October 28, 2013

Anthem Tour: Portland & Seattle

Portland, OR, Sept. 28th, 2013

I had no idea what a weather wimp I was until this show. It was rainy and cold and I was completely miserable and unprepared. My shoes and socks got drenched to the point that water began soaking OUT of them instead of in; it was that bad. Naturally, I would choose to visit Portland just in time for one of the rainiest cities in the U.S. to make rainfall history (cliffnotes version: The day after we were in Portland, news outlets reported that Portland saw more rain this September than in any recorded history dating back to1872).

At least the company was good, and we got to catch up with a few old friends and make a few new ones (the drunk, semi-shirtless girl that started laying on me during the show excluded). I also got to mark Voodoo Donuts off my imaginary bucket list.
Photo courtesy of @maalaearose https://twitter.com/maalaearose/status/384062438221430785

Seattle, WA, Sept. 30th, 2013

We were cold and miserable enough in Portland to make a rain gear stop on the way up to Seattle. It's amazing the difference a pair of rain boots and a proper rain coat can make (both in your happiness and in your carry-on luggage). This show was Paul McDonald's last and a lot of fun. Hanson showed up during the last song of his set dressed in white denim floral jackets that were reminiscent of Paul's wardrobe during American Idol.  Taylor pushed his way through the crowd with a camera before jumping on stage, and Zac started playing an entirely different drum beat, eventually forcing the song to become a great cover of "Maggie May" instead.

We got a great balcony spot and felt like Statler & Waldorf watching the packed, sold-out crowd from above. Through the course of the night we watched two people pass out and a fight break out over front row that left Taylor politely threatening fans to step back or get no show. I guess we chose the right night to stay off of the floor.

The weirdest part though was the fight right next to me in the balcony. It started when the girl on my right strayed a little too far from her spot and left a gap between us, so someone tried to squeeze in. The first thing I did was turn and tell her that I intended to dance and jump and have fun and not move an inch for her. As a result, she and her mother spent the next half hour brutally pushing the girl that was next to me, but trying very hard not to touch me at all. They would literally pound this girl with their elbows on one side, and then turn and apologize to me because they were starting to touch my arm a little. It was the strangest thing. It ended with the first girl leaving, the one that pushed in stayed next to me, and somehow I never had to move an inch. I was torn between feeling grateful and completely and utterly confused.

The acoustic set was particularly good. Isaac asked the crowd if we would prefer him to play the guitar or the piano. The rarity of Isaac on piano won by a landslide, and we were treated to a solo of "More Than Anything." I've always been a little indifferent about "Kiss Me When You Come Home," but hearing Taylor play it as a piano solo earned it a lot of bonus points I didn't know it had in it. The show ended with a collaborative cover of "It's a Long Way to the Top" with Paul and J.P., a tradition I've witnessed with three openers now. Don't ask me who did it best; it's always a good time.

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