This project secured the Platinum Pinnacle Award for Civilian Performers at the 2021 International Council of Air Shows Convention!
At the 2019 ICAS Convention Darnell Racing Enterprises, Inc. unveiled the new “Salute to All Who Serve” look for their Shockwave jet truck. This new look included a patriotic motif, replica hellfire missiles, a Gatling gun modeled after the A-10 Warthog, additional strobe lights, and much more. This new “Top Gun” inspired look was scheduled to appear in 2020, but of course it saw limited action in 2020 due to the global pandemic.
This new look for Shockwave has brought several new fans to the Shockwave social media pages and has created a new interest in getting pictures with Chris and the truck since air shows and drag races began reopening in 2021. The Darnell family’s patriotism and love our country is on display at over 300 miles per hour every time Shockwave lights the afterburners!
However, the makeover for the entire Shockwave act really got started at the 2019 ICAS convention with a conversation between Chris Darnell and Dave Olmstead of Behind The Scenes Productions. As the long-time Operations Director and now owner of Continental Air Show Productions, Dave saw firsthand over his years of providing sound and production services to numerous air shows that the Shockwave act did not command the airtime on the PA system that it deserved. At most shows it was often scheduled to “break in” to somebody else’s act as the carryover of a discussion from the previous day with a challenge of who was the fastest. To remedy this issue Chris and Dave wrote and produced a series of audio tracks that Shockwave would perform to at shows. The audio tracks feature Chris “live from the cockpit” of Shockwave and are tailored to the race as well as Chris’ solo runs. Additionally, to provide ample flexibility to the sound crew and the announcer there is an audio track to play when Shockwave wins the race, one to play when the racing pilot cheats and sneaks out a win, and there are also versions that talk about the Shockwave bounce house inviting fans to come to the display area and check out Shockwave for use at shows when they have the giant Shockwave bounce house set up!
The audio tracks provide a different experience to the crowd than the traditional announcer just calling the race. The crowd gets to hear a bit of Chris’ personality as well as part of the startup procedure of Shockwave. The audio tracks also allow the crowd to hear and connect to Chris as a person as he invites them to join the Shockwave social media and come visit him in the display area.
Shockwave is a complete immersive entertainment option for air shows! The addition of the custom soundtrack is the icing on top of an already proven and award winning act, which just shows that there is always room to improve an act!