ANIMAL recently caught up with Philly’s finest punk rock sideshow clowns, The Squidling Brothers, at Chelsea’s Highline Ballroom. Upon meeting these freaks, we instantly realized they were kindred spirits. Their show is the perfect mix of highbrow and low, blending elegant trapeze dance with, uh, men hanging shrunken heads from their scrotums. We slightly prefer the lowbrow stuff, of course.

All the classic sideshow elements are here: you’ll see feats of strength, burlesque dance, and copious amounts of nails and razor-sharp blades. And of course, it’s all real–no cheap illusions here. Dotty Lux, the Squidlings’ queen of clown burlesque, says it best. “Everything’s for real. Everything’s in your face. They’re actually bleeding, they’re actually doing everything you see here tonight. It’ll turn your stomach and make your pants pound.”