The beauty about America lies not only in a company’s ability to meet the needs of a public, but to also create entertainment that serves a need that many of us did not know we had. How else can we explain Disney on Ice or this, the Nuclear Cowboyz.
I am certain that if any of you are familiar with motorcross or supercross, you are thinking of one thing above all: riders on dirt bikes performing really sweet jumps. These are the kind of jumps where the rider goes airborne beyond all bounds of sanity. They are also jumps where the rider often leaves the seat to perform some maneuver in which the slightest mistake would result in a massive payout on an insurance settlement. Just look at those pictures!
Somewhere, somehow, the creators of Nuclear Cowboyz decided that World Wrestling Entertainment had the right idea, that competition was best discarded in favor of hackneyed storylines topped off with female dancers and absurd amounts of pyrotechnics. Nuclear Cowboyz is an adolescent male’s greatest dream, if that adolescent spent the vast majority of his spare time riding an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV).
There was no better illustration of this than halfway through the show, where a lone rider of an ATV was featured. After performing ridiculous jumps, including a full front flip, two of the scantily clad female dancers got on the ATV with the rider. As the rider drove back towards the starting gate, he pumped his fist in the air as massive amounts of fire shot in the air behind him. It was a dream comes true on the scale of rock concerts, only on four wheels.
Up until this point, there was a fairly predictable pattern that emerged. A rider would come out and do some tricks, surrounded by fire. The “Nuclear Cowgirlz” would come out and do a dance number, surrounded by more fire. Then, more riders would come out, doing even more ridiculous jumps. The dancers come out with stripper poles and all the while, fire everywhere.
This served it well for the first half of the show, cleansing the audience’s palate so that neither activity got old. By the second half, the show had run out of ways to escalate the excitement, leading one to feel slightly detached from the proceedings. Yes, even with sweet jumps, there can be too much of a good thing.
This was the only detriment to the show though. The riders themselves were all technically flawless, soaring into the air in streams and performing tricks in sync with one another. There was a particular goal that this show wanted to accomplish, and accomplish it did. It cannot be said that the audience left unsatisfied if they came to see what the show had to offer.
But let us not be too critical. When one comes to a gigantic show in the Dome, one expects a visceral experience and not an intellectual one. With the loud music reminding you of songs that you had forgotten existed (Prodigy’s “Breathe,” for instance) and the action working in close connection with it, the resulting experience transcends all attempts to categorize it.
It is very difficult indeed to describe just what makes the Nuclear Cowboyz so appealing to those who are not already primed for its joys. It is like going to a heavy metal show or a professional wrestling match. You can’t think about it too terribly much, nor should you. Instead, you should simply let the almighty roar of the engines and the audacity of the post-apocalyptic storyline wash over you.
After it was all over, I could say only one thing: God bless America and the inventor of pyrotechnics.