Aqueous guitarist Mike Gantzer loaded up the PlayStation and hit start for his highly anticipated tribute to the music of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Appropriately dubbed Mike Gantzer’s Pro Skater, the set at Aqueous’ farewell festival The Great Flamingle II this past weekend in Sherman, NY pulled hits from throughout the best-selling skateboarding franchise.

Joining Uncle Mike in this fulfillment of a lifelong dream (both for him and the audience) were Mungion guitarist Justin Reckamp, Aqueous bassist Evan McPhaden, drummer Marco Cirigliano, vocalist Jonny Evans, and DJ Jimmy Whispers on the decks. With special guest spots from Alric “A.C.” Carter (TAUK) and Dave Loss (Aqueous) on keys and Grant Martin (Mungion) on bass, the superjam touched on all the styles that make up the soundtrack.

From the metal rap/rock of Rage Against The Machine to the classic punk of Ramones, old-school hip-hop by way of Nas to old-fashioned skater punk by Suicidal Tendencies, plus nu-metal originators Primus and beach reggae-ska skaters Sublime, Mike Gantzer’s Pro Skater delivered a loving tribute set that switched back and forth from regular to goofy and never landed sloppy. Unfortunately, a rain delay forced a slightly shorter set than originally planned, but Gantzer and company closed it out with “96 Quite Bitter Beings” by CKY, the Bam Margera-related metal band that shares its name with the precursor to Jackass, which was as instrumental at getting kids into skateboarding as THPS.

Tribute organizer Gantzer’s affinity for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater is well-documented. Back in 2021 when he first broke news of his hardcore side project Death Kings with Umphrey’s McGee bassist Ryan Stasik, he said that the THPS soundtrack was a direct inspiration on the supergroup.

“All the music on [Hawk’s] video games, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, is the music that most influenced this project,” he told Andy Frasco on his World Saving Podcast. (In addition to liking the soundtrack, Gantzer isn’t too bad at the game either.)

The Great Flamingle II also marked an emotional sendoff for Aqueous, which began an indefinite hiatus immediately following the festival. Guitarist/keyboardist Dave Loss, who welcomed the birth of his first child last year, announced in early 2023 that he would step away from full-time touring to spend more time with his family. Between Aqueous’ five sets at The Great Flamingle II, surrounded by longtime friends TAUK, Dopapod, and many others, the band had about as jubilant of a goodbye (for now) as one could hope for.

Watch full video of the Mike Gantzer’s Pro Skater set from The Great Flamingle II.

Mike Gantzer’s Pro Skater – The Great Flamingle II – Sherman, NY – 8/12/23

[Video: MKDevo]

Setlist: Mike Ganter’s Pro Skater | The Great Flamingle II | Sherman, NY | 8/12/23

Set: Guerilla Radio (Rage Against The Machine), Blitzkrieg Bop (Ramones), Let’s Ride (MxPX), Cut Chemist Suite (Ozomatli), No Cigar (Millencolin), The World is Yours (Nas) [1], Same In The End (Sublime), New Girl (Suicide Machines), Cyco Vision (Suicidal Tendencies), If You Must (Del The Funky Homosapien) [2], Jerry Was A Race Car Driver (Primus) [3], May 16 (Lagwagon), 96 Quite Bitter Beings (CKY)

[1] w/ Alric “A.C.” Carter (TAUK) on keys

[2] w/ Dave Loss (Aqueous) on keys

[3] w/ Grant Martin (Mungion) on bass