Saturday, February 04, 2012

Watching A Couple Of Big Trucks Play

Last night in Fargo, ND, the Advanced Auto Parts Monster Jam tour performed at the Fargo Dome.  It was an exciting show, but with Monster Jam holding 6 different shows this weekend throughout the country, it makes sense that there were lesser known trucks here.  8 trucks made it here and it must mean that Fargo is bigger on the scale of shows than others that only had 6 show up.  Half of those trucks didn't really do much or even make it out to the freestyle event.

The 8 trucks that were there were Desperado (pictured above), Martial Law, Michigan Ice Monster, Ground Pounder, Iron Outlaw, Bounty Hunter, Spiderman, and Grave Digger.  The drivers that you associate with those trucks weren't there.  There was no Randy Andersen driving Bigfoot, Bari Musawwir driving Spiderman, no Jimmy Cretin driving Bounty Hunter.  Some fans were disappointed in that, but it didn't detract from the show.

The first event was quad racing.  They billed one team from Minneapolis and one team from Fargo.  (Really!!!)  Anyways, it was 6 laps of watching quads go around in a circle.  For me, it brought back memories, but my son didn't care for it.  I guess it is there to extend the show length.

The first event for the monster trucks was the Sky Wheelie contest.  The winner of that was Spiderman.  Personally, I think that Desperado was cheated out of the victory.  He did two nice on the back wheels rolling over the crush cars, While Spicerman did the half jump/half wheelie to get the win.  No problems for anybody there, but in the racing, oh boy, would there be problems.

Next we had quad racing again.  This was the 2nd heat.  Same people, same quads, just a different race.  On, and they had the storyline of the two team captains of the quad teams getting into an argument about how each other was racing.  Can you feel the excitement?  And the greatest thing was that each of the captains weren't in the running to win the races.  And the racer that won the race would go by the captains and not get interviewed by the emcee, but the captains would.  Classic.

Next up on the docket was the Monster Truck racing event.  The results:

1st Round
Ice Monster beat Desperado who broke a rear drive shaft during the event.
Ground Pounder beat Spiderman
Grave Digger beat Iron Outlaw
Bounty Hunter beat Martial Law after Martial Law corkscrewed through his first corner and flipped himself.

2nd Round
Grave Digger beat Ice Monster
Bounty Hunter beat Ground Pounder

Bounty Hunter beat Ground Pounder
Grave Digger broke a front drive shaft in the second round contest and could not make it out onto the course.  Ice Monster was working on what I believe were electrical issues, so he couldn't replace Grave Digger.  So we got a rematch of the semi-finals and Ground Pounder was never in it.

We came to the main event for the quad racing.  Team Fargo wins, the two captains call each other dirty and cry babies and the winner doesn't get interviewed again and has his quad stall on him when he tries to get back to the pits.

Then we had Megasaurus make his appearance.  The backstory and music were overkill for what he actually did. 

Intermission came and we had entertainment from the extreme RC club out of Minneapolis.  They decided to have their little RC cars jump the obstacles that the Monster Trucks would in freestyle.  One guy jumped his Maximum Destruction RC car off the highest jump and it landed on the roof.  Needless to say that vehicle needed to get fixed after the show.  The body was all mangled and it was limping off the floor with one wheel being dragged behind.

Out of intermission it is Freestyle time.  Desperado makes it back in time just to roll around on his wheels through the course.  He is leaking some sort of fluid.  Gets a score of 10.  Next is Martial Law who has some sort of problems after he rolls in the racing and goes about 30 seconds and parks it.  The best part of that was watching him throw out his steering wheel and gloves out of the front windowless opening in frustration.  Next up was the Michigan Ice Monster who sheered off his front Drivers Side wheel after 12 seconds.  He was done after that.  Ground Pounder reported that he was done due to mechanical issues and didn't make it out for the event.  Next was Iron Outlaw who made it all 90 seconds and was rewarded with a score of 21.  Bounty Hunter came out and did well with a 24 and ran about 2 minutes extra after the event was over for him.  Bounty Hunter was the only truck that did donuts here, successfully.  Spiderman came out and received a 26.  And he decided to extend his run, only he tried to perform a donut and promptly flipped onto his roof.  Finally was Grave Digger, he did his jumps, nothing else and was awarded the win with a 27.

The last event of the night was a 6 car demolition derby.  Went about 8 minutes.  One car almost went airborne twice due to angles he took and went over the front of vehicles he was trying to hit.

Overall, it was a nice show.  One thing that I would do different for the Monster Trucks is keep all of them in back and introduce them individually.  Here all but Spiderman and Grave Digger were already out on the floor and sitting there.  Those two got special entrances for the crowd.  I don't understand why Monster jam doesn't do that for all the trucks.  I understand that the Michigan Ice Monster and Martial Law aren't wholesale brand names for fans let alone people that don't follow the sport week in and week out.  But make them special for those fans in attendance.  Make them want to know more about that specific truck and make them want to purchase the merchandise (more on that in a minute) of those trucks that they saw.  Don't make it look like they are the generic ones and have a couple that stand out from the rest.

As for merchandise, there are more trucks out there than Grave Digger.  (To Monster Jam marketers and merchandising executives:  We want items from the trucks we are seeing that night and not just Grave Digger.)  Digger had 6 different shirts, 3 different caps, 2 fleece blankets, and specialty merchandise geared towards him at the venue.  Spiderman had a shirt, hat, and puffy pillow.  Same with Iron Man.  Monster Mutt Rottweiler had about the same.  There was no merchandise for 6 of the trucks there.  I was willing to shell out inflated prices to have a Martial Law T-Shirt there.  I would have even though about a Bounty Hunter or Michigan Ice Monster T-Shirt, but they were no where to be found.  But I could have a Grave Digger 2-DVD set about the career of the truck or the toy sword that was made for the vehicle.  Make one of your stands non-Grave Digger and the other 3 or 4 that you do have heavy on Grave Digger.  But make it where it doesn't seem that the only thing you are worried about is the overhyped truck that is 30 years old.

Like I said before, I enjoyed the show and I would recommend anyone that wants to have a good time for a couple of hours to attend a show.  Even if you aren't a gearhead.


Zebster said...

Glad you had a good time with your son. Vroom!
I added a couple of labels to your post that I think are appropriate.

dasnake said...

don't you just love this stuff, i remember taking my kids to the kingdome when gravedigger first came out, (metal body), ear plugs and beer, whatta rush, fargo, we were there in '08, love that area.

dasnake said...

well i think there is going to be a lot of video carefully gone over after tonights race, congrats kyle great race.