November 11, 2009

Birmingham 10/26/09

This got I'm making headings. You're welcome.

The Line
This was my last show of the tour, so it was bittersweet. Since there was a day between the Orlando and Birmingham shows and we had to be out of our hotel by 11 AM Sunday morning anyway, we decided to camp out for Birmingham. We arrived the night before the show, maybe around 9 PM? I honestly don't remember. There were only 3 girls there already, so we were numbers 4-7. Only two more people showed up to camp shortly after us, and no one else arrived until the morning. It was definitely the calmest line I've ever seen at a Hanson show. By around 5-6 PM, there were still only around 60 people in line, and no one was trying to skip. Someone who arrived around #60 asked for a number, and we hadn't number anyone past the 30s or 40s, so I had to go through and number everyone in between. I expected some people to decline, but everyone was really carefree, and even those who didn't actively WANT a number had a pretty "whatever" attitude and let me number them just to make the others happy. The line worked really well, and I can't speak for what happened beyond where I was in line after doors opened, but we had no trouble at all.

The Walk
The walk was at a really nice campus and the weather was great. I'm pretty laid back about the walks; I almost always end up in the very back, and it's not a goal of mine to initiate random conversations with the guys. So when everyone was gathering at an entrance they thought Hanson would come out of at the beginning of the walk, my friend and I chose go to sit on the fountain a good 30 ft. away. It seemed like a good idea because A) I could sit while waiting and B) I could stand on the fountain ledge to get good pictures of the crowd. What happened instead was the guys came out where the crowd had gathered and walked straight on past to the fountain and gave the speech about 2 feet away from us. Totally didn't see that coming! As the walk started, apparently Taylor found a professor and a class that was meeting outside, and proceeded to take the professor's shoes off for him. I'm not at all sure how this was initiated, all I know is I saw Taylor bending down in front of the man, then saw that his shoes were off once Taylor got up. Others around me confirmed that he had in fact removed the guy's shoes. The teacher and class then proceeded to get up and walk with us. Best class ever! Unfortunately, my friend started feeling bad partway through the walk, so we headed back to the starting point to wait rather than finishing what turned into an uphill walk. After the walk they came inside and performed Great Divide and Where's the Love acoustic. Some guys in the back yelled out "Play MMMBop!" and Hanson looked pretty annoyed. Taylor shot back with something like "Did you guys even take the walk? Walk a mile barefoot and THEN we'll do it," but then the guys responded yes, they had taken the walk, which I think threw Hanson a little bit and elicited a much less sure "Well, you'll have to come to the show tonight to see it."

The Crowd
The show had a pretty laid back crowd, too. We were front row in front of Isaac, and we knew the girls behind us so they left some space between the two rows so there was actually room to sit between sets and dance and just breathe in general. I even left my spot to use the bathroom one, something I've never tried before and may never get the luxury to try again. Unfortunately, there was a little drama when a guy tried to bring himself and a handful of girls with him up front. As soon as he made it to where I was, that weird part that Hanson seems to bring out in me came out and I stepped in front of him so he couldn't get through. Everyone around us ended up telling them to leave and yelling at them to the point that security got involved and finally supported us and made them leave, which was pretty awesome. I don't think security cared much but I honestly think they were a little afraid of the way we were reacting and what might happen if they were allowed to stay.

The Show
The show was really fun because our part of the crowd had great energy, and I was probably wilder than usual just because it was my last show. There was a girl with a professional camera in front of the barricade (NOT the hnet reporter, she was front and center behind the barricade), and I noticed her taking a few pictures of the crowd, so I'd love to see them if they ever surface. After Steel Train's set, I asked one of the guys for a setlist, but apparently they don't use them (which makes sense since they play the same set every night). Oh well. Though my part of the crowd was pretty into it, I don't think the crowd as a whole was very energetic and Hanson seemed a little less into crowd participation as well, but maybe that's me misinterpreting things. I should mention that the stage was the highest stage I have ever seen in my life, so that kind of limited the Hanson/crowd interaction, at least physically. It literally came above my head; I remember joking about how horrible it would be if there was crazy pushing because I would end up underneath the stage. Though I really didn't foresee any hand grabbing or coming down off stage because of its height, Taylor proved me wrong when he started leaning over the edge to grab hands. There was a slight step down onto some other big platform between the stage and the barricade that wasn't as long as the stage. I have no idea what it was, but it came up to about my chin and stopped maybe 6 inches to my right. When Taylor came to the end, he took my hand in what I thought was just a brief hand grab, but then he proceeded to use me as leverage to jump off of the big platform and onto the floor, where he ran back around to the side of the stage to get back in his place. It caught me completely off-guard and I let go of his hand sort of mid-jump because I didn't realize what he was doing (once again, trying not to be that weird fan that Taylor has to pry from his hand), so I'm glad he's capable of jumping a good five feet without falling on his own. The finale was awesome and so sad. They covered "Sweet Home Alabama," and Steel Train and Sherwood came out--I think this was the first all bands on stage moment of the tour (of course minus HGB, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), so that made it even more exciting. Though I've definitely heard the song multiple times and am familiar with it, I really don't know any of the lyrics besides the title. I overheard some girls saying Isaac had messed up the lyrics, but I really couldn't tell you. It sounded fine to me :) I think the camera guy came out to film it, and Taylor definitely had a camera phone out near the end, so I'm hoping they'll eventually post some footage--maybe a FUTY--but at this point, I don't see it happening.

It was a good show, and it took all of my responsibility and willpower to drive myself the 8 hrs back to school rather than the 2.5 hrs to Nashville where I knew Living on a Prayer was going to be played, but I sucked it up and headed back home. And so ends another epic tour. But in the words of Levar Burton--I'll see you next time! :)

Orlando 10/24/09

The drive to this show was a bit crazy not only because it was our 3rd show in 3 days, but we had to do an 8 hr drive on no sleep. I'm completely aware of how crazy this sounds, but I won't deny that it happened. Fortunately it helps to have 4 people who can switch off. We left Myrtle Beach around 1 AM, drove the 2 hrs to Charleston, showered at my dorm (and I packed), and hit the road again around 5 AM. We made it to Orlando with only minutes to spare, but we managed to make it to the walk. It was in the upper 80s and everyone was ridiculously hot and sweaty. The walk was on a college campus, so afterwards the guys did a TTW book signing and sang Great Divide and (I think?)Been there Before acoustically.

We were tired and not interested in wasting more money on PTL, so we went back to the hotel to relax for a while. We freshened up and lazed around, and I personally passed out for a good 20 min. nap unintentionally. We finally left to get in line about an hour before doors, and I stopped and got a peperoni pizza pretzel in downtown disney beforehand. Let me just say--YUCK! The HOB ended up letting people with walk stamps get in the PTL line, just like what happened in Chicago. I think it's a really nice way of rewarding the people who took the effort to go out of the way to get to the walk, and to discourage those who choose to stay behind at the venue out of fear of losing their spots.

We opted to stand on some stairs rather than go for 4th-5th row so we could see over heads (I'm 5'2"--it's either the front or the back for me). I kept migrating within our little 5 ft radius trying to find the best view, and I ended up losing it to a really tall girl, but that was my own fault for being so decisive, and my view was good for the most part. It was a little annoying having so many people wanting in and out of the crowd constantly, so I had to keep moving and pressing myself up against the people around me to let them out. Some drunk guy came back at one point and started to fall next to me, so I had to grab his arm and yank him back up so he wouldn't just camp out on my feet, and in his condition, I think that would have been his final destination if we hadn't intervened.

The show was good; Hellogoodbye got more energy out of the crowd than at any other show I saw. Once again the only song I had never heard live was the Isaac solo. He played Everyday and dedicated it to Nikki, who was apparently watching from the window upstairs. He said something along the lines of "this one is for a very special lady; she knows who she is" and then pointed at his wedding band and looked up at the window with this huge grin. So cute! Like I said, Isaac is holding strong this tour. I had actually never heard this song period, and I thought it was really beautiful. You could tell he really had his heart in it since Nikki was there.

We really wanted to get a good spot by the bus, so we decided to see what the encore was and then leave if it was something we had already heard. It turned out to be If Only, so we stayed long enough to get one good set of jumps in, and then ran back to the car to get cameras and stuff to get autographed (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie for me). NEVER again will I do this. I wouldn't say we missed something completely epic, but apparently during the break in the middle of If Only, they threw in the entire song Something Going Round! I would have loved to have witnessed that, and it kills me that I was sitting outside doing nothing while this happened like 10 feet away. Oh well, this is how you learn lessons I guess. They ended up not coming out at all, which is what further teaches me not to skip out early--it might not be worth it. We did end up meeting a really nice girl who had just rediscovered Hanson and was really excited about the show, so I had fun talking to her and remembering all those same feelings just two years ago.

The day ended with us falling into bed, which was an AWESOME feeling after the lack of sleep from the last few days. Just to put things into perspective...After Charlotte, I drove back to school and slept for about 5 hrs, and after Myrtle Beach, we had no sleep at all, so this was my first significant amount of sleep in about 3 days, and it was glorious.

November 10, 2009

Myrtle Beach 10/23/09

I was really excited for this show because it was in my hometown and two of my less crazy friends came (one who is a mild Hanson fan, and one who I think was there purely out of interest of watching me to see how I act at a Hanson show). Since I already missed 2 M/W/F days of school for Hanson, I decided to do the responsible thing and go to my classes in Charleston that day before the show. I got out of class at 1, so there was no way I could have made the walk. I'm really disappointed, though, because the walk ended up being at Coastal Carolina University; a TON of my friends from high school go there, and it's located in Conway, which is REALLY my hometown. And how many times will Hanson be in Conway in the future? Probably zero. I was also the only person to receive flyers for the MB show, and I put a TON of them up at CCU, so at least I helped promote even though I wasn't there.

Since I went to school and we didn't want to shell out money for PTL or CTB, Rachel and I arrived around time for doors and ate in the HOB restaurant to wait for the line to go in. I'm not used to intentionally planning to be in the back at a show, but it was pretty fun and much less stressful (though nothing beats front row). My friends and I ended up in the very back bar, but the view was still pretty good, and HGB, Steel Train, and Sherwood all ended up coming out and having a massive dance party back there as soon as Hanson started playing Oh Darling, and it lasted for the rest of the show. I even joined in during Lost Without Each Other, at which point I don't know what my lesser eccentric friends were thinking, but I probably don't want to know and honestly don't really care. They already knew I was crazy; they just hadn't properly witnessed the side effects.

The show was great; I had a lot of fun dancing in the back with my friends. I also got to hear Isaac sing Being Me, a song that I had only heard 2 or 3 times period, and never live. I really enjoyed it, and if I haven't already said it, Isaac was just ON this tour. He was always grinning and really into whatever he was doing at every show I was at. The guy's obviously got something good going on in his life, and it shows.

After the show, we went out by the buses and my friend Holly and I attempted to get "Holly sandwich" pictures with the guys. We managed to get one with Zac and one with Taylor, but we never saw Isaac (though I hear he came out at the last minute while we were off throwing cupcakes--but that's a story for later).

Aside from the awkward sandwich banter, Zac was really talkative that night. He stuck around and talked to my friends for a couple of minutes. He talked to us about what shows we were going to and seemed specifically interested in how many more Rachel was doing. He asked where I was from, which was kind of ironic since we happened to be in my hometown at the time. Rachel also asked him about when the Cali members event would be, and he told us that it would be on Nov. 6th and that more info was going to be posted the next day. My friend Laura also called him "sir" and he shot back with something about how he can't be referred to as "sir" until he has a half-grown child lol.

After we got our pictures, we went back to my car to dive into some chocolate cupcakes I had made for Laura's birthday. We took some really awesome pictures (okay, LAURA took some really awesome pictures), and we "caked" her with a cupcake in honor of all of the caking we had seen over the past two days (I forgot to mention that the show ended with Will caking himself). It was a great show, but it was one of those that I'll probably remember more for my friends than for Hanson themselves, which is one of the reasons I love this band so much--they've inadvertently introduced me to some awesome people.