Along with brother Colin Kelso and Staten Island blade ninja Austin Paz, Sean Kelso was responsible for the exceptional east coast classics The Truth and The Truth 2. The progression between each film was clear as day and provided an exciting glimpse into some of the most progressive street skaters in the United States. Sean also worked with Kansas City provocateur/filmmaker Adam Johnson to create the thoroughly enjoyable tour video that was CHARG!NG. With such an impressive back catalogue to live up to, not to mention his always-engaging online edits, expectations were always going to be high in the lead up to the release of his latest effort KCMO.
The opening sequence features beautiful footage of Kansas City’s metropolitan landscape and profile shots of various skaters featured within the video, all elegantly timed to the ‘50s pop singer Connie Francis classic ‘Where The Boys Are’. The nostalgia escalates before breaking into Chris Farmer’s section, which commences with an unlikely gritty rap number and flows into some fast paced punk. Without giving too much away, but he stomps some flawless negatives and torque cess slides down stair sets that just don’t make sense.
Colin Kelso has been keeping a relatively low profile since his section in the 2010 Nimh Team Video. There have been a couple of online edits here and there, but nothing of exceptional value that you would watch repeatedly. Many people must be wondering if he still has what it takes to keep up with the world class talent he keeps company with.
He proves that he still has the smooth flow, clever switch-ups and grind variations that made him a style icon during his time at the forefront of the sport. The biggest surprise is that he barely touches a handrail in his section, instead choosing to utilise more interesting and diverse terrain. However, he does provide a master class in ledge skating and has lines for day that any skater would envy.
You can’t help but feel that Philadelphia native Chris Cheshire never fully realised his potential. He has released a few timeless sections over the years and just when he started to pick up major sponsors and get the media attention that was long overdue he simply drifted into the shadows, appearing only briefly to drop a flawless-if-short section in The Truth. Considering how many bladers of lesser ability have received pro skates over the years, you can’t help but feel that Cheshire has been short-changed to a certain extent.
The trailer and the title sequence of KCMO suggest that Chris Cheshire has a full section. However, the reality is just 12 solid tricks executed on a pair of Valo V13 skates and three of those tricks were regular topsouls. After such a long time off radar it is nice to see some fresh Cheshire footage, but I’m sure many will feel frustrated that there is not more of it.
Since making the switch from USD to Xsjado a while back, Sean Kelso has not released much in the way of online edits. In fact, only a few skatepark edits and unused footage videos have made their way onto the internet and he only briefly appears in each. Apparently this has resulted in Kelso losing his sponsorship deal with Xsjado, which seems odd considering they just released his pro skate. Plus, it’s not like there has been much JC Rowe or Jeff Stockwell footage gracing the internet in the past three years.
Xsjado may live to regret this decision as the Philly legend provides one of the strongest sections in the video, showing absolute dominance of any makio-based trick that culminates in a flawless zerospin fishbrain down a well-known kink rail. The Kelso’s have always been brilliant at piecing together lines in a flawless, and sometimes thoroughly confusing, fashion and this is no different. We dare you to try and replicate some of them – you will get hurt.
Kansas City’s blading posterboy has been incredibly prolific at releasing video sections over the past decade. He started off as a fearless stuntman, a member of the breakneck tech generation alongside Chris Haffey, and has matured into a master of precision and control, lacing pretty much anything he puts his mind to. The only potential problem is that, coming off the back of his sections in Valo V and Voodoo Show, as well as his recent Originals section for Create Originals, is that Broskow might not have anything new and interesting to offer.
Broskow takes the closing section and rounds things off in style, skating many spots that we have witnessed him conquer in various KFC releases, but this time he changes up tactics on each one. Some of the variations he stomps require multiple viewings just to understand. A prime example of this is the sizable 540 instantly followed by a fakie 360 the moment he lands. And the switch-ups? You’re not even ready for the switch-ups!
It is well-known that Broskow is a master of lacing tricks switch and natural, but he takes it to a whole new level by doing full cab alley-oop topsoul both ways on handrails. They are both executed with such control that the only indicated to which one is natural is the fact that one of the rails is notably longer than the other.
Clocking in at just over 35 minutes it is frustratingly short, but that’s what happens when you’ve got a perfectionist like Sean Kelso in control. The video plays like a mixtape, seamlessly flowing from section to section. This is most evident in Sean Kelso’s part, which blends seven songs together in an effortless fashion that thoroughly compliments his creative approach to street skating.
The biggest frustration is the short lived joy of Chris Cheshire’s section, but there is probably a very good reason for this. However, the majority of the other profiles are strong enough to make up for this, thanks to Nick LaBarre and KC Roche, and brilliant cameos from David Sizemore, Mike Lilly, Matt Ladewski are the icing on the figurative cake.
Strongest section: Alex Broskow
Weakest section: Patrick Doherty
Best facial hair: KC Roche’s moustache
Oddest outfit: Nick LaBarre’s dungarees.
Hockey temper award: Chris Farmer, as always
Biggest surprise: KC Roche’s section
Best cameo: David Sizemore
Most unexpected switch-up: Sean Kelso’s full cab alley-oop makio to fish / fakie to pornstar to torque to alley-oop makio
Best song: The Gun Club – Blue Monsoons
Worst song: Thin Lizzy – No One Told Him
Most gangter track: Raekwon – Criminology
Excessive use of hand gestures: Alex Broskow
Most pointless quote: Michael Collins – “I just got some wheels from him.”
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