May 23, 2010

Charlotte Bamboozle 5/22/10

*Edit- Just realized this was my 20th show! I guess this is some kind of milestone?

This was the most last-minute decision I've ever made in going to see Hanson. I ironically posted a facebook status along the lines of "Hanson is going to be a 3 hr drive away, and for the first time, I'm staying home." Really, I didn't want to shell out close to $50 for a 30 min. set, so I decided to sit it out. The day before the show, I saw on twitter that LiveNation was going to give away a pair of tickets to Bamboozle to one person who retweeted a message. On a whim, I RTed it once, and won! I made the drive and met up with two friends before the show.

The tickets I won were lawn seats, but the seating was all way below the lawn, so we had a perfect view. We arrived around 5 pm and decided to sit in the grass near the Hanson merch tent. My friend noticed that Zac was sitting on the bricks in front of us, but we decided to leave him alone. We saw several groups of girls recognize him and ask for pictures, and he was very polite and took pictures with every person that asked. We also saw security tell him to get off of the bricks; it's good to know that the Zac Hanson card doesn't work for everything, or at the very least he didn't pull it in this situation. He looked like he was trying to go somewhere, but every few feet, more people would stop him. It probably took him about 30 min. to make his way to where he was going, but he was so polite taking pictures with everyone that stopped him.

We arrived in time to see Cartel, and I enjoyed their set. I also really enjoyed Good Charlotte, who played a surprising number of songs that I recognized. They played a song from their new album that hasn't been released yet, something about a drunk girl; I don't remember the title, but I liked it. They also made an obvious point to leave out Hanson when they were getting all the fans to shout it out for the other bands. They mentioned every other band, and we could tell that some girl up front was definitely letting them know. Several songs later, Benji said "Hey Joel, we forgot Hanson!" It was obvious it was intentional, and it was kind of cute the way they did it.

Hanson played after Good Charlotte, and I think they chose a great setlist for their limited time. It was only about 30 min. and 7 songs (Waiting for This, And I Waited, A Minute Without You, Give a Little, Penny and Me, Thinkging 'Bout Somethin', and Lost Without Each Other are the ones I can remember). I have pretty much vowed not to let myself listen to the new music until the release date, so it was kind of neat getting to hear And I Waited and Give a Little in a live setting for the first time I heard them. I REALLY liked Give a Little, but I don't feel like I could hear And I Waited well enough to judge it yet. All in all it was good, and we stayed seated in the grass. I'd be willing to bet this will be the only time I ever sit down for an entire Hanson show, but it was a nice change from the usual chaos. My only complaint is I think they should make more of an attempt to connect with the audience. All of the other bands made more of an effort to talk to the audience and make little jokes. I guess Hanson chose to let the music speak for itself, but I feel like they would gain more fans if they would talk a little more.

After the set, a huge line formed and Hanson consented to sign autographs for their merchandise only, and no posed pictures were allowed. While the rules were strict, I've got to give them props for staying to sign for every last person in that long line. All Time Low came onstage as the autographs started, and they drew attention to us asking "WHO is back there signing autographs while we're up here!" and mentioned how long the line was. It seemed pretty lighthearted, though. They even said "I haven't met Hanson yet, but I love them already."

I didn't buy anything or get an autograph, but I waited in line with my friends and was going to take a picture for one that got an autograph. I did get the picture, but I also walked straight into a block of concrete and scraped my foot, just as my friend was walking away from Zac, giving him an unobstructed view of my clumsiness. Oh well, I was bound to make a fool out of myself in front of one of them sooner or later. My record of three years was just too long.

All Time Low was so-so. They talked a lot and did a pretty good job of pumping up the crowd, but they had too man curse words in their songs for my taste. Boys Like Girls was last, and by that time I had a bad headache, so I was kind of over it. They also got fans to cheer for each band, but they completely left Hanson out on purpose and didn't mention them again. It seemed like an intentional snub, not something playful. We left early so we didn't have to fight the crowd to get out though, so I don't know how the second half of their set was.

My trip home was horrible. My headache only got worse, and about 30 min. into the 3.5 hr drive, I started feeling really sick. I decided I must have gotten food poisoning from the McDonalds I ate earlier in the day. Ironically, some guy at the entrance to the show had us sign a petition against the chicken McDonalds uses and gave us some anti-McDonalds info, so it was a pretty good combination to make me want to quit McDonalds for a while.