November 11, 2009

Birmingham 10/26/09

This got I'm making headings. You're welcome.

The Line
This was my last show of the tour, so it was bittersweet. Since there was a day between the Orlando and Birmingham shows and we had to be out of our hotel by 11 AM Sunday morning anyway, we decided to camp out for Birmingham. We arrived the night before the show, maybe around 9 PM? I honestly don't remember. There were only 3 girls there already, so we were numbers 4-7. Only two more people showed up to camp shortly after us, and no one else arrived until the morning. It was definitely the calmest line I've ever seen at a Hanson show. By around 5-6 PM, there were still only around 60 people in line, and no one was trying to skip. Someone who arrived around #60 asked for a number, and we hadn't number anyone past the 30s or 40s, so I had to go through and number everyone in between. I expected some people to decline, but everyone was really carefree, and even those who didn't actively WANT a number had a pretty "whatever" attitude and let me number them just to make the others happy. The line worked really well, and I can't speak for what happened beyond where I was in line after doors opened, but we had no trouble at all.

The Walk
The walk was at a really nice campus and the weather was great. I'm pretty laid back about the walks; I almost always end up in the very back, and it's not a goal of mine to initiate random conversations with the guys. So when everyone was gathering at an entrance they thought Hanson would come out of at the beginning of the walk, my friend and I chose go to sit on the fountain a good 30 ft. away. It seemed like a good idea because A) I could sit while waiting and B) I could stand on the fountain ledge to get good pictures of the crowd. What happened instead was the guys came out where the crowd had gathered and walked straight on past to the fountain and gave the speech about 2 feet away from us. Totally didn't see that coming! As the walk started, apparently Taylor found a professor and a class that was meeting outside, and proceeded to take the professor's shoes off for him. I'm not at all sure how this was initiated, all I know is I saw Taylor bending down in front of the man, then saw that his shoes were off once Taylor got up. Others around me confirmed that he had in fact removed the guy's shoes. The teacher and class then proceeded to get up and walk with us. Best class ever! Unfortunately, my friend started feeling bad partway through the walk, so we headed back to the starting point to wait rather than finishing what turned into an uphill walk. After the walk they came inside and performed Great Divide and Where's the Love acoustic. Some guys in the back yelled out "Play MMMBop!" and Hanson looked pretty annoyed. Taylor shot back with something like "Did you guys even take the walk? Walk a mile barefoot and THEN we'll do it," but then the guys responded yes, they had taken the walk, which I think threw Hanson a little bit and elicited a much less sure "Well, you'll have to come to the show tonight to see it."

The Crowd
The show had a pretty laid back crowd, too. We were front row in front of Isaac, and we knew the girls behind us so they left some space between the two rows so there was actually room to sit between sets and dance and just breathe in general. I even left my spot to use the bathroom one, something I've never tried before and may never get the luxury to try again. Unfortunately, there was a little drama when a guy tried to bring himself and a handful of girls with him up front. As soon as he made it to where I was, that weird part that Hanson seems to bring out in me came out and I stepped in front of him so he couldn't get through. Everyone around us ended up telling them to leave and yelling at them to the point that security got involved and finally supported us and made them leave, which was pretty awesome. I don't think security cared much but I honestly think they were a little afraid of the way we were reacting and what might happen if they were allowed to stay.

The Show
The show was really fun because our part of the crowd had great energy, and I was probably wilder than usual just because it was my last show. There was a girl with a professional camera in front of the barricade (NOT the hnet reporter, she was front and center behind the barricade), and I noticed her taking a few pictures of the crowd, so I'd love to see them if they ever surface. After Steel Train's set, I asked one of the guys for a setlist, but apparently they don't use them (which makes sense since they play the same set every night). Oh well. Though my part of the crowd was pretty into it, I don't think the crowd as a whole was very energetic and Hanson seemed a little less into crowd participation as well, but maybe that's me misinterpreting things. I should mention that the stage was the highest stage I have ever seen in my life, so that kind of limited the Hanson/crowd interaction, at least physically. It literally came above my head; I remember joking about how horrible it would be if there was crazy pushing because I would end up underneath the stage. Though I really didn't foresee any hand grabbing or coming down off stage because of its height, Taylor proved me wrong when he started leaning over the edge to grab hands. There was a slight step down onto some other big platform between the stage and the barricade that wasn't as long as the stage. I have no idea what it was, but it came up to about my chin and stopped maybe 6 inches to my right. When Taylor came to the end, he took my hand in what I thought was just a brief hand grab, but then he proceeded to use me as leverage to jump off of the big platform and onto the floor, where he ran back around to the side of the stage to get back in his place. It caught me completely off-guard and I let go of his hand sort of mid-jump because I didn't realize what he was doing (once again, trying not to be that weird fan that Taylor has to pry from his hand), so I'm glad he's capable of jumping a good five feet without falling on his own. The finale was awesome and so sad. They covered "Sweet Home Alabama," and Steel Train and Sherwood came out--I think this was the first all bands on stage moment of the tour (of course minus HGB, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong), so that made it even more exciting. Though I've definitely heard the song multiple times and am familiar with it, I really don't know any of the lyrics besides the title. I overheard some girls saying Isaac had messed up the lyrics, but I really couldn't tell you. It sounded fine to me :) I think the camera guy came out to film it, and Taylor definitely had a camera phone out near the end, so I'm hoping they'll eventually post some footage--maybe a FUTY--but at this point, I don't see it happening.

It was a good show, and it took all of my responsibility and willpower to drive myself the 8 hrs back to school rather than the 2.5 hrs to Nashville where I knew Living on a Prayer was going to be played, but I sucked it up and headed back home. And so ends another epic tour. But in the words of Levar Burton--I'll see you next time! :)

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