When my son came running in to tell me the “monster trucks” were in town, and he insisted we go see them, I have admit I was not all that excited to comply. After all, I’m a full grown, middle class, suburban dad who much rather see a vintage rock band, then the MONSTER JAM. Or so I thought… The Edward Jones dome is not a small venue, the St.Louis Rams play there, and it is massive, although very well laid out facility, the event however was totally sold out, luckily we reserved tickets a few days out. When we arrived at our seats, and I had a chance to look around and take in the moment, the layout of the course could best be described as intimidating. Some of the obstacles were over two stories high and formed out of dirt, cars, and even retired school buses. I could not even imagine how something with four wheels might get over them! That’s when I first started to think this could get interesting.
After the Star Spangle Banner had been sung, and the lights were turned down, the events announcer shouted to the crowd, “Are you ready for Monster Jam?!!!” ready as I was going to be, I thought to myself. But no, I was not ready for what happened next, one by one, thundering out, into the arena they came. The largest, most powerful trucks I had ever seen began flying (literally) around the track demonstrating their speed and agility. As abruptly as they began, they suddenly lined up neatly against the wall, half on each side of the stadium, and shut off their engines. That’s when I realized how fast my heart was beating and that there were no bad seats in the house. There are basically two events with a couple of side shows mixed in between. The first is a series of match races between two trucks at a time, around the track, involving three high speed jumps. The racing results were very close and a photo finish was not uncommon. OK, sounds like a pretty organized competition so far, right? Well the second event wiped out any inkling of sanity thus far with what is called the “Freestyle Event”. Basically the trucks had about two minutes to impress the judges with how wild and crazy they could get. To give you some idea of the winning attempt was like, the truck flipped over, end over end, and landed upside down, and the crowd went wild! More trucks then not had to be assisted off the track, some being reduced to mangled wrecks. So what’s the point you may ask? Simply put I would say pure escapism, if monster Jam can’t get you to forget about life for awhile, nothing will. I have no doubt that sitting up close would be a life altering experience. If you have the chance to attend one of these events don’t pass it up, my son won’t have to ask twice next time.