Monster X Tour – Montgomery, AL
The American South has had a love affair with motor sports since the days of moonshine runners during the prohibition era. While those moonshine runners may have transitioned their racing into stock car racing and NASCAR (more on that with our upcoming Daytona 500 article), the South has continued to be enamored with various motor sports. So it’s no surprise that people in the area not only knew the exact event that we were going to, but were genuinely excited when we used the phrase “monster truck race”.
Being our first monster truck experience, we were a bit unsure of what we were going to find. The closest we had gotten to a monster truck was through our TV, or through their now infamous “Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAYYYYY” radio and television advertisements. We also knew about some of the more well known monster trucks, with character names like “Grave Digger” and “Bigfoot”. In doing research for this event, we found out that although it seems similar to a professional wrestling type of event, those involved with monster trucking believe that their races should be covered more like a NASCAR race.
We also asked our readers what might be appropriate to wear to a monster truck event, and the answer that we got back more often than not made us even more perplexed about what to expect with this event: overalls.
But what we should’ve known had we remembered WHEN we used to watch monster truck events on TV – and what we came to immediately find as the fans filled in to the pre-event “pit party” – is that this event was all about the kids. We were the only two people in the entire place without a kid. Children dragging their parents by the hands filed onto the dirt covered arena floor, all to get a closer looks at these truck monstrosities and to meet the men behind the wheel. Kids got autographs, touched the oversized wheels, and played on the dirt mounds where the trucks would soon be flying over. Kids and their parents could even ride on the back of a specially designed monster truck with seats on the back that would take them on the 30 second ride of their life.
As for the event itself, it was definitely more “Wrestlemania” than “Talladega Nights”, as the drivers and race outcome were much less compelling than the monster trucks themselves and the power that they exuded. There were wheelie competitions, racing, and even a freestyle competition, with the crowd gasping at each flight of these oversized vehicles. It is definitely something that you have to see with your own eyes, as the noise of the engines and the size of the trucks do not translate successfully through a TV screen. The earplugs felt like tissue paper as the monster trucks roared by, deafening the loud cheers and growling past us.
The sights and sounds of the evening made us remember our childhood, when jumping our bikes off of the curb or popping a wheelie felt like the biggest thrill in the world. The kids in attendance had the look of wonder and amazement in their eyes that night, like a whole new world of possibilities were open to them now that they’re aware that huge vehicles can fly through the air. While we lose that feeling as we get older, it’s nice to be reminded of it from time to time.
As one Dad surmised after the event, “Wow! That was great. Made me feel like a kid again.”