What do you get if you cross some of the world’s best transition skaters with a bunch of zombies, add a few morbid artists, mix in a little deathpunk and bring it all together in one of London’s eeriest Locations? The Vans x Crossfire Halloween Massacre, that’s what!
Doing their very best to wake the dead, Vans and Crossfire came together last weekend to present the infamous Crossfire Halloween Massacre at House of Vans London. With the type of line-up the night has become to be famed for, this year’s event also hosted House of Vans London’s first bowl competition, taking the Vans x Crossfire Halloween Massacre to new heights. As Europe’s finest skaters – plus a few special guests from further afield – went underground and got the gore-fest started, the web cast fired up and all eyes turned to the tunnels.
Once deep inside, ghouls and guests were greeted by the House of Vans’ notorious bowl and the scary sight of the shred-fest that ensued. As Skatepark Manager, Vans’ own Rob Smith is as familiar with this bowl – and the walls around it – than anyone, and proceeded to slay the place with fast plants and impressive back-to-back wallrides. Speed demon Ross McGouran scared the hell out of everyone by flying around as if he was on a broomstick. Mason Merlino came to London all the way from the USA, and he wasn’t going to rest in peace unless he went back with a good result. Thankfully, commitment to big tricks in critical sports – such as his big blunt slide over the doorway in the final rounds – saw him earn a well-deserved 2nd place.
Alex Hallford also impressed with technical tricks and bold moves such as a frontside 3 off the small hip whilst Giorgio Zattoni went big and stuck a freakish ollie-up to smith grind on the pool coping.
15-year-old Robin Bolian had his bright future flash before his eyes; he certainly scared the judges as his big frontside airs out of the deep end skimmed their noses. Eventually placing fourth, it was legend of the deep-end Alain Goikoetxea who pipped him to third. We all know that Dutch dynamo Daan Van Der Linden kills everything in his path, and House of Vans’ bowl was no exception. Creative lines taken at hellish speeds and rapid-fire trick combos saw Daan take the win, and with it a nice big cheque for 3,000EURO.
With the bowl sufficiently slayed, it was time to bring the noise and raise some hell in Tunnel 3. Crossfire Sound System kicked things off and after much anticipation, Canadian hardcore punks Cancer Bats were very announced as very special guests for the Vans x Crossfire Halloween Massacre. Having only announced their next UK Tour the previous day, the punk quartet opened with Bricks and Mortar, whipping the ghoulish crowd into a zombified frenzy before unleashing a full set of massive tracks peppered with more recent future-classics, including a taste of what’s to come from their forthcoming album Searching For Zero with tracks like Arsenic In The Year Of The Snake.
The task of keeping spirits high then fell to park-master Dogger and DRS, as they stepped up to the decks and set things up for to the night’s headliners – Turbonegro. Unleashing their hellish blend of ‘deathpunk’ and glamrock on House of Vans’ main stage, pleasing Turbojugends and hordes of the undead, alike Turbonegro rocked out. Charming classics such as You Give Me Worms and absolute bangers like Dude Without A Face had the morbid mob before them looking surprisingly alive and the whole tunnel jumping.
The denim-clad Norwegians closed with more horn than the devil himself as they belted out I Got Erection before leaving the stage and turning their attention to partying. A tough act to follow, but the two masterous punk bands set the stage for BBC Radio 1Xtra’s DJ Semtex, who played the hip-hop hard until the small hours and saw that everyone had an awesome end to an epic night, and one that’ll undoubtedly be talked about for years to come.
Bowl Comp Results
1st Place – Daan Van Der Linden
2nd Place – Mason Merlino
3rd Place – Alain Goikoetxea
4th Place – Robin Bolian and Rob Smith (tied on points)