Saturday morning we dropped off our kids and picked up our nephew and headed to Cleveland, Ohio to see the Monster Jam show at the Q Arena. We had tickets to the pit party so our day got started early and ended late. (We HAD to stop by Tower City mall and eat at the Hard Rock Cafe afterwards.)

Dave says: Ok, so Monster trucks are cool to watch. Nothing seems more fitting for a guy than watching some big trucks run over cars, sending scraps of metal and glass flying everywhere.  Then, after intermission, these giant robots come out and shoot each other.  Yeah, that’s definitely something I enjoy seeing.  So there it is – the two things that made this enjoyable for me.  However, there was a very uncomfortable feeling in the seats on this night.  In the first competition, the trucks performed wheelies over the cars and were given scores by judges.  The competition seemed fun to watch and some trucks really stole the show.  Then, “Bad to the Bone” started playing.  “What’s this?” I thought.  Oh, it’s Grave Digger.  The truck I remember from my childhood.  Cool.  I figured since Grave Digger is so popular and has been around for so long, that they felt it was worthy of a theme song.  I was fine with this.  However, Grave Digger stole the competition with the scores of 10, 10, and 9 from the judges.  That was fine with me, it was good to see.  The next competition however, is when the uncomfortable feeling came again.  An 8 truck tournament where the trucks would go at it in one on one rounds, jumping over the cars and the first truck to hit the white line on the other side of the cars would win the race and move on to the next round.

This is where things became not only uncomfortable, but predictable.  Looking directly at the trucks in a face-to-face fashion, my wife and I were able to predict that the trucks that went to the right side would always defeat the ones who went to the left side.  While other trucks rotated from the right side to the left side, Grave Digger was always placed on the right side and of course, ended up winning.  By this point, I was shocked at how everything seemed so predetermined.

Finally, they did the freestyle tournament.  Every truck had 60 seconds to basically show off to the best of their ability.  Out of all of the trucks, Tasmanian Devil got the biggest and most impressive jump in.  A couple other trucks were just as impressive but again, “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf started playing and out came Grave Digger.  This is what got me upset.  First of all, we had to hear that song like 10 times during the show.  More importantly, Grave Digger only ran for 10 seconds before breaking down.

Broken Down Grave Digger

Still, the 10 seconds Grave Digger had managed to top the 60 seconds everyone else had – and guess what the scores were?  Yep.  10, 10, and 9.  Curious if this was all set up and just for show (I’ll be the first to confess I am not highly educated in the world of Monster Trucks), I did some research on the subject.  I ended up finding out that in other competitions, trucks (other than Grave Digger) were eliminated or disqualified if they broke down.  I’m not trying to start a conspiracy theory or anything like that, but I do wonder just how real these competitions are.  Other than the scripted feeling, I did enjoy myself and would be glad to go again – just as long as they promise bigger, better, scarier robots (those things were amazing).

I do have two other complaints as well, and I promise I don’t mean to put the show down as I did enjoy myself and I would still recommend it – however being nagged to enter a drawing in the hallways of the Q Arena every 5 feet became annoying and when I informed one of the people I had already been asked about 50 times, her response was “And you’ll probably get asked 50 more times, too.”  That was a bit uncalled for, if you ask me.

Other than that, there were commercials shown all throughout the show.  Some of these became a bit irritating although after about half of them, people would come out and give away one of the toys advertised in the commercials, so it wasn’t as bad as it sounds.

Despite my complaints, I went to see Monster Trucks and that’s what I saw.  I got to see the favorites, like Excalibur and Grave Digger, plus the Tasmanian Devil which had a female driver.  The trucks smashed up cars, and we even attended the pit party before the show where we got to meet and talk with the drivers and our nephew was able to get pictures and autographs. For the cheap ticket price and the way kids enjoy themselves, I still recommend this show to every family.

View of Pit Party
Matthew with Nicole - Tasmanian Devil driver

Michelle says: We arrived at the arena and picked up our tickets at will call. We were so excited to get up and close with the trucks and their drivers. Then we gave the people our tickets and entered. “Line to the pit party over here!” I was very disappointed when we saw there was a line just to get into the pit party. It wasn’t just a little line either.

That shows about 1/4 of the line we had to wait in. Thankfully, it moved pretty quick and we were in to the party in about 25-30 minutes. Kinda a long wait when I didn’t expect there to be one, but shorter than I thought it would be once I saw the line. Once we entered the party, we were on our own to sort through the mess of people and all the lines. I’m pretty sure everyone attending the party cut in at least one line while there because other than the lines for Tasmanian Devil and Grave Digger, there was nothing but chaos and disorganization. I was impressed with the mounds of dirt that had been taken in to the arena. We were just there recently to see Disney On Ice: Toy Story 3 and it was a completely different scene this time. We had a great time and it was fun going around with our nephew while he got autographs and pictures with the drivers.

In between the party and the show, we enjoyed some wings and fries from Quaker Steak inside the arena. Leading up to the start of the show, we were entertained with some remote control cars racing around and even jumping over the cars!

The show overall was a fun new experience for me. Monster trucks are only something I’ve seen on TV. I really enjoyed seeing them jump over the cars and held my breathe quite a few times when I thought a truck was going to flip over. I was also disappointed that Grave Digger was given so many wins and just so much attention overall. I realize that truck is everyone’s favorite but it just seemed like the other trucks and their drivers weren’t treated fairly. Like I said, I’ve really never had any experience seeing Monster trucks at all. For all I know it’s a known thing that they are all planned races and the winners are chosen beforehand just like in wrestling. I actually really agreed with the comparison Dave made that basically said Grave Digger is the John Cena of Monster Jam.

I would also recommend this show to all families. We all had a lot of fun despite the things here and there we didn’t like. Oh, and another thing that may help more people like Monster Jam and maybe some will not like them…

LeBron car

Dave spotted this on our way out of the pit party. I HAD to take a picture to share in our review. There were actually two cars with LeBron written on them. They were pretty smashed up by the end of the show.


One thought on “Advance Auto Parts’ Monster Jam 2011 – Our Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s