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.


breakmydreams said...

The two guys that started shouting and distracting everyone were venue staff :/

Mel said...

Were they really? Wow.

Holly said...

Someone on said some of the venue staff were insulting fans/being rude during the show, but I think that was a separate instance from the two guys shouting "I love you" during the a capella song. I wasn't too far from one of those guys and he just seemed like a guy that came with a fan and got drunk.

Either way, it was rude and unnecessary and took a lot away from a great performance.