January 17, 2013

Back to the Island 2013

There's nothing quite like running into the ocean during "Thinking of You" or twirling in a dress in the sand during "Penny and Me" as you actually gaze at starry skies. The whole trip was just a completely different experience from the usual Hanson show, and I'm glad I went. The fans all seemed more calm and laid back than at a tour show, myself included. Everyone I talked to was super nice, and there's something oddly relaxing about not having access to a cell phone and having to meet at a set time and place instead.

The first show was my favorite, probably because I was just so excited to finally be there dancing on the beach, and there were a lot of high-energy songs in that set. The acoustic show felt like the exact opposite of the first day; it was mostly made up of slower songs and ballads. There's this stereotype that Isaac rambles a lot if you let him talk. Give him alcohol and a stage to himself and it's no longer something people just joke about. I'm pretty sure his introduction to "More Than Anything" was longer than the actual song, and when he finally started playing, he stopped about 10 seconds in and said something to the effect of "Guys, I just love the sound of the waves behind me as I play!" like a child with ADD pointing at a flashing road sign. It was kind of adorable.

After "Wish That I Was There" they played "Wish That I was There," or at least Isaac did. I never realized how similar it sounds to the intro of Deeper until Isaac began singing the WTIWT chorus again instead of the first verse of Deeper. We all had a good laugh and Taylor stepped in to remind him of the lyrics...or maybe to threaten him. Who knows.

I absolutely LOVED "You Can't Stop Us Now" on the final night. From the beginning, it had a bit of a Queen feel to it, with a beat similar to "We Will Rock You" (nevermind the title similarity to "Don't Stop Me Now"). It's pure rock and Zac sings lead. I can't wait to hear it again when the new album comes out.  Overall the shows were good, but I have to say my biggest complaint of the trip is that they repeated some songs on multiple nights. It's part of following a tour; you go to different cities and see shows with different audiences, and you're going to hear a lot of the same songs multiple times. It's expected and still fun. But when you know the audience is going to be identical three nights in a row, I didn't expect (or want) any repeats.

I was in the group with Green Passes so I saw Zac's first Tie Dye session, aka the guinea pig trial that failed and had to be changed the next day. There was a small stage in the grassy area where we were all sitting, and we all assumed he would be on the stage. Instead, he walked up, stopped about two feet in front of where I was sitting, announced "I'm Tie Dying right here!" and sat cross-legged in the grass. Before I knew it, there was a swarm around us on all sides. I'm sure Zac intended to mingle and go around to different groups of people, but we were all locked into that space as soon as he sat down and people mobbed. It was uncomfortably close for everyone and I'm sure people further back couldn't hear or see. I hear the following day things were more relaxed and he did speak from the stage and walk around to different groups instead. The instructor grabbed my shirt out of my lap for the demonstration, so I just sat back and watched.

The next day was Taylor's cooking and Isaac's drink mixing. The escovitch fish Taylor cooked was delicious.

I'm not even sure how to describe the drink mixing session. It started with us doing the YMCA and we got to see Isaac attempt the cha cha slide, soulja boy, and something the staff called "smooth & deadly." At one point he took a shot of vodka straight from the bottle and he named his own personal concoction at the end the "Let's Get it On...or at least try."

The trip home deserves a post to itself, but suffice it to say our bus broke down like five times and they had to send an extra bus to come pick us up about a mile from the Montego Bay airport. Never a dull moment.

I think Andrew McMahon can provide a better ending to this than I can, so I'll let him:

But if you left it up to me,
Every day would be a holiday from real.
We'd waste our weeks beneath the sun;
We'd fry our brains and say it's so much fun out here!
But when it's all over,
I'll come back for another year.