Fancy a monster truck flying through the air ripping through the dirt track with nitro methane exhausts blasting together with the roar of a stadium cheering crowd? That’s what Monster Jam was like tonight at the Singapore Sports Hub for a one-night only event. For the first time ever in Singapore at the National Stadium, Monster Jam had landed on our shores. The event was brought in Singapore by Feld Entertainment, who in the likes similarly brought us Disney on Ice and Sesame Street live shows.
Monster trucking itself has a large following and fanfare in the US. The sport, originating from the United States started out through humble beginning where farmland owners started modifying their tractors, and fitting them to jacked up pick-up trucks, giving them a monstrous presence where the name Monster Truck stuck.
The sport itself is huge in the US, spanning almost four decades of racing since its inception in the 1980s and tearing apart any stadium venue with stunts and roars of nitro methane exhaust which the fans adore. Today, Monster Jam is the world’s largest and most famous monster truck tour, and it finally hit our shores as part of their world tour.
Following pre-show warmers, where attendees can come right up close with the 5-ton trucks parked in the event area earlier in the day, the show started with a runaround parade of all the visiting Monster trucks that had touched down upon our little red dot, complete with indoor fireworks and pyrotechnics. Ten of them in total to be exact, ranging from new comer rookies such as Megalodon, El Toro Loco the raging bull to veterans such as Grave Digger.
Monster Jam Arena Panorama following fireworks
The entire National stadium soccer pitch is completely transformed into a dirt wonderland, complete with multiple compacted sand ramps nicely labeled with track markings. No spectator seating was allowed on the lower sectors of the stadium as they are part of the exclusion zone for safety reasons.
The number of trucks are sized based on the show duration and venue, where shows in the States can have more than 20 trucks at any time competing. Not that we are missing out of any of the needed action here, as we are getting quite the selection of trucks here.
This starting welcome run is probably the only time you can hear the sheer power of the 1500 horsepower custom-built 540 CI Merlin supercharged V8 engines roaring in unison, with enough power to even spin all four BKT-sponsored tires from a standstill when floored. Ear protection optional!
The first event was a qualifying lapped time attack, where the fastest truck doing two racing rounds about the arena, inclusive of clearing a jump ramp will come out victorious through an elimination cycle with points earned.
Monster Jam runs an audience-based vote judging system, where all members of the audience can vote via their internet-connected phone through a website, rating the performance of the drives from a scale of 1 to 10. Monster Energy won the first segment, followed by El Toro Loco the bull winning the two wheel standings event.
The event emcee, together with a roaming camera crew captures and interviews driers throughout their progression through the event stages, as well as screening a couple of adventures encountered duirng their stay in Singapore on the stadium big screens, such as a durian eating session for instance.
In the Monster Jam rest intermission, a motocross stunt performance was held. Over 10 motor cross bikers wowed spectators with airborne flips and daredevil stunts after launching off a high ramp at speed in consecutive motions and landing safely at a connecting compacted sand ramp. Check out the stunts!
Back to the Monster trucks, each of the trucks has different body styles, which translates into different handling characteristics, despite having almost identical engine and suspension components.
Few of the more elaborate looking monster trucks landed here includes the Dragon, EarthShaker (a dump truck themed monster truck) and Megalodon (or what I like to call sharky)- The newest member of the family of Monster Jam beasts, featuring large foam fins to create a life-like shark wiggle on the track. The main differentiating factor here of course, will be their drivers, with a combination of rookies as well as veteran drivers.
While one may exclaim that an event with loud blaring supercharged V8 is pure testosterone, one cannot ignore but appreciate the number of lady Monster truck drivers out on the arena tonight too. One such truck is Blue Thunder, a Ford F series monster truck reminiscent of the classic and first monster truck- Bigfoot. We also have Monster Mutt Dalmatian and Scooby Doo trucks both piloted by capable ladies behind the wheel too.
Meet Scooby-Doo, the newest Warner Bros. Monster Jam truck driven by Brianna Mahon which competed in Monster Jam competition bringing the world-famous mystery solving canine, Scooby-Doo into the sport since 2013. The other mutt here in the arena will be the Monster Mutt Dalmatian driven by Candice Jolly, which is the white version of the original “Monster Mutt” truck. Imagine if your family dog suddenly sprouted six foot tires instead of legs and grew to almost twelve feet tall, that’s Monster Mutt for you.
Like Megalodon, both Scooby-Doo and Monster Mutt has wagging tails mounted at the rear of their truck body, with Monster Mutt able to retract it’s pink tongue for added amusement.
Free style event
The last event item was Free style rounds, where each driver have the entire arena at their disposal to do stunts to wow the audience to chalk up as much points in the voting session. Favorites here will include Max-D, and classics El Toro Loco (reminiscent of the old bulldozer truck) and Grave Digger (driven by Jon Zimmer). At the free style climax, both Monster Energy and Grave Digger wowed audiences alike with both of them completing a 360 backflip as well as a number of high jumps over the ramps.
Grave Digger was the brain child of Dennis Anderson, and one of the most decorated Monster Jam trucks in the world with four Monster Jam World Finals championships. It originated in 1981, built out of an old 1957 Chevy Panel Wagon and parts that Dennis Anderson scrounged from junkyards. You can tell there are many Grave Digger fans here by the number of fans spotting the merchandise here.
Monster Energy (Todd LeDuc) won the free style event, who totally gunned this truck during the free style event, clearing jumps so high, you could clear an over an overhead bridge. Monster Energy entered the Monster Jam world in 2012 as a major team sponsor when Monster Energy debuted in Birmingham, Alabama.
When you mix the power of nitro methane with huge trucks, you can definitely expect many adrenaline-filled spectacular crashes and flips. The Monster Jam crew were highly efficient in recovering flipped trucks, often turning them back over using precise control of a front wheeled-loader and whisking the damaged trucks backstage where it is promptly repaired by a dedicated team of mechanics. It is not uncommon for the trucks to be repaired quickly and to be brought out for subsequent competition events with minimal downtime. Commendable.
Monster Jam lasted an entire 2 and a half hours, with the pit visit session sold out and the stadium almost 80% full for the main event. Looking at the rather successful audience turn out, we can expect a very high chance that Monster Jam will possibly return to Singapore next year again.
Till then, stay nitro.
More photos at the Monster Jam Photo Gallery.