October 2, 2017

MOE Tour: New Orleans



New Orleans was one of my favorite shows of the trip; I guess my first show usually is. One of my friends that I went with got a M&G so the rest of us opted to camp for front row to make sure we would all be together. It was a colorful experience to say the least, though not my best or worst camping experience by a long shot. The weirdness peaked when a lady walked up and asked who we were waiting for. Someone answered “Hanson.” “Oh yeah?" She says. "I’m a breast cancer survivor. See?” and pulled up her shirt before we could reply. I turned my head and thought it felt mildly appropriate that we would get flashed in New Orleans of all places. I thought it was too bad we didn't have any mardi gras beads on us, and maybe that was an insensitive thought under the circumstances, but my sympathy begins and ends somewhere between abstract conversation and unwanted physical proof. I can only guess that maybe she misheard and thought we said “cancer” rather than “Hanson,” but really I couldn’t tell you why admitting we were waiting for Hanson would lead to that reaction. It’s just part of the weird territory that comes with the risk of camping, I guess, or an excellent hearing aid ad. I'm sure it's also reason enough not to camp if that's not your thing.

Taylor and Isaac took the time to come off of the bus and say hi to everyone in line a few hours before doors. They recorded a little bit of Isaac greeting people in footage that we'll probably never see, and they talked about how much they appreciated all of us coming out to the show and how they wanted to do something special for all of the fan club members with the fan club line this tour. Taylor asked me point blank what time I got in line, and I considered lying or at least telling him that I felt like I should lie, but the truth came tumbling out before I could form a wittier response. At least I didn't ramble about the flasher, though it's here now for their reading pleasure should they ever come across it. It's no real secret what we all go through for a great spot at any given show anyway.

Strange line experiences aside, the show was a great start to the tour for us. “Madeline” acoustic was an instant highlight of the night because of the perfect harmonies. Taylor gave a nice little speech about “Strong Enough to Break” and how they knew they could make it as a band because they had already met us fans and knew we would support them. Truthfully I don’t know exactly what he said that night vs. any other night; it’s a speech important enough that he repeated some variation of it every night. It was still meaningful to hear and I think it’s very true that the loyalty of their fans has been an undeniable part of their continued success. I haven’t personally been around to support them since those early years back in 2003-2004 when they broke from their label, but I’m proud to be here now and happy to see their appreciation for how far they’ve come and how they’ve made it to where they are today.

They switched up the setlist a little by adding in a fun cover of “In a Little While” inspired by their own visit to a U2 concert the night before, and “I Was Born” was easily 20x better than when they performed it at Hop Jam earlier this year. I found out this tour that something about "I Was Born" live just puts me in a great mood every single time. I definitely needed it every night after frequent exposure to “With You In Your Dreams," and it felt kind of like being handed a giant piece of chocolate after the dementors are gone.

I don’t normally take videos during shows, but Rockin’ Robin acapella was too good not to share with my non-fan friends back home and felt like a good moment to let a video do some no-explanation needed bragging for Hanson's harmonies.

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We were starving after the show, so we opted to go eat rather than attend the afterparty (crawfish etouffe ftw!). It was still going on by the time we finished and walked back, so we got to attend the last 30 minutes or so. Isaac was hanging at the bar and everyone was dancing and having a good time rather than standing around staring at Taylor. I think by that point everyone who came to gawk had either left or gotten enough drinks in them to loosen up. I walked up towards a big empty space a few rows from the front for just a moment to take ONE picture, just one of the setup, and Taylor immediately pointed in my direction and demanded that I/we/whatever other guilty stand-still parties were in my immediate vicinity “dance! Don’t just stand there!” and started talking about how he didn’t care how stupid we looked as long as we were moving and having a good time. I took it as my cue to drop the phone back in my pocket and disappear back into the shadows in the back of the crowd rather than my cue to bust a move in the spotlight. I'm a little more "Look at You" and a lot less "Give a Little" these days. #standingintheshadows #maybeIcoulddisappear


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