May 16, 2012

Tulsa 2012: No Sleep for Banditos

It's that time of year again, the time when I inevitably find myself in Tulsa. I flew this time, bringing my driving vs. flying ratio to an even 3:3. The trip was off to a great start with a two hour drive to Charleston where flights were cheaper and my best friend was willing to provide carsitting and chauffeur services free of charge. From there I had to practically run to my connecting flight in Atlanta that boarded a mere 5 minutes after my first flight landed--in a different terminal, of course. It always is. Thank God the sick kid on my flight waited until 15 minutes before landing to vomit on the plane.

My luck carried over to my friends when we found Beth's keys locked in the car at the hotel after they picked me up. We got rained on a lot waiting in line to check in the next day, and waited an ungodly four hours in line at the I <3 Hanson store later that afternoon. Major props to Hanson and their staff for keeping the store open late for everyone that waited in line for so long. The last fans didn't get out until around 10:30 that night, even though the store was supposed to close at 8. Let's pretend I didn't wait four hours and only buy one shirt.

The movie night was fun, maybe even moreso than I expected. Everyone was quoting TT&MON and it turned out way more funny than annoying. I could have passed on MONA, mostly because I was there so instead of enjoying the performance I was stuck scanning the crowd for myself and people I know. It was like trying to watch a movie but knowing your friends are extras in the background. Still, this was my 5 year anniversary since seeing Hanson for the first time and MONA was that very first show for me, so it was a nice sentimental moment anyway.

The block party was fun because it gave us all a reason to be in one big place and hang out, but aside from the lemonade stand and the merch booth, it didn't seem like people were buying much. I did enjoy the "Activity Bison" and made my own contribution despite a complete lack of  artistic ability (I contemplated writing something inside the buffalo to "make it my own" as per the instructions, then realized people at the tiny table might kill me if I sat there taking up time and space composing a paragraph). I got hot and maybe a little dehydrated and was ready to go back to the hotel room after that, but it's hard to do that when you travel in a huge group and the group keeps disappearing. I stood around miserable for a few minutes wishing they wouldn't take so long. Turns out they were all down the street by 3CG icing cupcakes to surprise me with since my birthday was on the 7th (I would've been born on Hanson Day, but I guess I was already running on Hanson time).  Since this is the 3rd time they've done this, you'd think I might start to catch on. Maybe next year.

[Insert lengthy ramble narrating all pointless line drama]. I originally explained all the pointless line drama, then I realized that it was, well, pointless. Come away from this knowing that the staff tried to enforce the 6:30 line up time, for which I am grateful. Things didn't work out so well and there were a few stampedes and clusters so everyone ended up jumbled. In the end it was a pretty level playing field in my mind since there were several hundred people there shortly after 6:30 and we all essentially waited the same amount of time anyway. I would have cared a lot more about all the cutting and pushing and stampeding had it been a regular show I had waited hours for. I didn't, and those that did weren't supposed to. It's not worth the word count I originally gave it.

Later staff picked people out of the line to sit in prominent places since the event was being filmed. It's not my favorite thing in the world, but it happened at MONA and it happens all the time in any live broadcast with a studio audience. I wasn't incredibly surprised or offended, again especially because we all essentially waited the same amount of time--it wasn't like I camped out only to have people show up later and get front row. Some of the people picked were already in front of me anyway. The people chosen were lucky; most of us that were left in line were not. It's life. I was, however, EXTREMELY disappointed hearing everyone tear apart the appearance of those selected, and the loud boos that followed them into the venue when they were let in first. I can't imagine a single person that "booed" would have said "Oh no, no thanks. That really wouldn't be fair to the others!" if they were asked.

The show was great. I got to hear so many songs I had never heard live before, and a few favorites I had. The video of Hanson at Mayfest in 1992 was one of the most adorable things I've ever seen, especially mini Hanson playing air guitar. Rain was great. Think was great. All this Love Crap was double great because my friend Holly #2 is the one that suggested they write it in the first place, and she was there to see it. I enjoyed the video clips to go along with the new EP songs, and Be My Own is growing on me every second (Isaac on the glockenspiel FTW).  I messed up the TBS dance worse than I can ever remember, but then I realized it was because Taylor was simultaneously messing up the TBS lyrics worse than I can ever remember. We recovered during the chorus and moved on. They said they would probably do another event in the fall in Tulsa for fan club members to hear their new songs for 20:12, and I'm thinking I'll be back for trip number seven before the year is over if I can help it.

We stood around and talked a lot after the show, saying goodbyes to friends that were leaving and trying hard not to leave ourselves. We wandered around to a bar in the area that had live music, probably just avoiding the inevitable. A few minutes later we headed back towards Cain's to meet up with some friends at a different bar and instead spotted a crowd of people waiting outside the venue door. It was really crowded so I didn't have much hope of them staying out long enough to reach us, but we ended up talking to all three Hansons and getting pictures with each. I accidentally led Isaac into doing his famous Kermit impression (FUTY, Isaac?) and may or may not have done an abbreviated version of my Charlie Mars impression for Zac.  It was so nice of them to brave the swarm outside and to take the time to take what had to be hundreds of pictures that night. They and their staff really gave us so much of their time and energy this weekend.

We ended the night with a chocolate milk party and started our final day as any good day should start, with cupcakes and chocolate milk in bed.

Tulsa trip #7 in the fall?


Anonymous said...

Great blog Holly! I always love reading these!
- Kaytee

Anonymous said...

Love your blog! I am so jealous, yet so happy for you! Hoping to be in Tulsa this fall for the MOE...