November 4, 2017

MOE Tour: Minneapolis

Minneapolis was an afterthought that I added after finalizing my other nine shows. A friend offered to let me come stay with her and go together, but I brushed it off at first because it didn't feel worth it to book another flight just for one show. Then that thing happened where I looked up flights out of curiosity, and here we are. Minneapolis became the one place I went this tour that I had never been before.

I planned an extra day for sightseeing, and my host Yelena made sure I had a memorable experience. I got to try my first giant bowl of pho as well as strawberry bubble tea at a great local Vietnamese restaurant. I love trying new things, so I ordered their special and ate all kinds of things that I could identify on paper, but none of which I recognized in the bowl. We had a nice conversation surrounding the identity of one particularly tentacle-looking item (there weren't any tentacles in the ingredient list for this particular dish). I picked out a different unidentifiable piece just in time to realize it was actually my own napkin that I had unknowingly dropped in my bowl. Points for solving that embarrassing mystery before it made it to my mouth, at least. We'll never know what the "tentacle" was, but for what it's worth, it didn't taste like a paper product.

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We also visited Minnesota's largest candy store and the Mall of America. I got to eat my favorite German chocolate, take a picture in a Tardis, ride a Spongebob rollercoaster, and see a random art exhibit made of rainbow string. I loved it all and wish all days off on tour could be so amazing.

Obligatory crazy line story: A homeless man stopped by, mumbled something incoherent, and proceeded to try to pass around the world's largest flask. It's actually kind of a sweet gesture considering how cold we must have looked. Bonus points to the random guy that stopped, accepted the offer, turned his head to take a hearty pretend sip, and thanked him and handed it back. You brought the entertainment, Minneapolis.

Once we were inside for the show, there was a fun mishap where the person behind me didn't realize her full water bottle didn't have a lid. When she tried to squeeze it in her arm to hold it, it gushed all over me and soaked the plaid shirt I had just taken off and laid on the barricade. It was an accident so we all laughed about it, and I was just happy it was only water. I also knew I could leave my plaid shirt hanging over the barricade to dry during the show before needing to go back out in the cold with it, so no harm done.

The setlist had a couple of changes including "I Will Come To You" in place of WYIYD, "And I Waited," and a fun new cover medley of "I'm a Man," "Gimme Some Lovin'," and "Long Train Running" with Taylor playing the congas.  Isaac came close to spoiling the medley for me during our confused setlist conversation back in Norfolk, but I stopped him and told him I'd rather find out for myself. I'm glad I was able to make it to another show and hear it in person; the only downside was not getting to see the congas in action on more songs!

The end of the show--like all the rest--was full of the highest energy songs. Everyone jumped and clapped and used whatever was left of their voices, and Isaac was into it enough that he tossed his water over the front of the crowd to cool everyone off. My plaid shirt got doused for the second time of the night just in time to leave; I guess it just wasn't meant to be dry.

After the show by the bus was one of those awkward setups with a fence and no real way to interact with Hanson. And yet it was happening. People were passing Zac CDs through a small gap in the side of a fence, and he was signing anything that would fit. There were awkward chain link fence selfies and half-anonymous conversations because visibility isn't the best in the dark with a fence in your way. I have to give major props to the fans though because once the crowd died down a little, everyone was pretty considerate with taking turns using that one sad gap to get to Hanson. I had every intention of not bothering, but then everyone was so nice and I realized that I was wearing a blanket, and I thought what other moment will I ever find myself wearing a blanket in public with a fenced-in Hanson? Isaac and I took advantage of the ridiculousness, and I went home with one of my favorite Hanson pictures to date.

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