Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center
From Thursday night until Sunday afternoon, the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center was the focus of the skateboarding world.
Dozens of the best athletes in the sport gathered to compete across four courses in both an individual competition and a sponsorship team-based one. But many of them put competition aside to go to the tour’s official concert, which featured Action Bronson and E-40 after an energetic opening set by Atlanta’s Kelechi.
By the time E-40 took the stage around 9 p.m., the Terrace Theater was comfortably full and buzzing with the energy of a weekend’s worth of drinking and skating. Despite the spacious seating, the crowd on the ground level pressed toward the stage to hear his tunes like “Tell Me When to Go” and “U and Dat” along with some clips of songs by Dr. Dre, Big Sean, and Luniz (“I Got 5 on It,” in case you thought he went into some Luniz deep cuts).
While the bulk of the crowd was ghost riding the whip with the Bay Area legend from a few feet away, the VIP section on the second level was getting rowdier than any college party. With a combination of an open bar, several professional skateboarders, and a general lack of any other rules or supervision, the bulk of the loge section was more focused on having the best possible time rather than seeing any songs in particular.
After some radio-friendly modern hip-hop filled the short break following E-40, the Alchemist took to the turntables to prepare the crowd for his partner in rhyme, Queens icon Action Bronson.
Although there were no giant blunts or massive giveaways, Bronson’s performance lived up to everyone’s expectations from the very first note of “Action Silverado.” From bringing out his usual cohorts like Big Body Bes and Mayhem Lauren for a few tracks each (including a fantastic rendition of “Falconry” in which at least half of the intoxicated crowd chimed in for Bes’ closing line of “She only loves me when I’m naked”) to returning to the stage for another verse after his usual closer of “Easy Rider,” Bronsolini left everyone ready to ride the Harley into the sunset.
During the day, the world-class skateboarders saw varying levels of success in their competitions. San Clemente’s own Ryan Sheckler took home his 15th Dew Tour trophy by winning the solo competition while the Blind Skateboards team of Trey Wood, TJ Rogers, Micky Papa, and Cody McEntire won the inaugural pro team contest on Sunday.
Overall, the team competition (which also featured big names like Sheckler, OC’s Nyjah Huston, Long Beach’s Theotis Beasley, and Brazil’s Luan Oliveira) proved more entertaining than the hyped individual portion (featuring fan favorites like Sean Malto and Tiago Lemos), but the fans that packed the stands on both days had plenty to cheer about. Although they didn’t win either of the competitions, Evan Smith and Louie Lopez each won over hundreds of fans this weekend by constantly attempting (and often landing) insane tricks in both competitions regardless of how many times they hit the concrete.