December 14, 2008

Going once, going twice, going three times, going four times...SOLD!

I was losing faith that my Spring Awakening ticket for NYC would sell since we're down to about 2 weeks before the show, and no one seemed set on buying it. Over the past 2 weeks, I've had 2 people contact me and say they were interested, but both were sparse in communication and ended up backing out. Then today, a third person contacted me, but backed out when I told him the price ($50--exactly what I paid). Around the same time I had been communicating with person #3, person #4 messaged me and seemed to be interested as well. I've talked to so many people I don't even remember that person's reason for backing out. Then person # 5 responded, within the same hour as persons 3 and 4, stating she wanted the ticket. As I'm finally working out the paypal details to sell to person #5, person #6 sends me an email with a phone number saying he's definitely interested as well. So the moral of this story is when it rains, it pours, though honestly I'd have totally deserved losing the $50 after I was stupid enough to accidentally buy a ticket to NY!

December 5, 2008

Spring Awakening--A Little Less Hanson, A Little More Crazy

Ok, so this is a little detour from Hanson. BUT, it still deals with me being a fool and not caring, specifically with traveling absurd amounts of miles to see a show. So, with that connection made, meet my newest obsession:

If you know nothing about it and care to educate yourself, wikipedia has a pretty good description.

Apparently I've been living under a rock for the past year or two because it's been around for a while and seems to have been wildly popular and won lots of awards, yet I never heard about it. I recently discovered it because I also recently discovered the awesomeness that is Kyle Riabko(who plays the lead, Melchior, in the play)--but that's another story.

At this point, it's pretty clear Hanson has successfully desensitized my traveling judgment. "Close" has more or less become an entirely relative term, only functioning in relation of the closest a given act (namely Hanson) comes to me. So while researching Spring Awakening, I decided I was interested in going to see it on tour, at it's "closest" stop to me, which turned out to be Tampa, FL, and really not that close at all as it is about a 9 hour drive from me. Aside from Hanson, I blame it on my dad, who never leaves his chair in our living room. Mom always complains that we never travel, but never really does anything about it. Well, I'm doing something about it. Who wants to sit around and read about something neat when you could be experiencing it for yourself? That's my rationalizing, anyway.

So I did what I've done before with seated Hanson concerts: I reasoned in my head that if I could get a good enough seat, it would be worth the trip. And when I got up early for school one morning and found the last on-stage seat available up for grabs, I jumped on it without too much thought, just so ecstatic at the thought of not only experiencing this play I've been obsessing over, but experiencing it from the side of the stage! Apparently, for this particular play, there are 26 on-stage seats (3 rows on the left, 2 on the right--if you're looking at the stage), literally just feet away from the action (think having a chair 8 feet off to the side of Isaac, or just behind Taylor's piano). And even cooler than that, the cast is mixed in with you; any time a cast member is not in a specific scene, instead of heading backstage, they head to a designated seat mixed in with the other audience seats on stage. So not only are you experiencing the play from the stage, you're sitting mixed in with the actors/actresses. Pretty cool!

Here's where things take a turn. I returned from school that day, still on a high over getting the last stage seat, with the intention of further researching stage seats and their awesomeness. I went back to my confirmation email to go to the theatre website and check out some shots of the stage when I saw it--in my crazy, sleep deprived excitement, I've somehow managed to purchase a ticket to the BROADWAY version rather than the TOUR version, quite possibly the biggest OOPS I've ever singlehandedly been responsible for. I kid you not, folks, I managed to accidentally spend $50 on a ticket to NY instead of FL, the complete opposite pole of the country!

After a day of freaking out, re-reading things over and over trying to make it somehow have been an error in reading rather than an error in judjment, it's clear the mistake is mine. This day is followed by another crazy day where I immediately post the ticket for sale, drive home for Thanksgiving break, and somehow decide in that 2 hour drive that it is reasonable for me to just fly to NY instead. Ha. So I went back, threw out an apology, and stated that I was going to try to go to the show. Two days and two angry parents later, I decided that really, going to NYC alone in December is probably not the best plan for me. I legitimately gave up on going to NYC and set out to sell the ticket (which, btw, hasn't gotten me very far--any takers??)

At this point I've wasted $50, proved to my parents that I am more crazy than they already knew, and had within my grasp and lost a pretty amazing seat. I don't give up so easily. I decided the simple solution was to sell the NYC ticket and purchase a ticket to Tampa for real this time. Slight problem--all of the good seats in Tampa are gone, and having had a stage seat in my hand, as well as my original rationalizing being that I could go if I had a great seat, it hardly seems worth it. So I dive into backup mode: I started thinking about futher off shows that have good seats left or have yet to go on sale, and what times of the year I have time off where I would be able to travel to see this show (And here I recognize another way Hanson has spoiled me--I now have a craving to constantly be up close and personal at shows). Spring break seems the most reasonable, and I find that the show will be in Cleveland, OH over my spring break.

Again, I decided if I could get an amazing seat, the trip would be worth it. After doing lots of research into the whole on-stage seating setup, I think I've got a good idea of what the best seats are. So lo and behold, I pull up on-stage tickets for Cleveland, and I somehow managed to pull up the exact ticket I had more or less idolizing in my head and seeing as unattainable, the one that in my opinion (speculation, of course, since I haven't experienced it) is the best seat on stage and elsewhere, for that matter. This seat is front row and the absolute closest to the front of the stage. After a little more cautious investigation this time, I finally do have a truly amazing seat and a more reasonable plan (though I do still have a NYC ticket I need to get rid of!!). Cleveland, here I come!

Here is a seating chart:

The seat I have now is AA4. And for swooning purposes, I just have to add that AA2 is where the lovely Kyle Riabko will be sitting (that is, when he's not wowing the audience on the actual stage, which is most of the time I'm sure). The seat I originally had for NYC was AA13. Translation--significant upgrade, and all is well again.

End Note: No worries, this is still a Hanson blog; don't expect this to be a regular occurrence. In March, though...expect some swoonage. Also, anyone wanna roadtrip, Hmm? March 6th?

November 9, 2008

Catching Up Part 3: Charlotte & Falls Church 2008

Charlotte was originally supposed to be my last show of the tour, but you know how things go. Someone calls you less than a week away from a show, presents these really rational sounding reasons to go (like "Hey, let's go see Hanson in Falls Church!"), and BAM! You're accidentally driving 10 hours to see Hanson again. Oops.

Charlotte (Oct. 10, 2008)

I was really excited for this show because like I said, it was supposed to be my last of the tour, and it was also the show most of my friends would be at. Unfortunately, I had a Shakespeare midterm at 1:00 PM in Charleston the day of the show, and there was no way I could get out of that, so I had to miss the walk and be in line pretty late (same exact thing happened last year; that's what happens when they play the same place exactly a year apart).

We all found each other and got in line a bit later, with the goal of heading to the balcony since we were so far back. I actually had a friend up at the front of the line who had camped out and had somehow managed to save #9 for me and have everyone around her ok with it, but I felt bad taking that spot so I didn't. We all ended up at the very front of the balcony, which had a pretty obstructed view because of the weird placement of the speakers. I couldn't see Isaac at all, but I thought it was a fair trade since even having been front row several times, I've never had such a clear view of Zac. I'm SO glad we were in the balcony instead of the crowd. I got really hot, I was feeling sick, and the guys didn't even hit the stage until around 11 PM, plus it was nice having room to dance. I actually left during Zac's solo of "Where Did it Start?" and got something to drink; I felt that terrible. It was nice to be able to sit on the floor between acts.

The setlist and show were amazing (but still does't come close to Asheville! which, btw, is still the best concert I've been to so far). It's so weird, because I was listening to MON on the way to Charlotte, and I started thinking how cool it would be to get to hear Thinking of You live, but then sort of brushed it off thinking it would never happen. So when I heard those opening chords, I went a little crazy and forgot how sick I was feeling. I know it's been played a few times on this leg at this point, but this was the first time they pulled it back out, so I really had no clue it was coming. It was exciting hearing Lay Me Down and Use Me for the first time, too. They played Never Let Go, which sent most people over the top in excitement. I hate to poop the party, but I've never really understood the big deal about that song, other than the fact that hearing it live is fairly "rare." Isaac gave some longish introduction about a song about being on the road, and I don't think any of us knew what it was leading up to. It turned out to be Leave the Light On, which was kind of exciting, and it was just the 2nd time they've played it live (I was there for the first time back in ATL '07, too). It was a pretty good show/setlist, and I enjoyed being in the balcony way more than I expected.

Luckily, being directly next to an exit had the slight benefit of getting a good spot by the bus after the show. I had absolutely nothing to get autographed, not even a ticket stub since these were e-tickets, so I decided to try for a picture. Zac was really awesome that night and from what I've heard, stayed out making sure he signed things and took pictures with just about everyone who was interested. So I got a picture with Zac, which is the only picture I've ever had with just me and a single Hanson. After seeing the picture, I decided that I look like a 12 year old and that I've sworn off headbands because of it, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't wearing one right now.

I also got a picture with Austin, who was the only person from EBE I didn't snag a picture with in Louisville.

We had fun hanging out back in our hotel room knowing that it would be the last time we'd all be together for a while. Of course, we're all crazy, and I think the majority of us who had Charlotte as our "last show" ended up going to ast least one more. And just for the sake of randomness at its best, on our way back from Charlotte driving through rural parts of NC, we encountered a random Hanson sign which we had to stop and take a picture of, as well as an upside-down plastic cow with duct tape around its mouth.

Falls Church (Oct. 28, 2008)

Like I said, this was a spur of the moment trip. I always tell my parents everything, but part of me wanted to plot and try to go to either Chicago or the last few California shows, so I opted not to mention this random trip to Virginia because I knew it would hurt my chances to go anywhere else (side note--as it turned out, Chicago and Cali didn't work out). So I drove from Charleston to Myrtle Beach Monday afternoon, and we left for Falls Church as soon as I got there. We picked up another fan along the way and ended up in FC around 1 AM and were #s 28-30. Unfortunately, the low was in the 30's, and it was raining. We decided to brave it, and we pitched the only tent while everyone else stayed in their cramped (but dry) cars. It wasn't too bad in the tent, no worse than a car I'd say, with the added plus of being able to lay down. Unfortunately, Whitney's side of the tent started leaking at some point, and she had to go get in the car.

It was pretty cold the next day, and REALLY windy. We left the tent to go to starbucks at one point, and when we came back, the tent had moved a good 6 feet. I wore leggings under my pants, a long sleeve thermal shirt, a fleece pullover, a peacoat, a scarf, a hat, and gloves, and I was still cold. There were others in just sweatshirts. I'm a wimp when it comes to cold weather, I know. Whitney even took the walk wrapped in a blanket. The guys came out all bundled up for the walk, too, Isaac in a scarf and hat.

The walk was interesting, and at the last second I decided to remove my shoes and socks, which is an odd feeling when you're wearing a scarf and gloves. It was like walking on ice, and was more painful than I expected. The halfway speech was held in some random little grassy area with trees--not at all what I was expecting. As I was making my way into this area, I heard a familiar voice yell "Don't step in the poop!" and realized Zac was two people down from me, and we were indeed all headed for a surprise left by someone's puppy. The guys all stayed out, chatting with fans, taking pictures, and autographing things for a good bit after the walk, which is not something I've witnessed so far at any of my shows. I got really annoyed when I noticed Zac politely talking to one girl as she was completely ignoring what he was saying and posing next to him taking pictures while he was talking. We got through the walk registration line fairly fast, then moved on to clean our feet and find a bathroom. It felt weird leaving the crowd knowing the guys were still just wandering around, but I really didn't have anything to be signed or have anything specific to say (though I later kicked myself for not requesting Dancin in the Wind when I had the chance).

When we got inside, Whitney and I split up because she was set on being in the center (which meant 2nd row), and I was set on being in the front row, even if it meant being a bit blocked by the piano. I was extremely disappointed in the crowd around me during the opening acts, because no one around me seemed remotely intersted in them. One person near me even yelled "HANSON!" while Dave Barnes was talking, and I considered yelling "Dave Barnes!" back. I was happy to see the crowd liven up when Hanson came on stage, but I still feel like my part of the crowd was more dead than usual for being up front. I was really excited when they started playing "Take Our Chances," because I was behind Andi in line, and she told us she requested that song before we ever went inside. I knew wherever she was, she must be ecstatic. Fire on the Mountain electric was also really exciting for me, b/c it's probably my favorite Hanson song, and I've only ever heard it acoustic until this show.

After the show, we got in the car and took off because two of us had to be back in class the next day. So we drove all through the night, and I made it back to Charleston just in time to take a shower and a 30 min. nap in hopes of not passing out in class after having been awake for 2 days straight (if you think I can sleep in a tent, you're wrong). This was definitely one of the crazier things I've done for this band, but at the end of the day, I sleep way more often than I see Hanson, so I feel like it was worth the sacrifice.

November 7, 2008

Catching Up Part 2: Nashville & Louisville 2008

Since I'm out of old blogs to post, I'll have to write some new stuff about the shows I've been to recently. I did Nashville and Louisville back to back, and I roadtripped with some friends I made at the Asheville show back in May. I can see myself going on a lot of trips with these girls in the future, because they're awesome. So:

Nashville (10/3/08)

My friend Whitney met me in Charleston Thursday afternoon, and we headed for Knoxville, where several friends would be meeting us to make the rest of the trip. Six hours later, we arrived in Knoxville and made the spur-of-the-moment decision to camp out for Nashville. So 3ish hours after that, we laid down our sleeping bags in front of the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, and occupied #s 12-20 in line. I have a sleep disorder though, and really, I didn't sleep at all. There wasn't much line drama, accept for one couple who decided to just stand at the front of the line about 30 min. before doors, which is just unacceptable when we've all slept outside (thankfully they were persuaded to leave by some angry fans). We all ended up occupying a good chunk of rows 1-3 right in front of the piano during the show. I was really excited to hear Get up and Go live for the first time, because it's been one of the songs at the top of my "must hear live" list. We all went crazy and did the Macarena during Can't Stop (don't ask, I don't know whose idea it was, but it was genius), and I can only imagine the look on Taylor's face if he happened to see. It was an awesome show, especially being up front right there with all of my friends.

Louisville (10/4/08)

We all headed out of Nashville around 2 AM with the intention of driving until we couldn't drive any more. For 2 carloads of us, that meant stopping at a rest stop and sleeping. For me and my insomnia, it meant resting for 20 min. at a rest stop and then driving the rest of the way to Louisville. There was a point where I was getting exhausted and my eyes were shutting, and the two people in my car were passed out and not helping, so I prayed that I would find a rest stop because I knew it was getting dangerous to keep going. So God laughs by sending me a CLOSED rest stop about 2 seconds later. But then, all of a sudden I'm getting passed by Hanson's tour bus, which for whatever reason is driving with emergency flashers on. This woke me up a good bit, AND gave me a literal goal to follow until I could find a rest stop. We made it into Louisville a little before 6 AM, and the city was dead. There was no one in line (this was where they had "Camp Hanson" set up inside), and we couldn't even find the front doors to the venue. We decided to rent a cheap hotel room and just sleep until the other girls in our group arrived, but alas, 2/3 of us in the car weren't 21, and the one 21 year old had left her ID in one of the other cars. We must have driven around for about an hour looking for a cheap hotel that might accept someone under 21, and then drove around in search of parking. When we finally ended up inside, I passed out in a chair for a few minutes before we were all sent back outside at 9 AM. 

The show was the earliest I've ever seen. Doors were at 6, and just as we got into our spots in the venue, Everybody Else came on stage and started playing (which is absurd since I was #45 or something in line...most people were still outside). EBE actually got kicked off stage during their last song. They got a few chords in, then said "Just kidding! Apparently we're out of time." My friends and I were directly behind the handicap barricade (which was one of those pull-out elastic thingies--worst barricade ever!), which put us about 4-5 rows back in the crowd, but with no one in front of us. It got kind of crazy, though, being next to that flimsy elastic barricade, and we slowly ended up inching further into the handicap space because of the pushing of the crowd (the handicap area took up about 1/6 of the floor space, and there were only TWO people in it. I have no idea what the venue people were thinking). Some girl behind me was practically laying on me, so I looked around and noticed no one was pushing her and she even had some space behind her. I pointedly asked her if someone was pushing her into me since she was so close. She looked confused and said no, so I said "Then can you please get off of me?" and she left me alone for the rest of the night.

I spent the first few songs and most of the opening acts being really stressed out about the crowd and the barricade, but I finally got over it and enjoyed myself. I was excited to hear "Deeper" for the first time, and I somehow ended up with my first guitar pick when Isaac threw one out during "Great Divide." At one point, a girl I had met in line came past me looking sick and heading for the handicap section which would give her room to breathe. I gladly moved aside so she could get out, but unfortunately she ended up putting a stool directly in front of me and staying, completely blocking my view. I felt kind of rude, especially since it was a nice girl I had met in line earlier, but I felt that it was very rude of her to take advantage of the handicap area and then block my view entirely. I did get her to inch over a bit, but that was all. Before they played Soulshine, Isaac mentined a girl they had met last year and how she had been going through some rough times. It was one of the girls in the handicap section, and he ended up dedicating the song to her and personally handing her a guitar pick. It was so sweet! I don't know the girl's story, but I felt so happy for her with what Isaac did. Overall, it was a good show, but this one is probably lower down on the list. I guess the crowd killed it for me a bit.

P.S. I'd been wandering all day what the top of Taylor's hat said, and I finally saw it clearly at the bus after the show:

Kudos to you if you know what "Ba La La" means. I don't.

Catching Up: The Walk Tour

Though this blog began in Nov. 2008, I started writing down notes about the shows I went to after my very first show in 2007.  Myspace hosted my first show reviews, and though my Myspace page is long gone, I saved those blog entries.  Instead of writing a new post for this site, I'd like to simply share the original, excitable, marginally embarrassing first responses. Below are two excerpts from Myspace in October 2007 and May 2008. These blog posts cover my first six Hanson shows: Charlotte, Atlanta, and Savannah on The Walk Tour in fall 2007, and Asheville, Myrtle Beach, and Durham on the spring leg of the Walk Tour in 2008.

Excerpt from an old Myspace blog, posted on October 21, 2007 after going to my first 3 Hanson shows:

Clearly I had an awesome week because I saw Hanson in Charlotte, Atlanta, and Savannah. It's a good thing I can't afford to follow them more places because I'd totally do it.

Charlotte highlights: *My first official Hanson Concert *Getting to go with 3 friends * Showing up an hour before doors and still being in the center *The whole setlist- esp. Every Word I Say, On the Rocks, Rock 'n' Roll Razorblade, and Joy to the World (3 Dog Night cover)

Atlanta highlights: *Meeting some cool people in line * Doing my first barefoot mile * Being in 3rd row * Hearing Zac's "Oh Darling" Beatles cover * Hearing a never-before heard Isaac solo * Hearing Taylor cover Elvis's "Love Me" * Almost getting in a fight with some drunk girl...more of a lowlight I guess

Savannah Highlights: * Driving around downtown Savannah for 45 minutes before finding parking * Hanging out with some more great people * Blistering my heel from barefoot walk #2 on hot pavement * Having Zac jump out from beside me and try to scare me (he didn't). *interviewing the band * Zac's random off-the-wall, made up on the spot poem* Getting front row against the stage about a foot in front of Isaac * Having the obnoxious drunk girl pried off of my back by security during MMMBop * Hanson & Locksley coming out to do the encore, "Long Way to the Top"* The awesome pictures I took * Leaving the parking garage after it closed and not having to pay * Getting a $180 speeding ticket on the way home...another lowlight. ...anyone care to join me for some similar awesomeness next time they come back?

Myspace Blog #2, posted on May 11, 2008:

Here's another installment. I just got back from seeing Hanson in 3 concerts in 3 days (Asheville, NC, Myrtle Beach, SC, and Durham, NC). It was all pretty special, because of course they're all within traveling distance, but the dates turned out perfect. Asheville was on May 5th, exactly 1 year since I saw them live for the first time. Myrtle Beach was on May 6th, which is a hometown show AND Hanson Day (I know you're all beyond laughing at this point, so just go with it). And Durham was the final show of the tour AND was on my 20th birthday. I couldn't have planned it any better myself.

Asheville (May 5, 2008)

Asheville was probably the best concert I've ever been to. The whole experience was wonderful. I camped out for the first time (along with 50 other people as crazy as myself), which was an experience in itself. I got front row, and the setlist was KILLER (Magic Carpet Ride, Never Let Go, With You in Your Dreams, Coming Back for More, Let's Get it On... I could keep going!). But aside from that, I met some awesome people. I was absolutely shocked when they showed up with my favorite kind of cupcakes for my birthday! Thank you SO much ladies! It's hard to keep faith in the fan base with so many crazy obnoxious people around, but these girls just proved that there are still some awesome people worth knowing out there. I also got to talk to Zac on the walk and tell him about our fundraiser, which was pretty exciting. The SC ST had been working together for a while to raise money for HIVSA in honor of Hanson playing our state on Hanson Day. Katie told him he should donate a dollar to us, so he pulled out his wallet and donated $20!

Myrtle Beach (May 6, 2008)

First of all the fundraiser went pretty well. Unfortunately the guys were running late and the walk had a HUGE crowd, so we weren't able to get their help again. But overall we still had lots of people donating and helping out, and it was a success.

I ended up being 3rd row on Isaac's side and could still see pretty well. It was another awesome show. Once again the setlist was one of the better ones I've seen/heard, and I was shocked and delighted when they played "Money". The guys looked like they were having a blast, especially Isaac. He came out during one of the SK6ers songs ("Start the Day Early"), and served up shots of "moonshine" to
all of the 6ers and himself. I was having so much fun that it completely slipped my mind that it was my birthday at midnight until I got a few text messages with birthday wishes. I wish I had paid attention so I could remember what song they played at midnight. After the show I went out by the buses and got Isaac to autograph my ticket stub.

Durham (May 7, 2008)

It was yet another good show--with the added plus of being the final show of the tour as well as my birthday. It was a seated show and I had a front and center ticket (right behind 3 rows of pit seats, so I was row A but technically 4th row), so I had a perfect view. It was awesome. Zac played my favorite song from The Walk,"Fire on the Mountain," that he pretty much never plays live. For the Sk6ers final song, they played "Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing, and all of Hanson and their crew (techs, backup players, tour managers...EVERYONE) came out. It was probably my favorite performance of the night. Some of them set up a table and pretended to play poker, some came out drinking beer, and the rest came out with air soft guns shooting each other. They kept throwing out cards from the "poker game", and I got one! It was one from the Hanson caricature deck, a King of Taylors. I guess I can say that technically Hanson gave me a birthday card lol! Taylor was even running around the stage with either a phone or a camera, repeatedly taking myspace style pictures with everyone. Hanson's final encore was a cover of "Feelin' Alright", and they brought out the Sk6ers and Kate Voegele and her band. It's not my favorite song, but I can't say I paid too much attention to it when everyone except Hanson and Kate came out in their underwear. It was a pretty awesome way to end a birthday and a tour.

And on top of it all, they filmed all 3 walks and shows professionally, so I really hope it will surface soon and I'll get to relive such an awesome week!

First Post!

Woo hoo for new blogs! Boo for it being 1:30 AM and after all of my recent Hanson shows. Maybe some time I'll make a sort of catch-up post for all of the stuff that's missing so far. Not today, my friends. Not today. Here's something I recently wrote after one of those generic you've-been-to-more-than-one-hanson-concert-therefore-you're-crazy comments. Kudos to you if you make it to the end without falling asleep.

Normal, over-achieving student + _____?_____ = Crazy, obsessed sidewalk sleeper.

I’m not sure exactly when or how it happened, but I’ve recently noticed that I’m a crazy Hanson fan. Maybe I redeem myself a bit by acknowledging this fact, but one can only hope. Ok, so it’s not like I woke up one morning in a panicked realization that I had been sleeping on sidewalks and ambling barefoot through cities completely unaware; it was more of a process over time. I’m curious, though, how one makes the transition from your average, overachieving teenager, churning out A+ papers like it’s a job, to your average, crazy Hanson fan, driving hours and hours on no sleep, forgetting to eat, walking barefoot in big cities, and churning out A+ papers inside a tent after sleeping on a sidewalk (I lie here. No matter how many times I drag Shakespeare along for the ride, I can’t make myself do homework in line). Clearly, something’s been going around, and I’ve caught it (see, it even weaves itself into my off-hand humor—and if you’re not a Hanson fan, you’ll have no clue where the joke lies in that statement).

But seriously, what could possibly have the power to turn a seemingly normal, intelligent person into a mock-lunatic? My first thought is that “darn good music” should fill in the blank, but that simply isn’t a good enough answer. After all, if that were true, wouldn’t more people who have heard Hanson’s music be crazy just like me? What is it that turns some of us into diehards and leaves others unscathed? It’s almost drug-like in nature. It’s not the simple craving you get for cake-batter ice cream, that, if over-indulged, leaves you sick and praying to never as much as hear the phrase “cake-batter ice cream” again. It’s more like a drug addiction, like there’s something addictive in the sound waves, something at a pitch that only some of us can hear, but when heard, we’ve got to have more. I know I’m not helping the perception of my sanity with this analogy, but it’s close. Eleven concerts, seven states, and about a zillion hours of driving later, I’m still craving more. I swear someone should create a documentary about it all because it would be an interesting study. It’s not like I’m alone in this behavior. I’m not the one nut of the bunch that Hanson knows by name, like my non-fan friends tend to think. Oh no, far from it. I know people who have been to plenty more concerts than me. In fact, I’m fairly mild as a Hanson fan. There’s a core group of people that travel to just about every show, camping out on sidewalks regularly. Outside of that core group are hundreds and hundreds more who, like myself, camp out on occasion and go to all of the concerts near (ok, relatively near) them when they can.

Case in point: the earliest I’ve ever arrived in line for a concert is right at 24 hours before doors. There were 42 people already in line when I arrived. I’m not trying to rationalize my behavior, but my point is that there’s an army of us; I’m not the lone lunatic in the bunch (though those do exist in more extreme forms—but that’s another discussion for another time, and I’d rather not overwhelm you when you’re just starting to realize the extent of my craziness). And most of the people I know who do these things are smart adults with college degrees, good jobs, and all-around common sense. Whatever it is, it’s an interesting phenomenon that takes all of us normal people and turns us crazy. I won’t complain, though. Honestly, I don’t care if I somehow stumbled onto some radioactive Hanson CD that made me crazy, because I like it this way. True, it’s a bit of a drag when I’m walking into class after 48 hours of being awake, 20 of which were spent driving. But believe it or not, it’s worth it in my mind. As long as I’m not reaping some type of physical or emotional detriments, and my grades are staying up, I’m not seeing a real problem. If I flunk out of school, lose my job, am unable to pay bills, or start sleeping on sidewalks for fun in my downtime, by all means, color me crazy! Get me some help! But if the only source of harm and negativity is coming from bashing from people who think I’m nuts, then I say bring it on. No offense, but I almost pity the people who think I’m nuts because it’s obvious they’ve never felt a passion that could match my passion for Hanson for anything, or else they’d understand.