For the 2018 Long Beach event, Dew Tour and Secret Walls teamed up to host a 90-minute illustration battle that was riveting from beginning to end. For those that aren't familiar, the premise of the Secret Walls competition is simple: Black paint, white walls, and 90 minutes of two rival teams painting their hearts out.
Words by Scott Seiver

For this edition, two teams of three artists each faced off on a picturesque evening in Long Beach and let their creativity shine. The first team, "The Bad Seeds”, taking on the left wall, consisted of @robineisenberg, @lillipore, @drewvisuals and the second team on the right wall, "Holy Sticks AKA Palo Santo" featured teammates @superwaxx, @upperhandart, @denise_tpinto.

The teams were evenly matched with experience and talent - both had a veteran to Secret Walls, a first-timer, and a diverse mix of talent. Character and personality Nick Tucker kicked off the event in Ryan Seacrest-style and had the crowd glued to their seats (er, plot of grass) for the full 90 minutes with his energetic commentary. Dj Killwill had a fitting East Side Long Beach backyard barbecue set on rotation playing all of the LBC classics. The vibes were right and weather was the quintessential SoCal sunshine that kisses your skin but doesn't bite too hard. All of the elements coalesced for one memorable event that everyone in attendance (artists, families, pro skaters, and an eclectic mix of local Long Beach residents) enjoyed.

From the tip-off of the battle, each team went to work and made quick progress, taking the crowd along for the journey. The intertwined transformations and unexpected outcomes of the black paint on white walls for team "Holy Sticks" was a hot topic of discussion that wove its way through the crowd. The palpable synergy of the team is arguably what landed them the Dew Tour x Secret Walls 2018 trophy.

In true dramatic fashion fitting to the intense battle waged on the walls, the judges' picks were evenly matched and final vote went to the crowd. The crowd cheered for their pick, their screams and shouts recorded with a decibel reader, and the winner was chosen. It was close, but team "Holy Sticks" edged out team "Bad Seeds" to take home the laser-cut and handmade trophy made by talented artist Blunt Steel. Everyone was in good spirits, each team was happy to participate and it all ended with a beautiful sunset, a bucket of beers and more painting on another mural wall nearby.