Monster Jam

Monster Jam – Fresno

I grew up hearing about “monster trucks” and seeing some ads on TV. I didn’t think of them for a long time till some friends of ours invited us to see a show. The show was to begin in the afternoon of March 17. This was perfect because we had church in the morning and were free in the afternoon.

The show is about to start.

Thankfully we had a few weeks to do some research on what to expect; lots of loud noise. We bought some earmuffs for Jaden. I had some swimming earplug sets still unused so one went to Diana and one for me. We parked outside and walked to the entrance of the Save Mart Center. It was going to be all of our first time being in here and it was quite nice.

We found our seats and soon Alan and Sandy arrived with their kids. They were down in front of us, but the way the seats were set, nobody was really in anyone’s way. That was very nice. Alan started saying Jaden’s named and passed him a Monster Jam toy car. It was very kind of them to bring a toy for all the kids. Shortly after the show started.

The show began with each driver coming out and making their way around the arena. We were told that the audience was able to rate the driver’s performance with their smartphones. As the drivers were leaving to start their first challenge, instructions were given on the voting process. It was a nice touch and keeps the audience interactive with the show. Jaden really did like this part and was either very gracious or very stingy with the 1 to 10 scale.

First round winner give a speech.

The first round was a quick one. Both vehicles raced around and tried to complete one loop before the other. Some were close and others there were obvious clear winners of the race. The dirt floor was really stirred up and Jaden noticed that detail right away. Small dozers would come out and “regrade” the course between matches.

Quad racing.

The next match was at hand. To my surprise it was quad racing. A couple cones were set up and all 8 participants were racing around the arena. No crashes occurred but some were very close, especially trying to get around that cone and sprint ahead. I believe they did about 10 laps before the event concluded.

Jaden gets a mask.

Before the conclusion, Jaden wanted to get a mask and cotton candy. Diana and decided to go ahead and enjoy the event by getting a treat and souvenir. What was a surprise was the cost. $20 for the mask and cotton candy. It made Jaden happy and he work the mask awhile with the earmuffs. I think we may have a Halloween costume?

The next round presented riders back in their monster vehicles. This time around they had to do some tricks and we were to rate what we thought. Scooby-Doo was the first one and, unfortunately for the rider, the first vehicle to break down. A tractor came out and removed her from the course. Her score was not that great.

Other riders were able to get some serious air time on the ramps. Some where able to land soft and others hit hard. One of the riders was able to do front wheelies for a time. The longer they stayed on two wheels the louder the crowd would cheer. Needless to say their score went up too. It was a lot of fun to watch as well as try to photograph the moments.

Scooby-Doo returned but had other troubles.

Another issue came up where a shell flew right off a vehicle. I cannot recall the name but the theme song was, “Who Let the Dogs Out!?” Anyway, the shell flew right off after a hard landing. Thus only the nose and tail remained. It made some laugh and others cheered. Noting beats destruction I suppose.

As the show continued on through various events and challenges, more and more vehicles were damaged. One turned over completely and started on fire. Granted it was small, but a fire nonetheless. Another started leaking fluid everywhere. The crews made sure the drivers were alright and quickly inspect each vehicle before moving them.

Now a break in Monster sized vehicles was in order. All these crashes I guess required a break. However, these UTV’s were hilarious to watch. They were still somewhat top heavy and, after watching the larger vehicles for an extent of time, they looked like “clown cars.” In fact, I think Jaden made that comment and both Diana and I laughed. The final ride to determine the winner was also over very quickly. The two final vehicles were there to race and within a minute one flipped completely over making the other rider a winner. Well they still had to cross the finish line, which they did.

The final race was a good one. The drivers had no real set path. It was “free style” so they could do whatever they want. Again a crash or two happened, but some of them really flew into the air. The best rider ended up doing something nobody else did which won the competition.

Back flip

The last rider did a back flip off the far ramp. The audience roared to life seeing him pull it off (see video). It was very exciting and we all cheered as he rode to victory. Soon after it was over and time to take the ear protection off.

Jaden and the winner in the background.

We had a great time and none of us will forget about it. If you are interested in Monster Trucks, I would recommend it. Although I have heard at bigger arenas they do far more tricks as they can get their speeds up. May want to check that out. Otherwise another adventure for the books!