May 25, 2014

Hanson Day 2014

Hanson Day/Hop Jam 2014 was by far the busiest experience I’ve ever had in Tulsa. Over the course of the weekend, we were treated to:

I took approximately negative four pictures this trip. Here's one of
the Hop Jam area filling up hours before the show.
-Individual lectures by Isaac, Zac, and Taylor
-Group photos
-“State of the Band” talk by all three brothers
-Full-length fan club exclusive show
-Afterparty DJed by Taylor
-Free public show at the Hop Jam festival
-Beer tasting & food trucks
-I  Hanson pop-up store
-Are You Listening art gallery
-Underneath Acoustic Live movie screening
-Fan Club & Street Team dinners
-Bowling (I passed on this one because I’m cheap and I can’t bowl)
-Blue Dome Arts festival
-Mayfest (I passed on this one because there are neither two of me, nor more than 24 hours in a day)

The lectures provided a rare glimpse behind the normal Hanson curtain. Isaac showed us alternative arrangements to several songs from Underneath punctuated by a really goofy sense of humor and lots of chicken jokes (yes, chicken humor). Zac had the guts to use pre-selected audience suggestions to record a brand-new song right in front of us that he wrote in like an hour. (You try telling a room of 1,000+ girls to “Shhh!” while you’re recording!) And Taylor’s photography lesson wasn’t really a behind the scenes look at their music process, but it was neat to watch this really talented musician do something else he loves for once.

I found this great typewriter key necklace at the
Blue Dome Arts Festival. I also found that if your
name begins with an "H" and you're a Hanson fan,
people will assume you got it for the band.
As expected, the fan club show was my favorite part of the weekend. It’s always a little weird to stand front row and rock out to a song you’ve never heard before when you’re so used to knowing every little inflection of every word in every verse. My initial reaction to the new EP songs was that “White Collar Crime” should be played as often as possible, and maybe back to back with “You Can’t Stop Us” some time if Zac’s lungs and arms can handle it. My door is always open for “Down,” “Stories,” and “Sunny Day.” And perhaps the biggest surprise of the night for me was just how much I got into “Waiting for This,” which I’ve heard about a million times in a million places, but it just felt so familiar and fun and right in that moment. It belonged on that setlist. The afterparty felt a lot like a bad prom in a good way—complete with the awkward wallflowers and a crowd sitting idly in the bleachers, but with the added bonus (for some) of alcohol actually being allowed. It was an event about us and not the band.

I don't think anyone knew what to expect for Hanson's first attempt at hosting a beer and music festival, but based on the thousands of people that showed up and the fact that ALL of the craft beer from all vendors sold out, I'd say the first annual Hop Jam was a major success. The 21+ area was packed full the entire time it was open, just wall to wall people filling the street wearing cheesy beer glass lanyards (I'm looking at you, Isaac) and hoping to discover a great new taste. I'm sure many of them found it in MMMhops.

My weekend was packed with Hanson, friends I didn't get to see enough of, and some really good macaroni & cheese (Joe Momma's FTW!). I will never, ever (EVER) complain of having too little to do in Tulsa again. All jokes and fake whining aside, it was a great time and I’d do it all again. Let’s be honest—I will do it all again.

You can check out some other perspectives about the weekend by Miranda from The Good Groupie here and here, and one from Melanie Kristy here.

At the risk of sounding sappy, I’m incredibly proud to call myself a fan of a band that works so hard at what they do. I don’t mean to be a suck-up, Hanson-can-do-no-wrong kind of fan because let’s face it, something will always go wrong (and sometimes “Hanson Time” feels like it has its own daylight savings time to push even “soon” yet another hour behind). Despite any potential negativity, it comes down to this: my favorite band rocks. I love their willingness to try new things, and their risk to branch out from what’s safe, known, and expected to put together something bigger and better every time. They throw themselves into everything they try full-force with undeniable enthusiasm and passion, and it's a formula that hasn't failed them yet. They’re some of the most hard-working people I know, and I haven’t even touched the topic of music yet. Say what you will about them or about me for that matter, but I couldn’t have picked a better group of guys to support.


Unknown said...

Hi Holly!! It was great working with you last weekend. I am so bummed its all over. Its such an empty feeling only Hanson fans feel prerty much. You know what mean. I am enjoying reading your blogs. You have creative writing skills.

Holly said...

Thanks, Melissa! I enjoyed working with you too. Hopefully we'll see each other again next year :-)

Unknown said...

I love the final paragraph best! We are truly a very lucky group of individuals that decided to follow such a great band! Always great seeing you and working with you as well!

Brittany D said...

Well said in the last paragraph! And I am so glad to have met you!

breakmydreams said...

I want to go to Hanson Day one year *sighs*
But so glad to hear about your fun because it makes me feel like I was there with you :)