Relaxed Atmosphere 2012 All Star Event
It’s been 3 years since the last time I made it to the All Star Event. 2009 was actually the only time I’d ever been, and I’ve been wanting to go ever since. I must say, Relaxed Atmosphere sure knew how to put on a great show back then, and 2012 was no different!
Click here to scroll to the bottom and see all of the badass pics now. 281 in total! I promise I won’t be mad if you skip these 1,745 boring words. But when you’re sitting on the toilet clicking on pointless Instagram hashtags, you might as well close the app and read about my 2012 RA experience.
It was pretty much a last minute decision to even go to this show. A bunch of us wanted to go and some backed out, but my buddy Paul had a Street Trucks under construction photoshoot setup at the show for his Cummins-powered, bodydropped Subrban. So needless to say, he was going, and a few more of us jumped on board and made our way down. We left around 7:00 Friday morning and headed for Millington, Tennessee.
After a few quick stops, and making perfect time, we entered the small Memphis suburb and headed straight to… a pawn shop. Nothing exciting (except for a cell phone stun gun), so we made a fast exit and jumped across the street to the Los Reyes Mexican restaurant. We went there last time so we figured, why not. The margaritas were strong and the food was decent, mission accomplished.
With a late notice on going to this show, we didn’t even get a hotel. We knew a couple club members coming in from Texas and Louisiana that had a room, so we made floor reservations with them. They weren’t coming for a few more hours, so we entered drinking mode and hit up a few local bars. I think it went like Donny Joes, The Haystack, back to Donny Joes, Club 5112, then we passed out in the tow pig next to the bar. What a long night filled with too many drinks!
Having all the windows down in the truck and parking next to train tracks made for an interesting way to wake up early on Saturday. It took our four man wolfpack a minute to realize where we even were, then it was off to iHop for breakfast. Starved and with food in sight, we hopped out the truck, and then it began pouring down rain. I seen some people online saying they weren’t going because of the rain associated with the recent hurricane, I think we were glad to get a free pre-shower before breakfast.
At our booth, everyone quickly glanced at the menu and told the waitress their orders. Me being a horrible decision maker, I said come back. That happened for 30 minutes. My friends were saying, “Dude, Alyssa is probably getting pissed, just pick something!!” I finally settled on four slices of turkey bacon and the eggs & hashbrowns my friend didn’t want. Anyways, back to her name. Someone said, “How do you know it’s pronounced “uh-liss-uh”, maybe it’s “a-lees-uh” (as in A Lisa).” That transitioned into us repeatedly playing the hell out of this epic song all weekend! Hahaha. Finally time to hit up the show!
We pulled in through the entrance of USA Stadium and the whole registration process was well organized and fast. No one even had to get out of the truck and there was barely even a line to get in. Nicely done RA guys! After spotting Big Rob (you know, that Aftermath guy with the newer bodied F150 from Texas that has DRIVEN EVERYWHERE over the past year), we dropped off the Burban next to him and headed to the hotel. We all got showers and headed back to the show. Oh, but not before the toilet got severely clogged up! I asked housekeeping for a plunger, and then the toilet still overflowed everywhere. Seriously, I almost puked. I cleaned up the disgusting mess, we used a whole can of Fiji Old Spice deodorant spray, and got the hell outta there!
Once we got all situated at the show, I made my way to buy one of the dope show shirts and try some local BBQ from Quincy’s. The line took forever, they were selling out of stuff, but the pulled pork sandwich was pretty good. After I got the appetite under control, I started to walk around to get my coverage when I noticed my friends were attempting to start up the diesel Burb. I made my way back over just before a large crowd came after they got it running. It was the first time I had seen it run in person and it sounded so badass. Everyone knew what was going on after clouds of black smoke were coming out of the passenger fender. After a couple minutes of awesomeness, they shut it down and off I went to look like a “professional” photo taker.
Just as I remembered, there was a ton of high-quality trucks present, as well as a couple rides I was hoping to see, and several others which were insane. There was music playing all day which wasn’t the greatest at times, but it didn’t really bother me that much. I’ve heard worse at Slamology before. Throughout the day, there were club games, giveaways, and more. I felt like the show had a little something for everyone, but I’m glad, for me (and the MTS fans), it’s mainly a minitruck show. It’s always great to meet up with long distance pals like John from Minitruckin Magazine, Koapono of KP Concepts, Sean & Kristi of Solo Films, and many more. And I can’t forget all the 5,000+ Mini Truck Scene fans out there that say what’s up to me while I’m out and about shootin pics. Without people like you, the fans and followers, there’d be no reason in doing any of this. So… THANKS!!
Back on topic, the show was starting to shut down around 5pm so we were gearing up to leave. A golf cart rolled up to our tent and had a few guys with raffle tickets. I really didn’t want to buy any because I was low on funds, although I did clean up at Camp & Drag somehow. But instead of giving us a hard sell on some prizes, they told us the sad story of a guy who’s 15-year old daughter had been in a very bad car accident and they were raising money to help with her medical bills. They didn’t have to say much after that to get me reaching for all the cash I had on me. $20 later, I was the proud owner of 39 tickets, but more importantly, I gave what I could to help out a young girl in need. (If you are reading this and have any information about a donation account that is setup, maybe a Paypal account or something, I can pass the link along to all the Mini Truck Scene fans out there to try and raise more money. Simply send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do all I can.)
My buddy met up with Jason Mulligan from Street Trucks and they had a spot picked out for the shoot. We loaded the beast back on the trailer and rolled out. Another food stop (Backyard Burger) and then we made our way to an office building parking lot behind the host hotel. He was already shooting a super clean, blue No Regrets Sonoma so off came the non-driving project. We got it all situated and then he snapped away. (I took a short iPhone video of it running if you haven’t seen it already.)
15 minutes later, we were loading it back up, as well as taking notice of some crazy storm clouds rolling in. As soon as we got back in the truck and pulled out of the lot, boom, instant tornado weather. I know there was a severe thunderstorm warning and tornado watch, but if there was a tornado warning, I would have definitely believed it! Pulling into the Super 8 hotel, we seen our friend’s trucks in the car wash next door. We decided to join them until the rain passed, but we never really left. The car wash bay made for a nice, low-key party spot. After awhile, people started heading back to the room, so we figured we might as well catch up on some sleep from the night before.
Sunday morning came fast, like it always does. We shot the shit in the room (nothing to do with the toilet incident from the day before) for an hour or so and traveled back over to the show venue. A lot of guys had already made their way home or at least had their rides loaded up on their trailers when we got there. Normally we head out early too, but we had thought about hitting up Beale Street in Memphis that night. We changed our minds but stayed for the raffle and awards anyways. Soon after, we cleaned up our area and loaded up the rest of our stuff. Then it was off to one more trip to the Mexican spot. No alcohol and the food was sub-par this time, oh well. We shook our club members’ hands, said our goodbyes, and we started our journey back north.
This was my 5th minitruck show of the year and it was definitely worth the 9 hour drive down. Tennessee shows always seem to be some of my favorites. If you’ve never been, be sure to hit it up next year. I’m sure it will be way bigger since it will be their 10th anniversary of the show. If you don’t have annual Labor Day plans every year, you should hurry up and make this a must attend event. I know we’ll be back next year, and I’m sure everyone who didn’t go will read all this, see all the photos, and kick themselves. So you’ll get to see all those people next year too. Haha.
I’ve got one more show left on my 2012 show schedule and that’s Dropt & Destroyed up in North Canton, Ohio. It’s October 6-7 and it was a blast last year. So make sure you figure out how to make it to that show and party with us and all those crazy Canadians! Until then, keep on being a minitrucker and doin minitrucker things!