October 5, 2017

MOE Tour: Nashville & Birmingham

I already gushed about how much I loved the setlist in my first post about this tour. Unfortunately, loving the same setlist seven times in a row doesn't really translate well into writing seven completely different blog posts about the music. This is how I wound up writing my first double "show review" where I didn't actually mention the shows. Oops. I promise I enjoyed them and they were worth every minute and penny; I just won't bore you by telling you how much I loved "Fired Up" again (oh wait, yes I will. It's great).

So here you go, a show review about everything but the shows in Nashville and Birmingham.

My friends kept saying something about bachelorette parties on the way to Nashville, but I didn’t think much of it until we were there and I witnessed it for myself. They started a bachelorette count when we showed up around 3pm, and by the time we went home, they had counted at least 20 separate parties. I had no idea that Nashville was the Vegas of the east, but now I’ve seen undeniable proof. It was a Saturday and there was some kind of food festival going on, so downtown was packed with people. Pedal bars drove up and down the street all day long; one finally had the foresight to blast MMMBop as they pedaled by just before doors. Every bar and restaurant had their doors propped open with the sound of live music pouring into the street, which left us hearing a mix of no less than seven different songs at any given moment. It might be the only time I’ve ever been glad to get into the show to get away from all of the music. I can’t even imagine the chaos a walk would have added to the mix.

We enjoyed a low-key show from the balcony and feasted on fried pickles right up until show time. I got to spend this particular show with an old friend I hadn’t seen in a while which was more memorable for me than any specific moment or song.

Most memorable show moment: getting to hear "I Don't Want to Go Home" for the first time on tour, complete with Zac's PG-13 altered first verse.

The bus crowd after the show was a little wild and we wound up leaving before any of Hanson came out. Someone from one of the 20+ bachelorette parties had an inflatable doll that was pretty inappropriate for the little girl standing next to it, and someone had the weirdest fan sign I’ve ever seen in my life. It featured Zac’s face and body photoshopped in next to what I assume was a picture of the girl holding the sign, and both were in a laying/sleeping position. It read “I’ll be With You In Your Dreams,” and I hope there was a better explanation than the ones going through my mind when I saw it.

We got some sleep after Nashville and headed to Birmingham the following morning. It was scorching hot for the first half of the day and poured rain in the afternoon. My umbrella did double duty protecting me from the sun and the rain, and I felt justified in my packing choices when I got to break out the rain boots and rain jacket. Several people told me I reminded them of “It” because of my yellow jacket and red umbrella reminiscent of Georgie’s iconic single red balloon. I bought it all before the remake came out, I swear. We played Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle themed UNO with some strangers in line, because why not? I wish I had exchanged info with the girls because they were really nice.

A post shared by Holly (@_hollywouldnt) on

The crowd at the Birmingham show was a little rowdy. One of our UNO friends had a M&G but got pushed out of front row by someone that came in after them, so that was really disappointing to find out. Someone passed out in the middle of the crowd before the show even started, and a police officer who was there got called over to deal with some mild argument about a 2nd row spot. After that, the officer ended up stepping up on the barricade and passing out bottled water because it was packed and and getting hot.

Most memorable show moment: getting to hear “A Song to Sing” in place of “With You In Your Dreams.” 

The bus crowd after this particular show trumps my previous weirdest bus experience in Phoenix from last tour. Everyone was loud and excited and quite possibly drunk. Zac came out first and playfully screamed at the crowd which just riled everybody up more and made them scream back louder. I was standing on an end past where the barricade ended, and when he came our way there was a surge from behind and I almost got pushed into him. I got pushed so far into his personal bubble that I ended up just turning my back to him for lack of anywhere else to go while he tried to reach for items to autograph from the people behind us. It was too crazy out there to try to trade places with people and take turns like I would in a calmer situation.

Here's exhibit A of what I mean: When I turned to face the crowd behind me, I realized that a fan I didn’t recognize had her arm wrapped around my friend Holly’s neck, cell phone in hand, trying to angle her phone just right to get Zac in the background of a selfie. Holly had a confused and shocked look on her face, and I blurted out something to the effect of “Can you let my friend go? I want her to live.” The girl immediately let go and apologized profusely; turns out she was just so excited at seeing Zac that she honestly didn’t realize she had snaked her arm around Holly’s neck and was close to choking her in the process. I lost it at that point and felt right at home in the chaos standing there laughing so hard I was crying and snorting with my back completely turned to the reason I was out there in the first place. Security had a little bit of a better handle on things by the time Taylor came out next, but I watched him sign a tree-shaped air freshener with a reaction like it was just another copy of any of their albums, so I can’t say it got any less weird. Isaac came out last and made me cry laughing again with a single sentence: “Sorry guys, Taylor definitely won’t be coming out tonight." That's funny, I could have sworn I just watched him smell someone's autograph.

We ended up walking to Waffle House because we were starving and apparently not ready for the weirdness to end. Our waitress had a nametag that said "Baby Mama," and that is indeed what everyone was calling her. A homeless man came inside carrying a bouquet of flowers and tried to offer it to the staff and then some other customers and told us he had just taken them from a hospital. All of our meals were supposed to include bacon, but Baby Mama asked my friends if it was okay if I got the last piece because the kitchen ran out. Then another homeless man came in asking for food and said he didn't mind if it was sautéed, grilled, or filleted (in that order!), and we started side-eying him hard for accurately quoting "Dance Like You Don't Care."

And people ask me why I go to the same show over and over again. This could never get boring even without an ounce of music.


Unknown said...

"And people ask me why I go to the same show over and over again. This could never get boring even without an ounce of music."

^^^That's the best, because it's so true. It's the music but it's also so much more than the music. Also that picture of you and Holly is hysterical! Stagedoor really brings out the weirdest in people. And I love it.

Jamie said...

Hi, Holly, I stumbled upon your blog after I saw the (old) video of you dancing with Taylor during Give a Little. I was at the Nashville concert this year, and I ran into Ike and Zac before to the concert. When we asked Zac to take a picture, the first thing he asked was, "Are you with a bachelorette party?" He relaxed and seemed much more comfortable once we told him no. I don't know if women don't realize how off-putting that is or if they just don't care. We were directly behind the girl with the blow-up doll at the bus. One other fan kept telling her off, and she eventually left before the guys came out. We did stick around and Zac and Ike came out for a while, but Taylor was no where to be seen. I think Zac and Ike distracted everyone so that he could sneak onto the bus. We were so frustrated because we got to the bus at 10:30, and Taylor didn't tweet that he would be doing the after-show signing until 3 a.m. because he was sick. I completely understand not signing autographs or talking to fans if you aren't feeling well, but I don't understand why he waited so long to tweet it out.

I'm so jealous of all of your travels. I wish I could, but it just doesn't work with my job. I'm enjoying your blog, and I'm so glad I found it.

Holly said...

Jamie- it's nice to hear from someone that stayed longer so I can hear how it all turned out. I'm glad they didn't have to deal with the blow up doll after all, and if it took them that long to come out (or not, in Taylor's case), I'm glad I didn't stick around. I've definitely had times where I waited for hours and none of them came out, so it's always a question of how long do I wait, and is this worth it. Hopefully next time you'll have a chance to greet Taylor, too. Thanks for reading & commenting!