The Circus: Then and Now

11. April 2013 15:17 by Clayton Smith in Theater, TicketsNow  //  Tags: , , , , , ,   //   Comments ()

The origins of the circus date as far back as Ancient Rome, but back then it largely referred to a circular arena where events such as chariot races, equestrian shows, and staged battles took place. It wasn't until the later 1700s that the circus began to resemble what we think of today. The concept originated in Europe, where the likes of Philip Astley and Andrew Durcow brought their impressive displays of horsemanship on tour.

In the United States, however, the circus world did not really take off until the early 20th century when James Anthony Bailey and P. T. Barnum teamed up with the Ringling Brothers Circus in 1919. The partnership - which is still in operation today - is a circus in the most traditional sense. Clowns, elephants, acrobats, lion tamers, and daredevils have all become staples of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, and today the touring company still sells out arenas across the country.

While traditional acts such as Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey are still popular, the concept of a circus has shifted dramatically over the last several decades, thanks in large part to the emergence of Cirque du Soleil. The company was founded in Montreal in 1984, and what started as a unique blend of circus acts and street performers has grown to become a worldwide phenomenon. 

Cirque du Soleil has made a name for itself thanks largely to its elaborate costumes, classic music, and mind-bending acrobatics. The Canadian circus troupe has operated dozens of original shows throughout the years, including Love, which first kicked off a tour in 2006. Today, Love is performed at The Mirage in Las Vegas and features music from The Beatles that has been set to complement the breathtaking choreography of the acrobats. 

Whether you prefer traditional circuses or have fallen for the allure of Cirque du Soleil, it's hard to deny the appeal of these one-of-a-kind shows!

-Image courtesy of Getty Images



Concert Posters: The Next American Art Form

3. April 2013 11:55 by Clayton Smith in Music , TicketsNow  //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

Redferns / Getty Images

If you think that the only reason to buy a band's poster is to show your support for them, you're doing it all wrong. Coming home from a concert with the gig's poster not only gives you a memento, but it lets you relive the show every time you look at it hanging on your wall. Over the years, show posters have become more than just something you hold on to - they are now seen as pieces of art in their own right, and there are a few bands in particular who have taken this to the next level. 

In years past, it might have been OK for bands to offer posters that contained nothing more than just the date, location, and their name. Such is no longer the case, and today's posters often feature innovative, and sometimes inspiring, designs. The Decemberists have become particularly famous for this. The Portland, Ore., band, led by enigmatic singer Colin Meloy, have clearly put a heavy emphasis on their posters. No two pieces are exactly alike, and it often takes a few minutes to realize that you're even looking at a band's poster and not a piece of artwork on its own. 

The Decemberists are not the only act that puts a lot of thought in their poster designs. The Dave Matthews Band, for instance, regularly makes a point to include something relating to the show's location in its poster, so it's no wonder why it's so difficult to get your hands on one. There are plenty of examples to choose from, but one of the best we've seen came from the band's summer 2011 performance at Bader Field in Atlantic City. Paying homage to the city's casinos, the poster features the band's famous firedancer logo deftly blended into a roulette wheel - certainly a look that resonates with fans.

Anyone who needs convincing of the value of band posters need look no further than how difficult it is to pick up pieces from classic shows. A poster for the Rolling Stones' iconic 1972 tour in support of Exile on Mainstreet will run you upwards of $250. While this may seem like a lot, for a famous work of art, it's practically a bargain. 

What are some of your favorite band posters? Check out our ever-growing gallery on Pinterest! Follow the page, and you might just be invited to pin your favorites on our board! And when you're ready to see your next show and grab a poster of your own, just head on over to TicketsNow.

Image courtesy of Redferns / Getty Images




TicketsNow is Social


The Vault