September 15, 2018

String Theory: Denver

Denver was kind of a one-off accident. I never planned to go when dates were announced, but on a whim I decided to look at tickets after they went on sale. The venue looked interesting with seating in multiple layers in a circle around most of the stage, and I was shocked to find that there were cheap seats still available directly next to the orchestra. They were behind Hanson, but I knew they would offer an unforgettable view of the symphony. I bought a pair "just in case" and figured I could always resell later, and if not, a $29 ticket wouldn't be a huge loss. Pro-tip: buying Hanson tickets "just in case" is basically sealing the deal that you're going.

After going to two String Theory shows where it was a struggle to hear the orchestra at times, I knew I didn't want to let my "front row orchestra" seats go. I ended up going, and I'm glad I did. (Let's be honest though; you'll probably never hear me say "I ended up going, and I wish I didn't. That's when I'll know it's time to move on).

I also ended up at a last-minute baseball game with a friend the night before the show, because why not? I'm not really into sports, but baseball is the one I understand the most, and there was the promise of ice cream sundaes in plastic baseball caps. I convinced myself to choose random life experience over naps in a hotel room, and in the spirit of winding up places I never really meant to be, I'm glad I ended up there, too. Go Rockies?

The orchestra experience was everything I've wanted out of String Theory from the beginning. I'm not sure if the superb sound was due to our seat location or the acoustics of the venue, but the sound was without a doubt better than the other String Theory shows I've attended. (A few videos I've seen from mid-crowd lead me to believe the sound was overall better everywhere). We were so close to the orchestra that we could literally read the sheet music over the shoulders of the bass players, and the parts that had been harder to hear before were easy to pick out. We referred to them as the "spoiler seats," and I'm so glad this wasn't my first show because we would have known every song before the last one was finished.

The unexpected best part, though? The conductor stole the show--from our vantage point, anyway. In addition to conducting the orchestra flawlessly, he had the most animated facial expressions and gestures and is clearly passionate about what he does. Don't ever make the mistake of thinking an orchestra can't rock out; we saw living proof, and not just from Hanson. We had huge grins plastered on our faces at several times throughout the show because we couldn't help but love his energy, and I kept hoping nobody was going to look over and wonder why the crazy girls in the corner were laughing during a somber moment. Sorry, Hanson. This is the one where I fangirled over the orchestra more than you.

After the show was over, Hanson came out for a final bow and a surprise acapella chorus of "Weird." They didn't do this at all in Vienna or Columbus, and Pittsburgh got the chorus of "This Time Around." I'm curious to see if they'll continue doing this at future shows and keep choosing different songs from String Theory for each one.

As for the ongoing standing vs. sitting debate, Zac said something in the beginning of the show about sitting back and listening to the music that made me think it was a polite suggestion setting the tone for people to sit. Most of the crowd stood around "I Was Born" at the end like at previous shows, and Hanson seemed ready for it at that point, too. I think we're starting to find our normal for this tour. I'd give Denver an A for consideration to blocking views (one random girl that stood the entire time mid-crowd is keeping them from an A+), and maybe a B-/C+ for catcalling and outbursts. And "Something Going Round?" We stayed 100% silent at the end. I suppose Vienna was an anomaly to remember after all. 

This trip helped me knock a few unexpected things off my anti-bucket list, including my first MLB game and getting to sit behind Hanson for an entire show. I flew home straight into hurricane warnings and packed up and evacuated less than two days later, and my planned 3-day weekend has now grown to an unplanned 9+ day hurrication and counting. In other words, I'm safe and have no more excuses not to write this blog post.

For a closer look at the song choice/storyline, check out my first String Theory post here.

1 comment:

Mel said...

There was a VERY annoying "cheer" from the girl sitting behind us. I'm sure you heard it.