"This Thing is Extreme."
When Chris Demakes of Less Than Jake said this to the crowd at Extreme Thing, he could simply have been trying to be punny — the name is easy to make fun of, after all — but he also accurately summed up the 15th installment of the sports and musical festival.
More than 200 skateboarders and BMX bikers, dozens of amateur wrestlers and roller derby girls, and 26 bands performing on four different stages took over Desert Breeze Park on Saturday. They brought high-energy performances that threatened to exhaust eardrums and collapse barricades. Plastic bottles, shoes and even a CD could be seen jetting through the clear blue skies, thrown by amped-up audiences during performances by acts including nationally touring bands The Used, Escape the Fate and Reel Big Fish and local groups such as And She Whispered and The Murder Ballad.
That much extreme-ity is difficult to outdo, but the sheer number of attendees may have been enough. This year's event brought more than 20,000 people. That is thousands more than last year's festival, which sold out at 15,000, and 40 times more than Extreme Thing's first event, which featured fewer than a half a dozen local bands playing at Whitney Community Center for 500 kids.
"This year we definitely had the growth," says Brian Saliba, special events director at Clark County Parks & Recreation and main organizer of Extreme Thing. "Definitely my goal next year is to keep it like this year."