X-Games Minneapolis Come To A Close And We Are Already Counting Down The Days To 2020!


The final day of the X-Games is always bittersweet. It’s always a bit of a bummer that it’s done and your life goes back to normal in just a couple of hours when your alarm goes off on Monday morning for your day job but also sweet because you know you just got to experience a truly stunning event in the city that you call home. I’m already dreading going back to work tomorrow but Sunday’s competition and final concert, I’m going back to my day job super happy about how the weekend went and all of the amazing things I got to experience.

The day started with the Harley-Davidson Hooligan Race.  Overnight the floor or US Bank Stadium has transformed from the ramps and bumps of the BMX and Moto X events to a flat racing surface. As I arrived around 8 AM there was still work being done and the speed at which the team set up the course once the surface was flattened was fascinating to watch. The Race was won for the second time by Daniel Mischler who at 60 became the oldest X Games medalist ever. Keep in mind that these X Games also saw the youngest competitor in their history at 10. Seeing those 48 bikes racing super close to one another left me in awe of their level of control and toughness. 

Just before the finals I did a double take as a bunch of young kids on e-bikes lined up for their own race. I missed the winner’s name (and it’s not on the recap we get 🙁 ) but watching him go full throttle and laping some of the slower riders makes me think we will be seeing him in future X Games soon. 

One of my favorite events of the weekend is always the Skateboard Street Best Trick contest. Taking gold medal in this event was Nyjah Huston with a cab flip back lip into a fakie 360 kickflip. Yeah, I’m not quite sure what all of those tricks are either but it was nothing short of impressive to watch and he was more than deserving of that medal. Side note- Huston had made a comment that he wasn’t even going to come out and compete in this event. He made it as far as the airport before turning around and coming back.

The Men’s Skateboard Park event was won by Italy’s Ivan Federico layed down a backside kickflip lien to backside disaster on top of the extension, backside kickflip spine transfer, huge 540s, a noseblunt on the banked wall and a sugarcane on the extension on his winning run. It was interesting to see how the men’s use of the course was different than the women’s just a day prior. 

The finals of the Women’s Skateboard Street event took place next. Japanese skater Aori Nishimura was the highest scorer in Women’s Skateboard Street – marking her second gold and fourth medal in the discipline. Nishimura’s tricks from her second and winning run included a kickflip up the Euro gap, backside 50-50 180 out, frontside feeble grind on the downbar, full cab, gap to lipslide on the hubba, 180 up the Euro gap and a backside lipslide on the big rail.

The final event at the stadium was another favorite of mine and a clear favorite of fans- Dave Mirra’s BMX Park Best Trick. Mike Varga took home the gold medal with a tailwhip 900.

Although the day was all wrapped up at The U.S. Bank Stadium as far as the sports events went, things were just heating up at The Armory right down the street. A local favorite of mine, The Blind Shake, kicked things off right at 5:30. Although it was clear that majority of the growing audience was at the Armory to see the iconic Incubus close out the night and weekend in general, The Blind Shake was definitely turning heads and getting the attention that they deserve.

The Blind Shake has a unique sound that I’ve never quite been able to find the right words for. A little surf punk, garage rock, shoegaze, indie pop.. you see where I’m going here? Me neither. Their distinct sound may not be able to be put into words but their energy can and it was absolutely off the chart. Out of all of the amazing local rock bands that could have opened up this show, The Blind Shake was definitely the right choice. From swinging guitars all over the place to drummer Dave pounding the drums in a way that made it seem like he was trying to down right destroy his kit, there was so much to watch and hear. Distortion and static are the name of the game for this band but it’s so much more than just noise. Infectious and upbeat, they set the stage perfectly for the one and only Incubus to take the stage right at 7.

California based Incubus is one of those bands that I never thought I’d be able to catch live but after seeing them at Riot Fest in Chicago last year, I just knew that I had to see them again. I was so thankful when they were announced as one of the acts for the X-Games. Vocalist Brandon Boyd has one of those stunning voices that, as soon as you hear it, you know who it is. The rest of the band brings so much to the table as far as sound goes. It’s clear that everyone has their own influences and brings them to the band creating a very strange yet satisfying sound.

Incubus’ live show was full of energy with lights and sound swirling around the Armory creating a beautiful atmosphere that was truly the perfect way to close out a busy and exhausting weekend. Instead of trying to save their many hits for the end of the set, I loved the way the band slipped them in here and there keeping me and the rest of the audience on their toes. With eight full length albums out that are all full of amazing songs, there was no way the band was going to play everything for everyone but they did an amazing job curating a set list that spanned the entirety of their career and the many eras of the band as far as sound goes. Incubus’ sixteen song set flew by and when the final note of “A Crow Left Of The Murder” was left hanging in the air, it was impossible not to let a giant smile stretch across my face. It was truly the perfect ending to an already perfect weekend.

Having such a world class event in the town I call home is something truly special and I’m already looking forward to next year’s festivities. A huge shout out to all of the people that make this event happen (and flawlessly might I add) and all of the amazing athletes and performers. It was a long weekend but we all made it and I’m pretty sure we will all wake up with giant smiles on our faces on Monday.