November 22, 2013

Anthem Tour: Charlotte

Charlotte, NC, Nov. 20th, 2013

The final show of a tour is one to be both anticipated and dreaded. It’s bound to be good, but the thing about happy endings is that by definition, they have to end.  It sets in motion that anxious feeling of not knowing when you’ll see your favorite band again (unless you already have a flight booked to see them in Jamaica in January…you know, just for example).  I've heard people refer to it as PHCD—Post Hanson Concert Depression.  Call it what you want, but the only cure I know is already having the next show planned before you reach the “last,” and of course, it’s temporary. The only real treatment is to never stop going, always outrun the "last" show.

Charlotte was the closest stop to my house all tour, so it felt really strange to get in my car and drive myself to a single show.  No delayed flights, no car full of friends, and worst of all, I had to get back in my car and drive home afterwards instead of heading to some new city where I can’t park to save my life. It's probably how normal people always experience shows, right? (and makes for a kind of uneventful blog post, sorry!)

The whole day was uncomplicated. The weather for the walk was perfect, and we had a great turnout nearing 200 people. Taylor called me "Vanna White" for holding up the walk registration sheet at the end, and I had to laugh when my friend Valerie accurately pointed out that that would make him Pat Sajak. (irony: Vanna White is actually from my hometown)


The show began with a Hanson tour finale tradition by pranking opener David Ryan Harris. During his last song, Hanson & crew blasted a different song over the sound system and came out doing some strange dancing in a line. It was so random I feel like it must have some real, concrete origin that none of us recognized. The dancing reminded me of marionette puppets (Isaac did it best), and there was something oddly familiar about it that I can't figure out. Taylor came out with a box on his head. We may never know.

(There's a poor excuse for a video of the end of this over on my instagram)

Perhaps more unusual than Taylor in a box was the older lady and her man friend that came to stand behind us. The things they were doing before the show even started belonged under the privacy of a set of high school bleachers or some equivalent. We were happy when the guy left until she started screaming in his absence, the kind of screaming that comes at random intervals and doesn't even seem to line up with anything happening on stage. She talked right over Hanson asking us to be quiet for their a capella "Too Much Heaven" cover, so I finally turned and tried to politely say "They're about to sing without any instruments or microphones. If anyone is talking, we won't hear it." She muttered something angry but was mostly quiet during the song (at least, quieter than the two guys that started shouting and distracting everyone about 10 seconds later). Have I mentioned that those a capella key changes will change your life? Because they will. I don't always elaborate enough on the pure talent of this band, but if you're not impressed by three a capella key changes done seamlessly in harmony, then you don't understand music.

After they finished, Isaac ranted about how he thought he was in the south where people were supposed to have manners, but that maybe the northeast was better. He was starting to play "For Your Love" when crazy lady pushed me in the back and shouted "B**** you have NO right to talk to me like that!" Cue really confused blank stares from everybody around me, because I hadn't said a word since before the last song. It was either the worst delayed reaction ever, or she had been carrying on a fictional argument with me in her head. After another silent moment when I thought it was over, she pushed me and said "You won, B****!" and then left. After a similar situation in Seattle and gum in my hair in Vegas, I think I've somehow taken on the role of pied piper of the crazies.

The solo set was perfect because Val got to hear "For Your Love" after her wedding, Zac pulled out "The Walk," and Taylor finally played Crazy Beautiful as a solo after I chased him all over the country asking for it (scratch that--continent. The last place I asked was Vancouver. I'm exaggerating, but only a little). For the encore at the end they brought David Ryan Harris out and played a few Christmas songs, the perfect finale for a show so late in the year.

I drove home with that sad mixture of feeling completely satisfied and nostalgic knowing that my favorite memories from this tour are just that--memories, past tense. I think that's part of what we're all feeling when we refer to some type of post-show depression. It's not just that we're sad there isn't another show to look forward to (yet), it's that we had some really great moments already, and you can't relive or replicate them no matter how hard you try. So you come home, and you tell it to your friends. You post pictures on Facebook, or you update your blog and know that even if you can't go back, you can still remember. And you can start plotting for next time.

November 3, 2013


Welcome to the new and improved If You Give a (Fan) a (Ticket)!

If you've been here before, welcome back. If you're seeing this page for the first time, you're late! (kidding, glad to have you.) I started this blog five years ago after my 11th Hanson show. I knew that I loved writing, that I would continue going to shows, and that I wanted a place to keep track of all the fun details. I suspected the stories would get crazier and the memories more fuzzy, and I was right. You're looking at the result, and I'm glad to have kept up with it for this long. I hope you'll enjoy it and the changes I've made.

What's new:
  • The url! R.I.P. jasminesprinkles. (Hindsight: never name a blog after an inside joke with a Hanson that you didn't quite get and that they'll never remember anyway.) No worries, all old links should still redirect to the right place.
  • The facebook page: Like it, share it, frequent it! 
  • Google + page
  • Email:
  • The wrap up post to my Anthem Tour blog series. You can find it right here or scroll down to read it underneath this post. 
What's coming:

More changes. The Facebook page is brand new and pretty empty. I haven't even started a twitter yet. You can probably expect a few more design changes and maybe some new additions to the website in the near future. If you have any suggestions for changes, please let me know either here in the comments or at my fancy new email address.

Thanks for reading! Feedback is welcomed :-)


Anthem Tour: Vancouver & Home.

Vancouver, BC, Canada, Oct. 2nd, 2013

It’s cold. You’re sitting in a sleeping bag on a sidewalk in a country you’ve never been to before.  It’s past midnight on a Tuesday, but to the drunks wandering in and out of the bars, it’s perpetually Saturday.  Homelessness peppers the sidewalks, and there are so many questionable activities going on that nobody is surprised by the five girls in clean sleeping bags beneath the venue marquee. You wonder if this is normal in Vancouver.

One man finally stops.

“What are lovely ladies like yourselves doing camped out on a sidewalk?” he asks.

“We’re here for the Hanson show,” you say.

You’re prepared for the usual onslaught of “MMMBop” jokes and irrelevant cracks about long-haired children and mistaken gender.  Instead, he says:

“Is it really worth it?”

You can’t tell him about all ten of the shows you saw in the last two weeks, or the fifteen or fifty or two hundred you saw before that.  You can’t show him some mental montage of all the places you’ve been and the people you’ve met. You can’t even pull out your phone to show him a song clip because you’re not about to pay out of country roaming fees for ten seconds of the wrong part of “You Can’t Stop Us.”  You can’t tell him these things because he’s drunk and you have about a twelve second window before his attention wanders to the next sedentary female, and because even if he wasn’t, some things can’t really be explained.

You settle for “Yes.”

He insists on buying you fries and water from the McDonald’s down the street because he’s wasted and maybe it seems like a pretty chivalrous thing to do for a bunch of sidewalk sleepers. You politely decline and he’s off to the next bar on this Tuesday/Saturday night.

The night drags on. Someone asks if you're "George's girls," and it takes you a moment to realize that logic says George is a pimp and you've just been mistaken for prostitutes (in sleeping bags?).  An older woman in a blonde wig insists you take a handful of contraceptives from the bucket attached to her hip, but you decline those too. You also decline the drunk guy who keeps saying that he "NEEDS" to sleep in the three-inch-gap between you and your friend. You tell him he doesn't.

Yes. Still worth it.

The Vancouver show was one of my favorites all tour, weird camping experiences and all.  The small fan club event held before the regular show was a definite highlight and worth the wait. There were around 50 fan club members in attendance, and we got a few acoustic songs, a Q&A, and group photos with the band. I sincerely hope our photo is a full body shot so my friends and I can all have a good laugh at the variety of footwear going on (hello, rain boots & platforms!). 

My favorite part of the event was "On and On," hands down. First, it's my favorite song from this year's EP. Second, they stepped away from the microphones and walked to the front of the stage to sing the final chorus directly in front of us, face to face, and it was GORGEOUS. And third, I've been saying all along that the last line in that song screams Brokeback Mountain, and Hanson finally confirmed that they're aware of the similarity too. It's this really sweet love song, and the last line is "I can't quit you." (I believe the original line in the movie is "I wish I knew how to quit you," but it was close enough to send me into a fit of giggles the first time I heard it in Tulsa this year). Anyway, Hanson blows my mind singing this gorgeous a capella version of one of my favorite songs, literally five feet in front of my face, and then they end the song like this:

"I can't quit yoooooou........Jake Gyllenhaal." Ladies and Gentlemen, my favorite band.

They surprised all of us at the end by asking if we had any requests. People immediately shouted for "Cried," and they eventually gave in and played just the chorus. Then they played all of "Ever Lonely," which made up for the fact that I couldn't think of a single thing to request. I'll be better prepared next time. 

During the regular show, my friends and I really appreciated Zac bringing out "Fire on the Mountain" for the first time this tour. They know fans travel to multiple shows, so it's always nice when they switch the setlists up a bit. I can remember thinking a few songs in that I should have asked them to play "Something Going Round" when I had the chance during our group pictures. I didn't ask, but I was thrilled when it showed up near the end of the set list anyway. It's always been one of my favorites live; I love when they drop the music and stop singing and all you can hear is the crowd carrying on the word "NOW" without them at the end.

Afterwards, we waited by the bus one last time to say goodbye at the end of my favorite trip to date. Taylor was sick and didn't come out, but we thanked Isaac and Zac for a great run of shows and left with pictures and smiles knowing that all of us would be back next time, and knowing that "back" doesn't necessarily mean Canada, but anywhere.

We woke up deathly ill right on schedule the following morning (thanks again, Zac) and started the 22 hour drive back to L.A. The one thing I didn't get to do in Vancouver was visit an old Supernatural set and take nerdy pictures there (Supernatural:TV::Hanson:music, okay?). Naturally, at the U.S. border I turned my phone back on to see a post from a friend we said goodbye to the night before. There was Jensen and Jared and the Impala, parked in her hotel lot we had parked in just 24 hours before, shooting a brand new scene. I guess you can't win them all.

As if the 22 hour drive and subsequent cross-country flight weren't complicated enough, I woke up to an email saying that my flight home was canceled. I was re-booked on a red-eye a full 11 hours after my original flight instead. But wait, there's more! My connecting flight was delayed, too. TWICE. By the time I got home, I had to beg a coworker to cover my shift, I had to pay for an extra day's parking at the airport, and I had spent roughly 33 out of the previous 72 hours in cars or on planes. I came home, dragged my things inside, and opened my suitcase to pull out my phone charger before crashing into bed. Inside is a wad of ticket stubs shoved in with dirty socks and rain boots and a pair of drumsticks tucked into an umbrella bag.

Yep, still worth it.