At long last, the 2011 tour season was upon us, and the first official tour stop was none other than the Grand Canyon State, Arizona. Aside from being first on the list for Lowrider Magazine’s 2011 tour stops, this four corner haven was forced to wait with baited breath, as anticipation for the event was at an all-time high, thanks to the fact that this year’s show was pushed forward from March to May. We were all a little gun shy thanks to last year’s drenched festivities, and so it was decided that the show begin a couple of months later, in order to hopefully give participants and attendees better show conditions. The date change helped us to elude Mother Nature’s rain for sure, but we walked right into her hot spell. Nonetheless, the Lowrider Magazine 18-wheeler rumbled eastward on the I-10, flaunting its new wrap for the first time.

As we pulled up to the Arizona State Fairgrounds the day before the show, it was evident that neither rain nor heat would stop the devoted riders of Arizona from attending the yearly event. There were literally hundreds of show cars from dozens of clubs in the parking lot waiting to register their rides under the unforgiving Arizona sun. Pioneer car audio gave their customers free tickets to the first 50 vehicles that were equipped with their product. Universal Technical Institute (UTI), a nationwide provider of technical education, was also on hand for the show. Nearly 700 show cars rolled into the fairgrounds to display their custom paint jobs, interiors, and Player Wire Wheels. After settling in, we took advantage of being in Phoenix, and headed down Grand Ave to pick up a few Cadillac parts at Arizona Vintage Auto Parts and if you need hard to find Cadillac parts they have a world of them.

By the early morning of the following day, the line of anxious spectators started forming outside the gates. With their bottle of sunblock in hand and their locs on, the people of Arizona were ready for what has become the state’s biggest Lowrider show. The majority of the spectators attending the show were there to admire some of the automotive masterpieces that were being showcased. Others in attendance immediately flocked towards the stage, where Kid Jay was mixing on the Pioneer tables, while the musical performers got ready. With his Zapp and Roger style, MC Magic always attracts a huge crowed of devoted fans, and his set at the Arizona show was no different. Following the R&B star was rapper Warren G, who performed some of his hit singles from the ‘90’s, and he also performed a special dedication to Nate Dogg, his legendary musical partner who succumbed to stroke complications earlier this year. Li’l Rob stepped in to perform some of his top songs, and the crowd went crazy when West Coast veteran WC stepped in to finish off the day’s concert.

Besides bringing out some musical heavyweights, the show also made some of Arizona’s top clubs come out in full force. Some of those clubs included Spirit, Sophisticated Few, Unity, Silent Breeze, Brown Society, Redeemed, Identity, Mi Vida, Pheoniquera, Intruders, United and Pheonix. Clubs like Klique, Majestics, Stylistics, Prestigious, Uniques, Imperials, Individuals, La Gente, Ultimate Riders, Group, Swift, Dukes, Nokturnal, Oldies, Old Memories, Rollerz Only, and USO showed a strong presence. Other clubs that made their presence felt were Camaradas, AZ Pride, South Central, Slow & Low, Mexican Side, Desert Life, Ariza, Solitos, Pharaohs, Techniques, Life, Desert Dreams, Lowrider Style, Central, New Image and Estilo.

Some of the notable standouts of the day included Jorge Solorio from the Klique, San Diego chapter, who premiered his green ’64 convertible to the crowd’s delight. Not wanting to waste any time, we immediately rushed this green beauty into the studio. Juvenal Montemayor of the Delano Majestics had his ’63 Impala, named “Ladies Night Out,” on a turntable for all to see. Prestigious Car Club, out of New Mexico, came to the show with a couple of head-turning monsters from ’61 and ’67, respectively. Old Memories had a classy looking ’38 Buick convertible on hand that will also have a full spread in LRM in the near future.

Before I knew it, the sun began to set and the crowd started leaving. As I packed my gear, I realized how truly impressed I was by the caliber of quality rides that Arizona had produced this year. The beautiful rides, sexy women, and great hospitality made my first trip to Arizona a memorable one.