocal jam
  • ^^w/ Ben “Junta” Hunter on vocals (The album Junta was named after Ben, who was Phish’s first manager)
  • ! w/ Big Suit Clowns dancing and a Hoop Show. Ringmaster also danced in a suit
  • !! w/ Commemorative Ticket Stubs falling from the balcony
  • +w/ Bubbles filling the room and a performer in a large bubble dancing with feathers
  • ++w/ Stilt Walking Clown and a Contortionist Cigar feature
  • = w/ The Ringmaster taking a date to dinner and a movie. Big Apple Circus troupe set the stages vaudevillian style and played characters during dinner and a movie
  • ==w/ Aerial Show
  • ? w/ Maryn Azoff on vocals
  • { w/ The Ringmaster and Glam Dancers
  • {{ w/ Pin Juggling and other Circus Flare
  • [ w/ Cyr Wheel, Hoos, Unicycles and The Ringmaster on a Hobby Horse
  • [[ w/ Clown Show
  • ” w/ Contortionist Violin. During “The Lunatic Is In My Head”, the band started laughing and the entire ensemble came out laughing which went into Sanity
  • “” w/ Full ensemble acting insane
  • !!!w/ The Ringmaster doing the Narration as a show closing Thank You.

Tour Dates for
Pink Talking Fish

  • Apr
    26
    2019
  • Apr
    27
    2019
    • 2715 Rochester Ave.
    • Kansas City, MO 64120
    • United States
    May
    18
    2019
    • 1 Health Camp Road
    • Greenfield, MA 01302
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    May
    24
    2019
    • 15898 Route 22
    • Stephentown, NY 12168
    • United States
    Jun
    6
    2019
  • Jun
    13
    2019
  • Jun
    15
    2019
    • 21085 Knott Rd
    • Bend, OR 97702
    • United States
    Jun
    20
    2019
  • Jun
    25
    2019
  • Jul
    6
    2019
    • 471 Pettyboro Rd
    • Bath, NH 03740
    • United States
    Jul
    19
    2019
    • 34 Yasgur Road
    • Bethel, NY 12720
    • United States
    Aug
    15
    2019
    • Centre-ville
    • Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 3W4
    • Canada
    Sep
    14
    2019