For the second year in a row, Tony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam will drop in on a town near you.
The music-and-extreme-sports fest will feature athletes such as skaters Hawk, Bucky Lasek and Andy McDonald, as well as motocross freestyler Carey Hart and BMX rider Mat Hoffman, among other X Games staples getting all the air they can muster on half-pipes, ramps and other launching devices. The new and improved million-dollar set-up, which also includes a motocross track, allows the riders from all three sports to be airborne simultaneously.
Tony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam begins October 2 in Vancouver and winds down seven weeks later in Tampa, Florida, on November 16. Twenty-six cities are on the itinerary so far, with a few dates yet to be solidified.
Besides the house DJ, music artists have yet to be announced. Last year's HuckJam featured Good Charlotte, the Offspring, CKY, Social Distortion and Devo, and Hawk hinted that some of those artists will be returning.
While it took a few days for the inaugural outing to hit its stride, Hawk expects this year's trek to resume the feeling of firing on all cylinders from the start.
"We kept refining our show as we went along," he said Thursday. "Every night we figured out something better, something that was more exciting or that we had worked together on. When we finally hit the East Coast, people were starting to realize what we were doing and the momentum we had. Boston was our first sold-out show and that was all time. Everyone was on point that night. That was the culmination of the tour ... We get to Boston and we're sold out and we're just on. And then that show set the standard for the rest of the tour."
To coincide with the kickoff of HuckJam, the next installment of Hawk's video games series is set to launch. "Tony Hawk's Underground" updates the previous title, "Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4" with greater freedom to thrash the courses, the ability to get off your skateboard to climb on top of cars, walls, and other objects, and an improved one-player plot line.
"We really wanted it to [offer] the experience of what it's like to become a pro," he said, "[including] the trials and tribulations of what it takes to get there. And the story line takes bits of the life stories of all the pros in the game. Certain aspects of it are very much what we went through."
Overcoming hurdles is something with which Hawk is all too familiar. Turning pro at age 14 brought with it a constant need to prove that he earned his spot with skating skills and not from the novelty of being the youngest kid on the circuit.
"I always felt like I had to prove myself, even though I was on a team. I was really young, and I was skinny and I didn't have the right style. People thought I was more of circus skater because I really focused on tricks. And that's one of the elements of the game. No matter how far you get, you have to keep pushing yourself. And that's very true in skateboarding, because you're only as good as your last challenge."
If all that weren't enough to give players a sense that they were really skating, another one of the features of Underground actually straps a helmet on your noggin and gets you in the game. Players can e-mail a digital headshot to game studio Neversoft Entertainment, which will then upload the image so players can download it with their PlayStation 2. Apply the image and it's your mug doing the faceplant after a blown McTwist.
Tony Hawk's Boom Boom HuckJam tour dates, according to the event's publicist:
- 10/2 - Vancouver, BC @ GM Place
- 10/3 - Tacoma, WA @ Tacoma Dome
- 10/4 - Portland, OR @ Rose Garden
- 10/7 - Las Vegas, NV @ TBA
- 10/9 - San Diego, CA @ San Diego Sports Arena
- 10/10 - Anaheim, CA @ Arrowhead Pond
- 10/11 - Los Angeles, CA @ Staples Center
- 10/12 - San Jose, CA @ HP Pavilion
- 10/16 - Chicago, IL @ United Center
- 10/17 - TBA
- 10/18 - Milwaukee, WI @ Bradley Center
- 10/19 - St. Paul, MN @ Excel Energy Center
- 10/23 - Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum
- 10/24 - East Rutherford, NJ @ Continental Airlines Arena
- 10/26 - Boston, MA @ Fleet Center
- 10/29 - Columbus, OH @ Nationwide Arena
- 10/30 - Auburn Hills, MI @ Palace of Auburn Hills
- 11/1 - Philadelphia, PA @ First Union Center
- 11/2 - Washington, DC @ MCI Center
- 11/5 - Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
- 11/7 - San Antonio, TX @ Alamodome
- /8 - Dallas, TX @ Reunion Arena
- 11/9 - Houston, TX @ Naming Rights Center
- 11/11 - Nashville @ TBA
- 11/13 - Atlanta, GA @ Phillips Arena
- 11/14 - Jacksonville, FL @ Jacksonville Arena
- 11/15 - TBA
- 11/16 - Tampa, FL @ St. Pete Times Forum