Charlotte (Oct. 10, 2008)
I was really excited for this show because like I said, it was supposed to be my last of the tour, and it was also the show most of my friends would be at. Unfortunately, I had a Shakespeare midterm at 1:00 PM in Charleston the day of the show, and there was no way I could get out of that, so I had to miss the walk and be in line pretty late (same exact thing happened last year; that's what happens when they play the same place exactly a year apart).
We all found each other and got in line a bit later, with the goal of heading to the balcony since we were so far back. I actually had a friend up at the front of the line who had camped out and had somehow managed to save #9 for me and have everyone around her ok with it, but I felt bad taking that spot so I didn't. We all ended up at the very front of the balcony, which had a pretty obstructed view because of the weird placement of the speakers. I couldn't see Isaac at all, but I thought it was a fair trade since even having been front row several times, I've never had such a clear view of Zac. I'm SO glad we were in the balcony instead of the crowd. I got really hot, I was feeling sick, and the guys didn't even hit the stage until around 11 PM, plus it was nice having room to dance. I actually left during Zac's solo of "Where Did it Start?" and got something to drink; I felt that terrible. It was nice to be able to sit on the floor between acts.
The setlist and show were amazing (but still does't come close to Asheville! which, btw, is still the best concert I've been to so far). It's so weird, because I was listening to MON on the way to Charlotte, and I started thinking how cool it would be to get to hear Thinking of You live, but then sort of brushed it off thinking it would never happen. So when I heard those opening chords, I went a little crazy and forgot how sick I was feeling. I know it's been played a few times on this leg at this point, but this was the first time they pulled it back out, so I really had no clue it was coming. It was exciting hearing Lay Me Down and Use Me for the first time, too. They played Never Let Go, which sent most people over the top in excitement. I hate to poop the party, but I've never really understood the big deal about that song, other than the fact that hearing it live is fairly "rare." Isaac gave some longish introduction about a song about being on the road, and I don't think any of us knew what it was leading up to. It turned out to be Leave the Light On, which was kind of exciting, and it was just the 2nd time they've played it live (I was there for the first time back in ATL '07, too). It was a pretty good show/setlist, and I enjoyed being in the balcony way more than I expected.
Luckily, being directly next to an exit had the slight benefit of getting a good spot by the bus after the show. I had absolutely nothing to get autographed, not even a ticket stub since these were e-tickets, so I decided to try for a picture. Zac was really awesome that night and from what I've heard, stayed out making sure he signed things and took pictures with just about everyone who was interested. So I got a picture with Zac, which is the only picture I've ever had with just me and a single Hanson. After seeing the picture, I decided that I look like a 12 year old and that I've sworn off headbands because of it, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't wearing one right now.
I also got a picture with Austin, who was the only person from EBE I didn't snag a picture with in Louisville.
We had fun hanging out back in our hotel room knowing that it would be the last time we'd all be together for a while. Of course, we're all crazy, and I think the majority of us who had Charlotte as our "last show" ended up going to ast least one more. And just for the sake of randomness at its best, on our way back from Charlotte driving through rural parts of NC, we encountered a random Hanson sign which we had to stop and take a picture of, as well as an upside-down plastic cow with duct tape around its mouth.
Falls Church (Oct. 28, 2008)
It was pretty cold the next day, and REALLY windy. We left the tent to go to starbucks at one point, and when we came back, the tent had moved a good 6 feet. I wore leggings under my pants, a long sleeve thermal shirt, a fleece pullover, a peacoat, a scarf, a hat, and gloves, and I was still cold. There were others in just sweatshirts. I'm a wimp when it comes to cold weather, I know. Whitney even took the walk wrapped in a blanket. The guys came out all bundled up for the walk, too, Isaac in a scarf and hat.
The walk was interesting, and at the last second I decided to remove my shoes and socks, which is an odd feeling when you're wearing a scarf and gloves. It was like walking on ice, and was more painful than I expected. The halfway speech was held in some random little grassy area with trees--not at all what I was expecting. As I was making my way into this area, I heard a familiar voice yell "Don't step in the poop!" and realized Zac was two people down from me, and we were indeed all headed for a surprise left by someone's puppy. The guys all stayed out, chatting with fans, taking pictures, and autographing things for a good bit after the walk, which is not something I've witnessed so far at any of my shows. I got really annoyed when I noticed Zac politely talking to one girl as she was completely ignoring what he was saying and posing next to him taking pictures while he was talking. We got through the walk registration line fairly fast, then moved on to clean our feet and find a bathroom. It felt weird leaving the crowd knowing the guys were still just wandering around, but I really didn't have anything to be signed or have anything specific to say (though I later kicked myself for not requesting Dancin in the Wind when I had the chance).
When we got inside, Whitney and I split up because she was set on being in the center (which meant 2nd row), and I was set on being in the front row, even if it meant being a bit blocked by the piano. I was extremely disappointed in the crowd around me during the opening acts, because no one around me seemed remotely intersted in them. One person near me even yelled "HANSON!" while Dave Barnes was talking, and I considered yelling "Dave Barnes!" back. I was happy to see the crowd liven up when Hanson came on stage, but I still feel like my part of the crowd was more dead than usual for being up front. I was really excited when they started playing "Take Our Chances," because I was behind Andi in line, and she told us she requested that song before we ever went inside. I knew wherever she was, she must be ecstatic. Fire on the Mountain electric was also really exciting for me, b/c it's probably my favorite Hanson song, and I've only ever heard it acoustic until this show.
After the show, we got in the car and took off because two of us had to be back in class the next day. So we drove all through the night, and I made it back to Charleston just in time to take a shower and a 30 min. nap in hopes of not passing out in class after having been awake for 2 days straight (if you think I can sleep in a tent, you're wrong). This was definitely one of the crazier things I've done for this band, but at the end of the day, I sleep way more often than I see Hanson, so I feel like it was worth the sacrifice.