Saturday, January 4, 2014

Monster Jam is a Hit with Kids and Adults Alike

Grave Digger in all its glory. Photo: Feld Motor Sports

So, last night I had my first taste experiencing something I have intended to do for many years but never got around to it. I went to my first Monster Jam event at the Tacoma Dome. Those who know me know that I not really into cars and have trouble discerning one from another. However, the Monster Jam brought me back to my childhood – I was surrounded by Hot Wheels! And the Monster Jammers? Just big kids driving the Hot Wheels.

So, what exactly is a Monster Jam? Well, it’s a blend of sports, entertainment, racing and hoopla all within a family-friendly environment. According to the press release, over four millions fans will turn out to see the live events at the more than 350 performances each year. Put on by Feld Entertainment (the same people who bring you the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus and the Disney on Ice shows), the Monster Jam is one great show. Unlike other sporting events, fans can meet the stars of the show during the “Party in the Pits” preshow and they will stick around afterward to sign autographs for everyone who wants them – however long it takes.

The first half of the show featured races between two trucks at a time racing the loop once around. Those that won moved on to the next round. In the end, Northern Nightmare was the triumphant winner. In between each round, a quad race was held between USA and Canada where, unfortunately, Canada won. After intermission, the audience was treated to a fantastic stunt show featuring motorcycles making huge jumps and flips. The second half of the show was considered “freestyle” where each truck would perform racing back and forth, jumping and burning mud donuts in the dirt. From a distance, it sort of resembled a dog running around in his back yard.

Just like playing with Hot Wheels as a kid, the best part of the night is when the trucks went out of control. Two trucks lost a wheel during their performances and Norm Miller, debuting the New Earth Authority truck for the first time, rolled over and all but destroyed the car’s body. Chad Tingler, driver of the infamous Grave Digger, flipped his trucked during the races, but was able to rise to the top and win the Freestyle competition.

Those who have attended previous shows will recognize some of the following trucks and drivers performing this weekend including:
  • Grave Digger® driven by Chad Tingler
  • Northern Nightmare℠ driven by Cam McQueen
  • Monster Mutt℠ Dalmatian driven by Taryn Laskey
  • Metal Mulisha driven by Todd Leduc
  • New Earth Authority℠ driven by Norm Miller
  • Max-D℠ driven by Neil Elliot
  • El Toro Loco® (orange) driven by Chuck Werner
  • Titan driven by Donald Epidendio
  • The Patriot driven by Dan Rodoni
  • Tropical Thunder – driven by Mike Pappas/Andrew Peckham
  • Captain USA driven by Travis Groth
  • Double Trouble driven by Tyler Groth
  • Obsession driven by Rick Swanson
  • Obsessed driven by Eric Swanson
  • Tow Monster driven by Seth Fisher
  • Dragon's Breath® driven by Scott Liddycoat

The event continues today (Saturday, January 4) with a “Party in the Pits” pre-show experience on from 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. where fans get a view of the trucks up close and meet the drivers too. The next races will be presented at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 5th.

All shows will be presented at the Tacoma Dome located at 2727 East D Street, Tacoma, WA 98421. All Seats are $25 pre-sale and Pit Passes are $10 (all tickets are $2 more on the day of the show). Tickets are available at the Tacoma Dome box office, all Ticketmaster retail outlets, online or by calling 800.745.3000.

So, my only regret? Not bringing earplugs!

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