Nitro Circus is the sports entertainment company that delivers the biggest and best platform for daredevils and risk taking wannabes in the spirit of putting on a show. For those unacquainted with the concept of Nitro Circus, it’s a live action sports show on MTV that showcases some of the world’s best action sports athletes as they perform spectacular and often death-defying tricks for the crowds and cameras.
From humble beginnings, Jeremy Rawle, Gregg Godfrey and Travis Pastrana produced DVDs from a garage in Utah. Roll on to 2003 and Nitro Circus exploded. The original DVD series was a smash hit, and with that can a partnership with MTV in 2009. Then in 2010, the show was transformed creating the global phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live. Since the inaugural tour of Australia, the show has travelled the globe, breaking box office records and cultivating legions of fans to be the next daredevils.
NoBraking was excited to attend the event for the first time thanks to Nitro Circus’s newest sponsor Wicked Tango. As the official whiskey of Nitro Circus, Wicked Tango had the opportunity to incorporate its product across all Nitro Circus platforms. Fans may even see unique Wicked Tango-themed contraptions on stage.
“There are no rules in action sports,” says Pastrana, “Every single show we do gets a little bit better, a little more refined, I think for the general public the exciting part is that it’s not like a Cirque du Soleil where they’re going to land when they’re supposed to land, they’re going to fall when they’re supposed to fall. With Nitro Circus it’s the unknown. It’s why you watch.”
The tour has now rolled across 5 continents, with sold-out shows in Australia, New Zealand, China, the United States, Canada, South Africa, and all across Europe. With close to 100 shows set for 2015, it is set to be the biggest year ever for Nitro Circus.
The prospect of flipping, diving and jumping down a 50ft “Gigant-A-Ramp” might not be everyone’s cup of tea but, for the fans in attendance, it’s exactly what they wanted to see. Nitro Circus promises an adrenaline and petrol fueled symphony of tricks, stunts and wheelies and it did not disappoint.
The evening began with a touching tribute to Nitro Circus cast member Erik Roner who tragically lost his life in late September after a skydiving accident. Each Nitro Circus member of the cast and crew wore a t-shirt with Roner’s picture on the front and “RONER” in large caps emblazoned across the back. The video screens played a tribute video complete with highlight videos of Roner’s stunt work and messages from friends and family.
Fans cheer as they witness a masterclass in BMX, quad bike and snowmobile tricks and a BMX jump that ends with the rider landing on roller blades. Most tricks are accompanied by a sharp intake of breath as the crowd waits to see if it will result in success or failure. The precision and skill involved is breathtaking.
Highlights which you might not have expected include jumps in an armchair, skis, a big wheel trike, a Wicked Tango Whiskey barrel and a Penny Farthing bicycle. One thing that gave the crowd a huge sigh of relief was the three people from the audience, back flipping on a motorbike. After a short intermission, the crew bring out their best tricks for the second half of the show. Hole in one, is where BMX riders and inline skaters jump off a ramp and try to land inside a Zorb ball.
Soon it’s time for the finale and the crew has definitely saved the best for last as they attempt the longest trick train in Nitro Circus history with 40 BMX, motorbike, snowmobile and scooter riders performing tricks one after the other against a wall of flame. The tricks goes off without a hitch as the arena erupts into cheers and clapping.
Action Figures is a documentary directed by Pastrana, and it explores the lives of the action sport riders, going back to the roots of the culture. It’s available on DVD and streaming services now. And while you are at it, there is Crazy Train, a behind the scenes series on NBC Sports Network, which follows Pastrana and the rest of the Nitro Circus crew on the road.
Overall, Nitro Circus Live was great. There’s no denying that Nitro Circus know how to put on a show and, I’m sure fans will be counting the days until they can see their heroes perform live again.