July 25, 2022

RGB Tour: Nashville & Atlanta

RGB Setlist

Before I jump into city specifics, I think it makes the most sense to talk about the RGB tour in general (keep in mind I have a whole three shows’ expertise under my belt and that the tour isn’t even halfway done, so obviously this is super subjective). Despite avoiding setlist spoilers before attending these shows, I couldn’t escape comments here and there wishing that Hanson would play more new songs off of Red Green Blue and less singles. After experiencing a few shows for myself, I’m both inclined to agree but also thankful for what we got. The fangirl in me wants as many new songs as she can possibly get and also “Rambling Heart” every night for the rest of forever. The live music fan in me just wants the maximum number of upbeat songs that can be crammed into a single setlist and leave her begging for water and a nap. Somewhere in the middle of both of those things is the fact that if they actually played RGB all the way through, my hansonstage stats might benefit, but I’m pretty sure I’d be begging for “If Only” by mid-Green.

RGB is a lot more quiet and mellow than everything that came before it, and I feel like this might be one of those “be careful what you wish for” situations where we wouldn’t actually be any happier if we got what we think we wanted. In short: The RGB tour setlist might be a little Middle of Everywhere Tour 2.0, but at least the MOE tour understood the assignment to keep my adrenaline going. 

If they're only going to do a few new songs, though, "Cold as Ice" 1,000% belongs on this setlist. Forgive my previous album review where I couldn't commit to a favorite song from Green; I'd now like to go on the record to say that my favorite song from Green is "Cold As Ice" live. Isaac gets so into it and looks like there is nothing he'd rather be doing than singing that song, and honestly there's nothing I'd rather be doing in that moment than standing in the room to witness it. A+, please play it every night and pity anyone who misses it. 

I also have no idea who pitched the idea of playing [name redacted bc I'm not going to be the one spoiling it for you. If you know, you know] before "If Only", but it's the perfect mix of mainstream and obscure to play for a crowd full of people in my age range. Whether you've been to a hundred Hanson shows and think you know every upcoming note, or you've been dragged by a friend and never heard a Hanson song in your life, the first time you hear it is sure to make you go "Wait, is that...?" Yep. It is.


The first time I saw Hanson perform at the Ryman Auditorium was at a Blood:Water event back in 2011. I had balcony seats and they only played four songs. Cell phone cameras were garbage and real cameras weren't allowed, so I don't have a single photo from that day. Coming back over ten years later to watch them play a full show to a sold out crowd from the front row was a totally different experience and a great way to watch my first show of the RGB tour. I don't have a Hanson bucket list and I never set out to mark off seeing Hanson from the front row at various iconic venues around the world, but after the second biggest presale fail I've ever witnessed, I wasn't mad when my friend pulled us tickets in row AA amidst the chaos. (If the Ryman presale stressed you out, let me tell you about the time a seated presale went so wrong that the one college class I planned to skip turned into TWO DAYS because the glitches went on for hours until it got rescheduled for the following day).

To be honest, I was a little worried that everyone panic-buying "bad" seats and then buying more when they found better would leave quite a few empties even though the event was officially sold out. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the crowd looked full and excited to be there in person, though, with the only noticeable gaps being in the extreme corners of the balcony.

I walked in a little late thanks to a horrendously long merch line and ended up missing the opener's first song. His name is John Calvin Abney, though give it a few months and he'll be relegated to either John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt or Paul Tovar in my mind due to lack of memory and reasons. In all seriousness though, this dude is talented with a harmonica and handled himself extremely well when his guitar suddenly went out in the middle of a song. He spent the whole rest of the song playing his guitar right up to the microphone next to his face while the crowd clapped (semi) rhythmically to help him out, and I'm sure the moment he was stuck singing with no guitar in the middle of the sold out Ryman isn't one he'll soon forget.

After hearing that the new songs were few and far between, I was happily surprised to hear Zac choose "Wake Up" as his solo. Paul McDonald made a surprise appearance during "Write You A Song" since he co-wrote it with Isaac and happens to live in Nashville, so that was fun. Isaac had the crowd vote for his solo, and the options were "Deeper," "Hand in Hand," and "River." "River" won (I hear this had already  happened at a few shows and "River" was on a winning streak). It was easily a crowd favorite, especially being followed by part of "I Only Wanna Be With You."

The show ended with "Change In My Life" a capella with no microphones, which reminded me a lot of "Too Much Heaven" at the Sydney Opera House and was another one of those moments in Hanson history that I was grateful to witness in person. They sounded amazing, but let's be honest--our clapping didn't. 


1. Nashville on a Friday night is WAAAY crazier than I remembered. We had to leave a bar without ever going inside because I literally could not hear my friend shouting to me on the sidewalk outside of it.
2. There was a fantastic moment where I felt like Taylor was looking right at me during the show, only to turn and realize he's looking at the girl who has materialized behind my back that is being dragged away by security. I'm not sure what all I missed, but by the time I noticed, my chair was almost folded in half with my things falling out of it, and there was a spilled drink flowing underneath it. Which brings me to...
3. If you're going to drink at a show, I support your good time, but also like...try to drink it all before you get excited and trample it? That was one of probably five or more drinks that got spilled in my vicinity throughout the night, and they flowed from every direction around me except the stage. Y'all, I promise the Ryman floor is not as thirsty as you are.
4. Note to past-self: ditch taking photos during the final bow. The really cool crowd shot from behind the stage is significantly less cool to look back on when you blocked your own face with your phone. Also not worth it when all of your bow photos are 50% your friends clapping hands anyway.


In true tour fashion of questionable decisions, we opted to drive the four hours straight to Atlanta after the Nashville show instead of waiting for the following day in hopes of avoiding terrible traffic. It actually paid off, but we didn't get to bed until 5am and then slept until noon. Since I chose the balcony in Atlanta, I stood in the merch line for a friend and spent all of two minutes waiting vs. the hour I spent in Nashville. It's crazy the difference a seated show makes, but Nashville also had limited special edition hatch print posters, so I'm sure that added to the demand.

The setlist was very similar to Nashville, but a few notable differences were "Broken Angel" in place of "Wake Up," "You Never Know" instead of "Thinking Bout Something," and the introduction of a fun new cover mashup that starts with War's "Low Rider" and goes into "Oh La La La." It's not a pairing I would have ever dreamed up, and "Oh La La La" is an unexpected deep cut to play at a regular show, but it totally works. I surprised myself a little with this opinion, but "Oh La La La" might actually be one of my favorite songs on this tour's setlist.


1. Man Vs. Fries is good but not $40 Doordash good, especially when you're shorted fried Oreos.
2. I drifted off during our overnight drive and woke up around 3am to a heated debate about the technical definition of slavery, and all I could think is this is it. This is what old people road trips are like. 
3. Not playing "Rambling Heart" in "Hotlanta" was an actual crime.
4. My tolerance for the fist pumping "heys" at the beginning of "Don't Let Me Down" is at least 30 seconds shorter than Taylor wants to keep it up. There was a certain point both nights where it felt unnatural to keep it going and all I could think towards Taylor was "Stop trying to make 'fetch' happen."

Final Thoughts: 

I loved it and had a great time, as usual. I had a lot of fun traveling and hanging out with my friends, and driving a simple four hours between shows made me realize 1) how much my travel habits have changed and relied on flying in the last few years, and 2) how much I miss "classic" tour with weeks in a car on the road. It can be exhausting and dirty and stressful, but there's something about the long hours, the late night truckstop runs, and the utter delirium of confused and contagious crying laughter in the middle of the night that can't be replicated on a plane or anywhere else in the world. Nashville and Atlanta felt like a tease in a way, a quick dip of my toe into my favorite pool, but ultimately I didn't get to go swimming.

I suppose it's a good thing that I came away wanting more, that I don't have to worry about feeling burnt out or wonder if I'm "over" this band, because clearly I'm not. If I only had two words to describe this trip, I'd choose "not enough," which is exactly how I'd describe my very first show, too.

Thankfully, I hear the road goes on forever.

No comments: