World’s most popular monster trucks show off at SM MAll of Asia Arena
Feld Entertainment, the world’s largest producer of live family entertainment, held the Philippine leg of the Monster Jam world tour at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on June 18 and 19, and those who watched the spectacle really got the treat of their life.
Eight trucks – Adam Anderson’s Grave Digger, Neil Elliott’s Max-D, Candice Jolly’s Monster Mutt Dalmatian, Morgan Kane’s Team Hot Wheels Firestorm, Scott Liddycoat’s Dragon, Chad Tingler’s Alien Invasion, Steven Sims’s Pirate’s Curse and Brianna Mahon’s Scooby-Doo – battled it out in the event’s four competitions.
First was the Racing competition that saw the trucks compete in head-to-head, tournament-bracket elimination rounds, with the winner emerging as the Manila Racing champion. Afterward, the drivers wowed the crowds in the fan-judged Wheelie competition, which required them to lift the five-foot-tall front wheels of their trucks off the ground and drive only on the rear wheels before landing back on all fours.
Next, the donut competition had each driver taking a turn on the track to spin their trucks in circles on one spot of the floor, with the fan-judges giving scores based on the driver’s speed and number of rotations. Finally, the drivers showed off their skills in the timed freestyle competition, where they were scored on everything from big air to saves and even carnage. Freestyle is judged on a scale of one to 10 and if a driver could keep the truck in one piece and perform in bonus time, a bonus-time score would also be added to the overall event score.
Aside from the four Monster Jam truck events, the fans also got to see the freestyle motocross or FMX exhibition during the intermission, which consisted of the best-of-the-best local FMX athletes jumping and even flipping through the air on dirt bikes. Meanwhile, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) athletes competed in two heat races and one championship round to crown the overall Manila ATV racing champion. Fans also go to meet the drivers and join the Party in the Pits before each show.
Feels like home
Speaking to Fast Times during the event’s media day on June 17, Feld Entertainment Regional Marketing Director Blake Tatroe said it was the first time that Alien Invasion, Pirate’s Curse and Scooby-Doo performed in Manila.
“Feld is really focusing on international events and it wants to have an annual presence around the world with Monster Jam,” he said. “We pick the trucks according to local tastes. For example, Scooby Doo caters to kids, while trucks like Pirate’s Curse and Alien Invasion signify themes that are universally understood and, thus, aren’t hampered by language barriers.”
Meanwhile, both Mahon and Sims told Fast Times that they were excited to show off in Manila, especially because of the fans.
“We’re trying to bring Monster Jam international and it’s nice here,” Sims said. “We’re greeted by such nice people. It’s almost like being at home.”
Tatroe said this is the second time the event was held in Manila and is one of 20 events in Monster Jam’s world tour, which is double that of last year.