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January 17th, 2012 by Stinkhead


Last Friday the 13th and trucked up to Baltimore to check out the Nuclear Cowboyz. This spectacle pits the competing Soldiers of Havoc (blue uniforms) and the Metal Mulisha (black and gold) vs the invading Cyborg Army led by the evil Tempest. Will the Nuclear Cowboyz come together and defeat the Cyborg Army, saving mankind? Check out my pics below for all the high-flying stunts and pyrotechnics.


The Nuclear Cowboyz show can be summed up briefly as two hours of crazy stunts choreographed on dirt bikes flying 40-50 feet in the air. There’s pyrotechnics, fights, and simply unbelievable tricks being performed before your very eyes. Where as the Monster Jam (monster trucks) is set up like a competition with elimination rounds, races and freestyle portions, the Nuclear Cowboyz event is show with a full storyline and characters. I like bringing my son to events like this and Monster Jam, however tonight I was interested in getting some amazing photos, and thought the loud explosions would be a little much. In hindsight a four year old would probably do ok, and absolutely enjoy the show… but I also felt like the target audience was a little bit older (like 8 and up into teens) as you may need to understand the skill and practice that it takes to be able to pull off these amazing stunts. And while it wasn’t deafeningly-loud consistently to warrant protective ear protection, there were several loud and sudden bangs that would startle the younger ones. So if you do bring someone under 7 I definitely recommend earmuffs.

Tempest in a puff of smoke

The story line features a post-apocalyptic city ruled by two rival biker gangs. Suddenly their existence (as well as the awesome cheerleader girls wagging their, checkered flags, all over the place) is threatened by the appearance of the evil Cyborg Army. I found all of this to be a lot of fun, and easy to get into the spirit. We’re all there to watch some awesome stunts, and for the most part, it is mostly bikes launching off of ramps at a high speed, over and over. But the storyline helps the crowd cheer for the otherwise unknown performers, whereas at Monster Jam you perhaps have a favorite truck (Iron Man and Monster Mutt Dalmation for us) you came to see compete.

Through the smoke

Honestly I was pretty excited by the end of the evening. I had no idea what to expect, as this was my first time to the rodeo (if you pardon the pun). I got a lot of experience getting tight pics in difficult circumstances (I actually really appreciated the repetition of the tricks, it helped me know what to anticipate) But the characters and the story were a lot of fun, and in the age of digital enhancements, it was cool seeing all the stage effects and you know it’s all real. Not trick wires, no green-screen, it’s all real people with real skills doing amazing things. I absolutely recommend going and taking your kids (or a bunch of buddies).

I do recommend ear protection for the youngest viewers, and to warn them ahead of time there are some surprise effects (like fireworks) but they’re spread out and not terribly frightening. Check out the rest of my pics below. Stay tuned for a related blog post on where I break down the camera settings and techniques for shooting pics like this. (Well, with a DSLR camera, you’re not going to get a lot of stuff like this with an iPhone) I’ll be hitting up the Monster Jam at the end of the month, so more kick-ass pics are on the way. But in the mean time swing by to see when they’re coming to your city and pick up tickets.

[flickr-gallery mode=”photoset” photoset=”72157628907572827″]

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Posted in 8&up, cringe, event, kids, Monster Trucks, picture, review, robots | Comments Off on Nuclear Cowboyz!

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