Stepping onto the Volcom bus bound for LA on Friday afternoon, I was ready. Ready for anything this party bus and the Holy Stokes! premiere at the Ace hotel in downtown LA had to throw at me. But to my surprise the bus ride up was filled with employees of the brand, hands folded, staring straight forward, proper and polite like. A little shocking for sure, but little did I know at that moment that I had mentally jumped the gun, and this premiere was to be anything but tame.
Got off the bus and straight into a line around the block to get in. Intoxicated youths were mulling about the sidewalks, some even propping each other up in the high hopes security wouldn’t notice when it came time to walk in. But everyone had a buzz about them that goes well and proper with a Volcom film premiere. And that vibe really began to shine up on the infamous rooftop deck on top of the hotel, as everyone from the film and beyond was enjoying the views of downtown LA in a mash up of laughter and shenanigans. If you were brave enough to venture down to the second floor, this is where the VIP area was with free open bar, and it was hot, and it was humid. Packed wall to wall with humans who knew the right people, the agenda here was take full advantage of the paid for bar. Double fisting and thousand mile stares was the causal attire in here. And then the sun went down.
The music stopped, the bar was shut down, and everyone was herded into the theater to stand around and point at seats but not actually sit in them. Eventually people sat, and then came the shit talking, sometimes through bullhorns, sometimes not. As people just couldn’t sit where ever they damn pleased, there was a system in place for VIP’s and for the skaters themselves. People shuffled around at the commands of the horn until enough seats were cleared. Then we waited. And waited. Until Phelper got uneasy enough to proceed to flip everyone the bird for really no reason at all, which adds to his allure. The packed house was then greeted with the team riders coming main stage. And they waved, and fist pumped, and mooned the crowd, and then one fell down drunk, and stayed down.
As the lights finally dimmed the tone was set, people were yelling — screaming actually — and talking constant shit. And just before the film’s first kick flip was flipped, the film’s director, Russell Houghten, who just happened to be sitting next to me, turned around and punched the man sitting behind us square in the face. Inciting a riot. Which promptly got broken up by security. And I still to this moment have no idea why this happened, I don’t think Russell knows either, but it did. It was a proper start to a film filled with aggressive skateboarding filmed entirely in glorious 4K. The skater’s sections started reeling off one after another in a highly stylized and slick film created by the rampaging genius sitting next to me. Filmed in locations around the globe, each section had it’s own distinct feel and vibe. The music was spot on. I even saw the glow of phones holding up their Shazam apps throughout the dark theater as I found myself often shaking my head at the absurd things I was witnessing on screen. The film’s skating is truly unbelievable, and with all the heavy equipment it was shot on, you don’t really take it all in. It takes you.
Before long the screaming subsided and it was over. Everyone caught their breath, and piled out. The party proceeded and a girl threw up on my shoes. I stepped back on the bus home with a very different vibe than the one I had when I stepped off. It started peacefully, with hands folded. It ended with nudity, vomit and a riot. But with Volcom, I wouldn’t have it any other way. –Brady Field
The film is available June 7, 2016 and stars these dudes:
Daan Van Der Linden