Who’s your muse?

Sideshow returns to the Yellow Cab

By Rusty Pate

Photo: Dayton Sideshow Nine is May 9-10 at the Yellow Cab building; photo: Jennifer Clarke

Sideshow has become a fixture in the Dayton arts and music scene. Entering its ninth year, the two-day event serves as a lynchpin for the two communities. It also brings lovers of the two mediums together under one roof. 

It originally began as an art show, but has expanded to include music in recent years. It is a marriage of cultures that rarely get to coexist in the same space in this way.

“I think it’s a perfect compliment,” Jennifer Clarke, co-director of Dayton Sideshow Nine. “I think people can expect the unexpected – expect to have their perception altered; expect to be exposed to new ideas, new ways of doing things, new ways of perceiving things.”

The music falls right in line with that mindset.

The diverse lineup features more than 40 acts on two stages, with each performance slated at 40 minutes. Acts range from the 1980s Gary Numan-ish electronics of Dirty/Clean to the Americana-inspired acoustic sounds of The Repeating Arms.

Sam at Eleven will play Saturday night, but guitarist Jeff Rudolf said his excitement goes beyond just playing the show. 

“A couple of us are actually volunteering a couple hours before our set, so we’ll be checking out the bands,” Rudolf said.

While he mentioned several acts, there is one in particular he looks forward to seeing.

“I’m really interested to see Dip Spit,” Rudolf said. “They play right after us. I’ve never actually seen them live, but I’ve seen some of the videos they post on Facebook. They’re hilarious.”

Sam at Eleven recently began recording their sophomore album.

“We’ll probably finish it up in late May and hopefully release it in the summer,” Rudolf said. “It’s going great. We did a Kickstarter for that and met our goal by 120 percent.”

Sideshow will be held at the Yellow Cab building for the third year. The venue not only offers enough space for all the art and music, but can accommodate the necessities required for those staying for the long haul.

“We’re going to have a bigger presence of food trucks this year,” Clarke said. “We want people to feel comfortable. Come, have a good time, stay as long as you like. There’s food and drink available, so you don’t have to leave. Stay, hear some music, watch some art and hang out with your friends. You can make it an all-day affair.”

Above all else, the event looks to foster a community.

Organizers and artists alike speak of the unique nature of Sideshow. It strives to be more than just a night of music. 

The free show is volunteer driven and will accept donations to help cover the costs of putting on such an event. Rudolf said that although he has not been to previous years, he looks forward to taking in all aspects of the show.

“I’m pretty enthusiastic about it,” Rudolf said. “This iteration of my band has only been around a couple years. We love playing stuff like this. It doesn’t matter we don’t get paid; it’s all about getting your name out there and having people see you. This is the perfect place to do it.”

Dayton Sideshow Nine is Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10 from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Yellow Cab building, 700 E. Fourth St. The event is run in conjunction with Urban Nights on Friday, and is a free event, with food and drink provided. For more information on Dayton Sideshow Nine, please visit sideshow.daytoncircus.org.

Reach DCP freelance writer Rusty Pate at RustyPate@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Reach DCP freelance writer Rusty Pate at RustyPate@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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