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Reflecting on: Nitro Circus Live

Well, they somehow managed to do it again. On Monday night, the Nitro Circus crew left me in awe, and not for the first time. Astonishingly, in just a handful of years the brainchild of Travis Pastrana has progressed from homemade videos to a live tour; within that time span they managed to produce two TV series and a 3D movie, also! In all of their projects, they always leave me speechless. In their first tour of Europe, they certainly didn’t disappoint!

In the last two years, the Nitro Circus Live tour has been travelling the world; before they arrived in the UK they stopped at various locations in Australia, New Zealand, America and Europe. Finally, they arrived in the UK; those close to London, Manchester or Birmingham were lucky enough to witness the greatest action sports show on the planet. Being a completely unique event, I was a bit skeptical prior to the show. I think that action sports aren’t really appreciated in the UK, so I was unsure about how many fans would show up. Had the average person even heard of Nitro Circus? Therefore, when I heard that they had managed to completely fill the 02 arena, I was both shocked, and impressed.

Although the uninformed might believe the show simply showcased freestyle motocross, like the Red Bull X Fighters for example; Nitro Circus Live involved many, many different athletes and extreme sports, including some that don’t even exist! When you hear people state that Nitro Circus is completely unique, they aren’t lying. Where else can you see an athlete launch a boogie board, an ice cooler and a tandem scooter off of a fifty-foot high ‘giganta ramp’? Exactly.

So, what did I think of the show? Well, I decided to purchase the VIP tickets, mainly because this was the first chance to see the stars of Nitro Circus in person, and the opportunity to meet them was too good to miss! However, the VIP experience was the only part of the entire program that was a bit disappointing, to be honest. After waiting in an overcrowded room with over a thousand other people, a handful of athletes did make an appearance (after an hour) and they gave a small speech. The opportunity to grab an autograph did arise, however it was only available if you could fight your way to the front of the stage. Although the VIP experience wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, from that point onwards the show was impeccable!

I thought the beginning of the show was great, with the lights, flames etc. The formula used to introduce the show (and the athletes) was similar to the opening ceremonies in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross™ series. If you have ever been to an AMA Supercross round, you’ll know the type of atmosphere and energy that type of introduction creates. I definitely feel as though it set the stage for the following two hours of action, and got everyone in the building excited to see the spectacle that is Nitro Circus Live.

Although every trick performed was simply mind blowing, there were a few that stand out in my mind when looking back on the show. First off, Thomas Pages whips were amazing. When a ‘whip train’ was going on, Pages seemed to always be the last in the train, and really he put everyone else to shame. So amazing were his whips that my jaw dropped every time he threw one down. The Frenchman would swing his bike around so he was facing the opposite way, and bring it back before the landing, crazy stuff.

Every single one of the FMX guys impressed me with their tricks; especially when they were performing backflips alongside each other, or in a train. Those present at the London show were some of the first to witness two riders perform a ‘special flip’ on a motocross bike, side by side. This was yet another unique trick, that only the Nitro Circus crew can perfect.

Off of the motocross bike, the ‘giganta ramp’ certainly saw plenty of action. Following every Nitro Circus Live show, all of the talk has revolved around “Wheels”, Aaron Fotheringham. Although, he didn’t manage to land a frontflip in his wheelchair this time, the fact that he got up and tried again after crashing the first time left most speechless. I think he had earnt the respect of everyone present for simply trying the trick in the first place. As the show was drawing to a close, the emcee announced that a triple backflip would be attempted on a BMX which was yet another remarkable trick. To be honest I still can’t believe he landed it.

Overall, Nitro Circus Live was great. I am certain that not one person was disappointed as they left the 02 arena on Monday night. I thought that the structure of the show was great, they were constantly moving from FMX, to BMX etc. It felt as though there was always something new going on. There were two announcements made following the intermission that will undoubtedly interest you, also. Nitro Circus 3D, will be released in the UK at the end of February 2013 (finally)! Also, tickets are already on sale for the 2013 Nitro Circus Live shows, which will take place at the end of November. If you’re interested in going, I strongly advise you book your tickets quick; all three locations are already filling up! I for one, cannot wait for the crew to arrive back in the UK

Words by Lewis Phillips

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