November 16, 2011
Norfolk, Charlotte, Atlanta
Occupy Norfolk wins for being the best occupy group we encountered. They had fliers to hand out and seemed to actually know why they were there, and they were really nice and brought us snacks and brand new pillows without us asking for a thing.
And then there was the incident nobody really understands. Let's just say there was some expired NyQuil, a homeless man, and a lot of confused shouting involved. No one will ever really know what happened that night, but I have a feeling that it may be for the best.
For some reason I really wasn't feeling the show when it started. I felt sick and out of it and generally miserable--perhaps some latent affects of the NyQuil? Or maybe I was just run down from being sick in the first place, but I spent the entire time before the show began with my head resting on the barricade, and it took a lot to not do the same through Charlie Mars's set. Even the first few Hanson songs didn't do it for me, but at some point I got over it and had a good time.
No thanks to the crazy girls pushing in the crowd, of course. I was never directly hit by whoever was doing it, but the girl behind me got shoved into my back repeatedly. Normal at a GA show, right? Except I turned and looked several times to see a whole group of girls being slammed into each other and trying to call for security, but they were too far back for anyone to notice. For a few seconds, it looked like someone was trying to start a mosh pit. I was able to motion to a guard off to the side who finally came over to check out what was going on. As soon as he came and stood over the barricade, about 10 hands shot into the air and all pointed at the same two girls, who then looked around as if they didn't know what was going on. If it were a cartoon, they would have been whistling and looking shiftily at the sky. I ended up having to call security over twice more and I think the culprits were finally removed, but not before throwing a full cup of beer over the barricade and all over my friends, and not before Isaac noticed and gave a brief speech about "watching over" the people around you before starting "Watch Over Me."
Then while we jumped during "If Only," the barricade in front of us rocked back so hard I thought for a second that it was going to fall on us. My friend a few people down with a different segment in front of her said she only ever felt hers shift forward a few inches closer to the stage. The one in front of me literally fell in towards us at about a 45 degree angle before landing back in its original position. I think we all jumped a little more carefully after that.
Out by the bus we thanked Isaac for his attempt to calm the crazies behind us in the crowd, and he ranted with us about how obnoxious it is for people to pay good money to have their time ruined by that kind of behavior. There was talk of hypothetically wanting to punch such people, but I think his mind changed when he thought about the ratio of male to female in the crowd. "Of course, I don't hit women," he recanted with a grin. Neither do I, Isaac. But that doesn't stop me from really wanting to sometimes.
I'll get my rant out of the way first. I HATE Amos' Southend, have hated it since I was unfortunate enough to witness my first full-length Hanson concert there in 2007, and have continued to hate it all five times I've been there. Why? The sound sucks, the lighting sucks, and you can't see from anywhere.
But for all the crappiness of the venue, the guys always put on a particularly good show in Charlotte. And to continue a tradition, this one was a day after my friend Laura's birthday (last year it was on Valerie's birthday). To carry on a different tradition, we surprised Laura with cupcakes and then unceremoniously smashed them in her face. It was a good night.
Little Five Points: home of the weird and creepy. This year we met a girl dressed in pirate attire who introduced herself as a pirate ninja. Funny, I always thought the two were mortal enemies in the books of nerds everywhere, but she clearly didn't follow anything by the book.
I always say the shows are good, but this one was particularly good. The energy of the crowd seemed extra strong, and that can make or break a show. Putting aside all of the amazing energy and crazy dancing for a moment, the one part that stood out to me the most was Zac's performance of "The Walk." Most of the time, Hanson shows to me are about having a good time with friends. I live for the high-energy, upbeat songs, and the deeper moments are few and far between. Something about that song that night though was so perfect that I want to use sappy words like "flawless," "captivating," and dare I say "moving" to describe it. I just stood there and listened and almost forgot where I was until it ended, and I could tell by the looks on the familiar faces around me that I wasn't the only one that felt that way. It's moments like those that keep me coming back.