I wish I’d had a camera the time we went to the Monster Spectacular in Quebec City.
Everyone – and the Colisée Pepsi has a capacity of about 15,000 – was wearing blue jeans. There were different shades and different styles, but they were all blue and they were all jeans. It was truly something to see in a packed hockey arena.
Generally we go to the rally at the Olympic Stadium. It is always within a thousand seats of sold out (and has a capacity north of 65,000). Because it’s held in October and April, we’re often competing with the Habs.
It works, though, because every time a goal’s scored at the Bell Centre, they flash the score at the Big O and the crowd – high on motor oil and jet fuel and pot fumes – goes crazy. Crazier. It was all about hockey in Quebec City, too. A dirt bike team in Habs jerseys raced a team in Nordiques jerseys. I’m sure it wasn’t fixed, but … the blue won.
We were at the home of the Senators last night. They reminded us of that … once. The arena was about two-thirds full (it holds about 19,000). The announcer tried desperately to get everyone worked up. Trev and I are pros. We yelled. And every time we yelled, we got flustered or downright dirty looks from those around us, even from the kids.
But I really knew we were out of our element in the Ottawa crowd and in for a completely different truck-rally experience when the MC said: “I want you all to be very quiet,” and they were. They were silent.
It took a jet car to get the crowd going (after the intermission). Older children finally screamed, in joy. Younger children screamed in terror, overcome with jet-fuel fumes. It was great.
Other than screaming children, it was just like being at home: I had to get up to get my own beer. No skinny teenagers hawking lukewarm draft in the aisles. I mean, my Canadian tasted better but – I had to get it myself!
What really suffers at an arena when compared with a ball field is the freestyle. The trucks have a strip of five cars to blow over. No school buses, not a lot of room to build up speed. There’s no chance to show off finesse and style. So what a driver has to do is, like Avenger, go nuts with donuts and flames or, like Brutus, flip over and need to be rescued by a peer. What’s great about a show in an arena are the parts that have nothing to do with monster trucks. We saw cycling stunts (link goes to my YouTube video) for the first time, and for the first time in an arena, Demo Dave performed a Wall of Steel Crash. (Link goes to my YouTube video)
I’d say last night’s Spectacular is the quietest show I’ve ever been to, and I’m including that mime I saw on the street last week. What was great about our trip was the journey: Me and Trev in the car with Vinyl Café on the radio and miles of road before us, heading to one of my favourite cities in the country. There will be more on that, and on friends and architecture. But not tonight.