Salt Lake City was totally thrashed when Dew Tour 2010 took over downtown's EnergySolutions Arena and two surrounding blocks.
The tour, which debuted in 2005, is billed by its reps as the first-ever action sports tour, with $2.5 million in prize money. Dew Tour makes five stops throughout the summer and Salt Lake City was its last competition before the finals in Las Vegas Oct. 14-17. Utah fans were able to watch all of the sports -- skateboarding, BMX and motocross.
In addition to the huge competition areas, Dew Tour also includes a festival with booths and autograph signings. I had a blast at the festival. There were professionals there like Ryan Sheckler and Chaz Ortiz (the winner of the Salt Lake City stop). Supposedly Shaun White was there too, but I didn't see him.
The booths were fantastic and most had some fun freebies like T-shirts, stickers, bandanas, posters and sunglasses. Mountain Dew was, obviously, one of the biggest sponsors and you could go into the Mountain Dew tent to get your picture taken and get a cold drink. Nerf had a competition course set up to play with the big kid toys. MTV and USA were filming and conducting interviews. Matador even had a mechanical bull that I was able to ride.
The tour had perfect weather and was set up for easy access to all of the events and venues. The crowds were well-behaved with plenty of security guards. The daytime events were safe enough for teens and families to roam around on their own. The evening events were best for older teens and adults.
Each stop includes a live concert and here, the headliner band was Utah's own Neon Trees. Opening for them was Paper Tongues, an American rock band from Charlotte, N.C. With their first CD released March 30, Aswan North (lead vocals), Devin Forbes (guitar), Joey Signa (guitar), Daniel Santell (bass guitar), Jordan Hardee (drums), Clayton Simon (synthesizer keys) and Cody Blackler (rhode keys) make up the group.
Paper Tongues' sound is described as a fusion of rock 'n' roll, hip hop and funk, rap and soul. I was in the front row of the outdoor standing-room only concert! It was fantastic. The band had great energy and got the crowd excited. Aswan made it feel like he was giving a private concert to each of us; he would make eye contact with people in the audience and even held my hand during one song. I am now a fan of Paper Tongues!
Neon Trees is a rock band from Provo. Formed originally by Temecula, Calif., neighbors Tyler Glenn (lead vocals/keyboards) and Chris Allen (guitars), the band later added Branden Campbell (bass) and Elaine Bradley; (drums/vocals) to the lineup. I loved Elaine Bradley, she was amazing on the drums and hung out afterward for pictures. Glenn thanked Utah for making him famous and letting him have "this funny haircut." He got the crowd pumped up for their big hit single, "Animal," by yelling out, "Are there any animals out there?"
Tickets for this event were sold in advance - I bought the $15 grounds pass. That was a great deal for everything I got to do and see. Overall, my entire day at Dew Tour was amazing. The whole event had great vibes and was full of happy people who were there to have fun and see some great athletes. You don't have to be a skater to have a blast.
Hope to see you all there next year!
Rachel Badali is a sophomore studying in Electronic High School. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.SClB