My family and I were recently invited to attend Nitro Circus Live in Rochester, NY. It turned out it was the same time as a camping trip we had planned over an hour away but that certainly didn’t stop us, I mean come on, it’s Nitro Circus!
I’ve always considered myself lucky that the only sports that my husband likes to watch are extreme sports, especially skateboarding, BMX and FMX because I love to watch these as well, as a matter of fact the whole family does. So when I mentioned Nitro Circus we were all very excited.
A little background about why we are such fans. My husband has been a skateboarder for many, many, many years. When we first started dating (also many, many years ago) he and his friends were building what was (at the time) the largest indoor skatepark on the east coast and since he worked there after it was built we saw and met a lot of amateur and professional BMXers and skateboarders. We also meet a lot of people through purchases of a book my husband wrote on how to build skateboard ramps. So, we have been around our fair share of extreme sports over the years but one thing that we don’t get to see in person hardly ever is FMX. That being said I may be a little biased while writing this review because honestly the FMX at Nitro Circus is what made the whole trip worth it for me.
I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect when we arrived. We have seen the Nitro Circus TV show before, and I had watched some videos online with the kids to get them excited. As I mentioned before, we were invited to the show so that I could review it so we were supplied tickets. I would suggest, if you can afford it, to get tickets in the middle of the ramps. We thought when looking at the stadium map that we were going to have a good view, which when it came to FMX we did have a decent view but the people who had seats to the left of us definitely had a better vantage point. We ended up having to see most of the bmx tricks on the big screen which wouldn’t have been a big deal but all of the ads in the background made it hard to see exactly what was happening (as you will see in my video). So, my first tip is to spring for the good seats if you are going to go and you can afford it. However, my 5 year old couldn’t have cared less, he thought our view was just fine and grinned ear to ear through the whole thing even though he was sick.
My only other complaint is that the it was hard to hear, not because it was too quiet but because it was too loud. It was hard to hear the rider’s names and the other things the announcers were saying. At first I thought I was getting too old and thought it was just me but the whole family and even people I overheard while leaving all agreed.
On to the fun stuff. The show started out by introducing everyone, I would love to tell you their names but again I couldn’t make it out. What was really neat is some of the guys came out of the audience when announced. Then they started with all the crazy rides, some of the more memorable items were the hobbie horse, a cooler, a wine barrel, a little pink car, and one of my personal favorites, a recliner.
They went onto various stunts after that, sometimes on bikes, sometimes on motorcycles, someone in a wheelchair (Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham) which was amazing, even Bruce Cook who is paraplegic FMX rider (again, amazing). I will say I could hear the announcer say quite often encouraging messages to the kids in the audience to never let anything get in the way of their dreams and Aaron and Bruce were good examples of that.
I had a couple of favorite moments for sure. Any time the “train” would start and Street Bike Tommy would tell us to, “blow that whistle” you knew something amazing was going to happen and that was everyone doing tricks one right after the other. It was insane and intense and so very cool.
One thing that I think we found the most unbelievable is when they asked for volunteers out of the audience. They took 3 men from the audience and then they asked for a bunch of kids. The kids got to do a dance party out on the field to try to win a bike (an adorable little girl won the bike despite one kid breaking out a back flip and multiple kids doing the worm). Next thing we know we see the 2 guys from the audience in full motorcycle gear and we’re told that they are going to do a 3 man back flip with one of the FMX riders. They got on the motorcycle with the pro rider in the back and sure enough they did a backflip with 3 of them on it. Of course this didn’t happen until after we saw video of the stunt failing repeatedly in the past but they landed it no problem.
After intermission we found out that the 3rd man pulled from the audience was going to ride piggy back with a BMX rider and do a backflip, again after watching videos of failed attempts in the past we saw it done masterfully. Now, I can not say for sure that these 3 guys were truly audience members or part of Nitro Circus but does it really matter?
So, in a nutshell, here are my Nitro Circus takeaways
DO: Spring for good seats if you can afford them
DO: Make sure you get your super cute 5 year old a Nitro Circus hat even if it does cost $30
DO: Be aware that you probably won’t be able to hear what anyone is saying
DON'T: Worry if you’re seats aren’t great your kids will still have fun and you will leave with stories that are hard to believe
DON'T: Miss Nitro Circus if you are a fan of any extreme sports. It was a little disappointing that we didn’t get to see any skateboarding but oh well, there was plenty more to see and some of the stunts are truly amazing and things you only get to see on TV, if you’re lucky.