Monday, 23 February 2009

Top Gear Live

Finally, I have downloaded my photos from Top Gear Live. We went to see the show last weekend in Auckland; we were at the Saturday morning show. Here is a review from the first (Thursday night) show. This was my sweetie's Christmas present; it also coincided with Valentine's Day - not to be confused as they are separate events. ;-)

So, where to start? We saw the Top Gear exhibition on Friday afternoon; just as well, as it was really wet on the Saturday, incredibly busy, and we were very pressed for time. The live show featured Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and NZ driver Greg Murphy in place of James May. As Clarkson said in his introduction, the show is basically "a tour of all the countries we [Britain] used to own". The banter between Clarkson and Hammond is just like you see on tv; jokes about the world's smallest presenter, and the kiwi accent (did you know The Stug was part of the show?) were an opportunity too good to resist.

And so the fun began. Excellent lighting, sound, and pyrotechnics set the scene. Various stunts abound, and then the first challenge: a take on the world's smallest car episode. The challenge was to actually make a smaller car. Hammond came up with a trike that was run on two belt sanders, Murphy pulled something tiny out of a suitcase, but Clarkson topped the bill with his "car you can wear", complete with jeans, cowboy boots, and a shirt. They had to race three laps around the indoor track; as you can probably imagine, it didn't go entirely smoothly. Here is a tiny video snippet to give you an idea of what went on, taken from our seats near the back:

Some motorcycle stunts followed next and the collander of death was brought in. Unfortunately, my video turned out sideways, and until I can work out how to rotate it, this photo will have to do. Towards the end, there were four stunt riders zooming around inside the orb (which isn't as big as it looks!) all at once.

There was a lot of audience participation, including the cool wall, and then a local session drummer took to the stage on a drumkit made entirely of car parts. Everyone took part in the lap, 'driving' the car and turning it left and right by holding a green and red piece of cardboard up to the cameras, while making loud car noises to make it go faster! We did pretty badly, but weren't quite as slow as the other Auckland shows (so far).

The segment I enjoyed the most was car football, featuring two teams of Suzuki Swifts. This was really funny to see in real life. It was a NZ vs England match, captained by Murphy and Hammond respectively. The game wasn't without casualties; England's car #2 got 'injured' and had to go off to the sidelines to be replaced by #4! New Zealand won (just). Here's a quick video to give you a better idea:

I suppose if you're not a Top Gear fan, this post won't have made much sense to you at all. But if you are, or if you've been to the show, hopefully you'll have a better idea of what I've been on about. We're really keen to now see a show being recorded. The only problem with that is that we're unlikely to get to the UK any time soon. Oh well - something to aim for!


Kellee said...

Sounds like a lot of fun.

The collander of death always freaks me out - I saw on a show once where a person had to stand in the middle of it while the bikes buzzed around their ears - not for the faint hearted.

Sweetie said...

Greg Murphy was put in the middle of the colander of death. Only one motor bike zoomed around him though but the rider was at times putting his hand on Greg's head.

Sab said...

That is so neat! I've never heard of anything like that before!