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BTTI 16: Hanson Show #1

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The first night of the event was the Welcome show.  I managed to get front row for this show and had no idea what to expect.  In the past we had been given themes for the shows or we were asked to vote on songs we would like to hear, but this year we didn’t have any of that so it would be a surprise.  The set was a mix of Members Only songs and some of the lesser played Hanson songs as well.  The set had almost no covers which was a bit of a surprise – but the reasoning behind that became obvious a couple days later 😉

The guys are a lot more loose during these events that are for Hanson.net Members, they goof off and make up silly songs and this show was no exception. Hand In Hand went from “I’m not going to sit around just waiting for you to get over this all” to “I’m not going to sit around just waiting for you to see star wars” and Isaac may have mentioned a few spoilers before they sang it. I haven’t seen it yet but I probably won’t realize what he spoiled until I do get around to seeing it.

Since last year we had “Sand In My Crevice” this year they mentioned it was nice to not have that problem but somehow I think the made up song turned into something about Zac’s butt crack? I’m not really sure. It was hard to hear some of the vocals due to where I was sitting at times.

Overall I thought that this show was a nice mix, a little bummed it had nothing I had never heard in it, but thought it was a great welcome to the island show.
Back To The Island
Dance Like You Don’t Care
Waiting For This
Heartbreaker
I’ve Got Soul
Been There Before
Underneath (acoustic)
Love Song (acoustic)
Go (acoustic)
Strong Enough To Break (acoustic)
Tonight
Juliet
Got a Hold On Me
Hand in Hand
You Never Know
You Cant Stop Us
Tearing It Down
If Only
Lost Without Each Other
Sound of Light

Encore:
White Collar Crime

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BTTI16: Day 1

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On the first day of the event, we woke up to get our event passes.  Everyone is split into either Red or Green groups.  My friends and I decided we wanted to be green, but of course red was being given out first.  We hung around a bit to see what the merch package was – the usual bag (orange this year!), towel and shirt (white for tie dying).  Those returning for their 2nd year got a pineapple pin, 3rd year got sunglasses (of course a bit different than the ones I got last year) and 4th years got what we were calling the “$8000 visor.”  It was red with an embroidered Hanson symbol pineapple on it.  I kind of wish it was a hat instead, because I didn’t bring one and was worried the top of my head might get sunburned – something a visor would not help with!

After breakfast  I went to the beach to find Holly and Rachel who were going to go snorkeling and wanted me to come along.  I changed into my water shoes so my sneakers wouldn’t get ruined and when I was trying to figure out how to get on the boat the captain told me he would carry me on!  Holly teased that I already had something for my 2016 Anti-Bucket List now.  The girls went out snorkeling and I watched from on the boat.  After snorkeling we went in the pool near my (new) room and I was excited that it was only the 1st day and I’d already done 2 things I hadn’t done at any of the past events – ride a boat and get in the pool. (The first year I made it on the pool steps but never got into the poll)

There were rumors that Hanson would be doing soundcheck at 3pm so I headed to the beach for a bit. Of course, soundcheck didn’t start until more like 6.  It was interesting to see and hear the soundcheck – at first it did not sound good at all and Taylor even mentioned that so they played Georgia without the mics on to try and fix the levels which was pretty weird to watch.

After soundcheck we grabbed dinner, I watched Rachel and David play some pool and the headed down to the stage.  The way the stage was set up, I was able to squeeze a chair into the front row in front of the handicapped section which was a great spot!

More on the first night’s show coming up in my next post!

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BTTI 16: Travel Day

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For this year’s Back to the Island I decided to go a day early on Monday, rather than going just for the length of the Hanson activities as I usually did.  I left the house at 2:30am – because even though I was going in a day early, I felt the need to get in to Jamaica as early as possible!

For my first flight, I opted to sit in seat 1D so I could stretch out a bit. I was lucky and both ways I didn’t have anyone in the middle seat.  The only downside is that usually I can sleep on the plane no problem, but this trip it was a problem. Maybe because I was reading a book I was having trouble putting down…

When I got to Baltimore, I met up with a few friends who were kind enough to go grab me some breakfast. The flight to Jamaica was uneventful.  When we landed, I had a guy pushing my wheelchair that got us to the front of the customs line.  Immigration was a bit slower going.

There was some confusion when we got outside, needing to fill out forms for our return transport.  By the time I had figured out what I thought I needed to do, I was pulled away to get on the shuttle.

Our shuttle driver gave us a play by play as we drove, pointing out the resorts and shops on either side of the road and even pointed out Usain Bolt’s High School (it is purple) and that he lived 2 miles away and ran to school every day.

When we arrived at the resort, just over an hour later, we were greeted with drinks and cold towels.  They couldn’t find my reservation, as I was staying the additional night with a different roommate in a different room.  They gave me a room but I wasn’t convinced it was the right room so I walked around the resort a bit but then stayed in the lobby waiting for my roommate to show up to make sure everything was right.

The Street Team Leaders from around the US and the World met up for dinner – we had New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Canada and 5 US States represented, if I am counting correctly.  It was nice to meet some of the leaders and catch up with the others.  Afterwards we hung out in the lobby a bit.

I had turned in relatively early the first night because I knew sleep would be harder to come by as the Hanson activities began!

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Back To The Island Cancun: Hanson Solo Sets & Activities

Last year there was a new addition to the Back to the Island experience which was a solo set from each of the members of the band. They did the same for this trip.

Day 2 – Zac was up first at 3pm.  His set was only 8 songs and as much as it pains me to say this – was my least favorite of the 3 sets. It went by very quickly, he hardly spoke with the crowd (except to say it was going fast and probably because he wasn’t talking a lot) but he did perform a song they had never performed live before – Wait Here For You – so add another one to my list.  He also did the first repeat song of the trip when he did Juliet.  Which was fine with me as it’s one of my favorites.

Call Out My Name
Get So Low
Wait Here For You
Juliet
On and On
Bittersweet
Fire on the Mountain
Musical Ride

After Zac’s solo set it was time for Isaac’s.  I’m not sure I can sum up his set properly… you kind of had to be there… but I’ll give it a try.  He came out and said that the first song had an “oh yeah” in it that he wanted us to sing along with.  I figured he must be starting with Minute Without You – but then he went into River instead, which has a “never know!” for us to sing – which we all of course picked up on.  He mentioned he had his songs mixed up and then went in to Minute Without You.  Little did we know just how much he had his songs mixed up… He did 2 songs that I’d never heard live before (I don’t think either had been played before) Two Tears and Ordinary Words.

Somewhere during the set he ended up getting a request for “Sometimes”, he said he would think about it – started playing “Someone” and said he’d try to wrap his head around playing Sometimes next. He said he was trying to remember – and now that I’m listening back he was totally wrong from the get go and asked “is that right?” and then said Sometimes is the song he always messed up night after night in 1998 – the second verse always messed him up and he couldn’t remember the lyric – but he’d do it anyway because it was requested. He said he hadn’t played the song in 15 years. (Which I didn’t think was true – but I looked it up and they haven’t done it since The Albertane Tour!)  Except then he started playing Smile.  And slowly everyone in the crowd started realizing “hey, this isn’t what he was supposed to be playing…” and then… Isaac finally realized it himself.  I’ll let you watch the realization unfold.

 

He ended up finishing his set with “Best of Times” which he had to start 3 times because he kept getting tripped up with lyrics.  Sounds like someone may need a teleprompter for tour 😉

 

River
Minute Without You
Two Tears
Being Me
Ordinary Words
Deeper
More Than Anything
Someone
Smile
Best of Times

 

Taylor was the last Hanson show of the trip due to the flip flop in the schedule and his performance ended up at the theater inside instead of out on the beach due to weather concerns. I never did see any rain – so either we were inside and missed it or it didn’t end up being quite as bad as they thought – though it WAS windy because when we went to eat dinner they weren’t sitting anyone outside and the doors to outside kept blowing open from the wind.

Taylor did 4 songs on his own and then called out one of his brothers to help him with the next song.  After Isaac getting picked on by Taylor and Zac the whole week over the Sometimes/Smile flub, Taylor and Isaac did Sometimes for everyone.  Isaac also stayed on stage to perform Sunny Day with Taylor.  Taylor’s set ended up being 11 songs long – the longest of the 3.

My Own
Believe
Never Let Go
Get Out Of My Heart
Sometimes
Sunny Day
Runaway Run
All I Ever Needed
I’ve Been Down
Voice in the Chorus
Make It Out Alive

 

And since I did a poor job of scheduling posts – here’s a recap of the Hanson activities as well –

Pottery Painting with Zac
I painted a whale.  It was fun.  Zac went around from table to table to see how we were doing and chat.  My friend Kim asked him if Isaac had told them about the Sometimes / Smile flub and Zac said that he did.  Then said Isaac is more of a Jerry Lee Lewis than Bing Crosby and that he likes to make sure we are entertained. The reference went a bit over my head but I guess Jerry Lee Lewis is more does whatever he wants and Bing is more by the book? My History of Rock professor would be so disappointed in me!

Mixology with Isaac
The red passes were telling us that this was boring and we were shocked.  But it kind of was.  I think part of the problem was there was a waterfall next to the area he was at – that was on (for some of the event anyway) and then the speakers must not have been facing us, or all the audio was just going up to the very high ceiling so it was a bit hard to follow along with what was going on.  He made 3 drinks with a fan assistant. He broke 1 glass and gave minor injuries to himself and his fan assistant and I heard he also cut his finger with a knife.  I preferred his trivia event last year – even if it was difficult even for me.

Afterparty with Taylor
We got let in to this early and went up by Taylor’s DJ set. He warned me I might not want to stand here. I told him I probably would end up sitting down. He said “not that I dont WANT you up here, but you know how it is”  yes, I know all too well!  We did end up sitting and he came back out a while later after the stampede of girls to get to the front row… for a DJ set!  He did a great mix of music this time and there was quite a surprise with the crew and Isaac all got dressed up in ridiculous costumes and ended up dancing on stage.  I think Taylor was just as surprised as everyone else!

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Back To The Island Cancun: Hanson Concert #3

Due to weather what was supposed to be the Hanson concert on the last night got bumped to the second to last night and the guest concert ended up being last.  Since the event is called “Back to the Island” and Cancun isn’t an Island – they decided to take us to an actual island for the last show – Isla Mujeres.  This setlist was the one that was voted on by the fans and was very heavy on songs from The Walk.  Also due to the voting not going exactly as I would have liked – there were no songs I hadn’t heard live included on it – despite there being 7 I had never heard on the voting list. (But a couple were played at other shows, at least!)

This show was one of the most terrifying experiences I was ever involved in at a Hanson show or any show for that matter.  We had to take several buses about 20 minutes away to a ferry.  Then we walked the dock (which thankfully had a railing) and got on one boat, then had to go across to another boat that was attached by a plank.  Luckily the resort staff member, Carlos, grabbed me and then I was able to get a seat.  He told us we would be the first ones off the boat.

The ride was fun – there were drinks (that tasted like koolaid), pirate ships in the water, fireworks… until land was spotted.  Then a mad rush of girls showed up and they wouldn’t move to let the wheelchairs/handicapped off first.  They were able to push the wheelchairs through and someone grabbed them to push them to the stage – I was pulled out of the crowd but Kim couldn’t get out.  The girls were saying since the wheelchairs were off they weren’t letting anyone else off (even the friends who were supposed to be helping out – 3 of them at least were stuck).  So I’m on the dock – and this one has NO railings and the separation between wood in some spots is so big my cane could probably fall through it.  I walk a little bit on my own and then realize this is NOT happening.  I’m going slow, I have no help, and in a matter of minutes I’m going to be stampeded by girls who want front row.  I stopped and looked back and Carlos came to my rescue and walked me to the dock.  About halfway there I hear him say “Oh no” and we can see everyone heading towards us – and the wheelchairs hadn’t made it off the dock yet!

Things were very scary and I’m honestly shocked no one got pushed off the dock and into the water with the way people were acting.  Carlos got me in to the handicapped area with a chair and then ran off to try and do some crowd control.  The 3 girls who were separated met back up with us – fortunately we survived and we were all ok – just very shaken up.  It’s unfortunate the lack of respect some people have for others.  Whether it be those who are disabled or even the members of the band themselves.

Anyway… we made a deal to not focus on it anymore so that we could enjoy the last Hanson show of the trip.  Zac seemed to be in rare form and someone yelled “DYING TO BE ALIVE!” before they started playing it and Zac snapped back “I’m dying for you to shut up!”  He also made up a new version of Madeline about a guy with a beard… and was mocking Adam Levine’s tattoos after singing a couple lines of Sunday Morning.

Tearing It Down
Great Divide
Thinking of You
Musical Ride
Georgia
Get Up And Go
Got a Hold On Me
Blue Sky
Watch Over Me

On The Road
Wish That I Was There
Madeline
Dying To Be Alive
Yearbook

In A Way
On The Rocks
Been There Before
Leave the Light On
Already Home
Roller Coaster Love
White Collar Crime
If Only

Back to the Island
Rock N Roll Razorblade

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Back To The Island Cancun: Special Guests

The special guests for this year’s Back to the Island were Nick Santino and David Ryan Harris.  I had seen both open for Hanson on previous tours (Nick with his band A Rocket To The Moon) and I had seen them both without Hanson as well.  Nick was actually in town a couple weeks before BTTI and I teased I’d go become friends with him before the trip, but didn’t end up going. Now I kind of regret that decision because he was really funny and entertaining and I very much enjoyed his set.  I liked how he’d chat with the audience – sometimes even in the middle of a song – he’d just stop and say something that was on his mind.

David Ryan Harris is the only concert I’ve ever fallen asleep during – so I wasn’t sure how well he would go over at this event and I was a little disappointed he wasn’t going on first since I knew that Nick would be a bit more up beat.  I did like how David said that he may look like he was standing against a wall – but in his heart he was dancing.  He also called out some of the rude fans by saying we were being a “chatty bunch” – which was probably the most polite way to put it (girls were sitting around on the floor near the stage talking very, very loudly – while there was a core group in the middle there for the actual show) but no one seemed to get the hint. (I also don’t think they realized the room was going to be cleared out after the guest set before Taylor’s afterparty could start)

I really enjoyed both sets – I just wish everyone else had felt the same way and tried to enjoy it instead of chatting.

 

Nick Santino

Can’t Say I Miss You
It’s Alright
Rio
Goddaamn
Madeline
Gone Like Yesterday
Bad Taste
That Old Corolla
Mood Ring Eyes
Have a Little Faith In Me
Long Way Home

David Ryan Harris

Cover
Get Used To This
Fascinating
Junkie
For You
Shelter
So Is Mine
Do What You Want
I Believe In Us
Pretty Girl
Good Thing

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Back To The Island Cancun: Hanson Show #2

The 2nd night of Hanson shows was the “Christmas Plus” show – originally it was Christmas On The Island but then they were hinting that it might end up being something more than that.  I was able to get front row for this show and I had made a cool Hanson BTTI Christmas Sweater shirt for the show.  The set started with 8 Christmas songs, many of which had never been performed live before (I ended up with 6 of the 8 I had never heard before) and then went into their favorite songs that they didn’t write (ie. Covers) and from that portion of the show I got another song that I had never heard live before.  Which since I’ve heard all 6 of their albums in their entirety – is a new record… at least until the new album comes out!  Then they finished out the set with 4 Hanson songs (since up to that point there was only 1 or 2 original Hanson songs included in the set)

At the end of the show, Zac went to give someone his drumsticks and I guess whoever he intended them for was NOT the one who grabbed them.  He braced himself with the stage and ripped them out of the hands of whoever had grabbed them and handed them off to who he wanted to have them!

Merry Christmas Baby
What Christmas Means To Me
Rockin Around The Christmas Tree
Run Rudolph Run
Everybody Knows The Claus
Finally It’s Christmas
At Christmas
White Christmas (acapella)

Too Much Heaven (acapella)
Cecelia
Ain’t No Sunshine
In A Little While
Ain’t Too Proud To Beg
Never Been To Spain
Oh Darling
Hold On I’m Coming
Gimme Some Lovin

Every Word I Say
Scream and Be Free
Crazy Beautiful
In The City

Long Way To The Top

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Back To The Island Cancun: Hanson Show #1

Night 1 was the “Welcome to the Island” show where Hanson picked the setlist.  I kind of went in to this show with no expectations or maybe just being prepared for the typical tour setlist that they’ve been doing since Anthem was released.  However, they completely mixed things up for this show and I thought it was a good mix of songs from all their albums (maybe light on The Walk – but since a lot of those songs were included in the setlist voting, it made sense to skip over that one for now – even though they’ve been skipping over it a lot in past tours as well)  The setlist was very upbeat with the exception of the acoustic part of the show.

And I even got a new song – that they wrote on the spot – “Sand in my Crevice”  It was super windy so by the end of the night your hair felt like straw and you were pretty much covered in sand. (Even worse if you had put on sunscreen – it stuck all the more to you)

It was a great way to kick off the trip!

 

Can’t Stop
I’ve Got Soul
And I Waited
Waiting For This
Where’s The Love
Fired Up
Minute Without You

Go
With You In Your Dreams
Love Song
Weird
Sandy / Sand in my Crevice
Strong Enough to Break

Juliet
You Can’t Stop Us
This Time Around
Tragic Symphony
Thinking Bout Somethin
Give a Little
Penny and Me
Get The Girl Back
Lost Without Each Other
MMMBop
Man From Milwaukee

Hand in Hand
Something Going Round

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Back To The Island Cancun: Travel Day 1

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Over the next several Wednesdays I will be sharing all the details of my trip to Cancun for Hanson’s Back to the Island event. (Yes, we’re all aware that Cancun is not an Island.)  For those of you unfamiliar with the event – the past 2 years have been in Jamaica but this year they moved to a resort in Cancun.  The event was from January 7-11 with a concert every night (except the last day when everyone is leaving) which includes 3 Hanson shows as well as a set from special guests Nick Santino and David Ryan Harris. Also included are events with Isaac (mixology), Taylor (after party) and Zac (pottery painting) – but more on all that is still to come.

I’ll start this post with traveling – I had to get up to leave the house at about 2:30 AM as my first flight was taking off at 5:45am.  I was greeted in the morning by my car covered in ice – and then I realized that some of it was even INSIDE when I thought I had cleared off the windshield and there were still spots. I had to rub them with my mittens so I could see through the window and off to the airport I went.  It was 17 degrees.

I got to the valet area, left my car, got to the airport and had to wait for the Southwest counter to open at 4am.  They had to verify my passport before I could even get on my first flight.  Once that was done security went with no problems and then it was time to wait. I was the only one at the gate for a long time.  I was excited because I didn’t wake up 24 hours early (it was more like 23) and still got A 37 as a boarding number.  Well, it turns out there were only 36 people on the flight! (A1 – 15 are reserved)  They said we could spread out but everyone decided to sit in the first 5 rows because they “wanted to get off the plane quick”  (I’m not sure the extra 4 steps from a couple rows further back would have made all that much difference)  Had I known they were going to do that, I’d have gone to the back myself after pre-boarding.

I ended up with a mother/daughter next to me.  The daughter seemed like she really wanted to sleep, but well, I think Mom was a little bit nervous to fly so for 3 hours (when I was hoping to catch up on some sleep) all I heard was “I love you! Thank you so much for flying with me! I love you!” and then she was trying to teach the kid to play sudoku.  “Can I sleep?” the girl asked – but Mom talked for almost the entire 3 hour flight.  She talked so much she was hoarse by the time the flight landed.

I missed snack service from trying to sleep… and then started having a dizzy spell (which I haven’t had one in a REALLY long time so I was not expecting it) and ended up getting my head as close to my knees as I could and it seemed to pass in a few minutes. Upon landing I grabbed a vitamin water and a snack at a kiosk to make sure that I’d be good to go for the next flight.

Somehow my flight at Atlanta landed at C2 and I only had to go to C5! Usually I am as far apart as humanly possible in these airports so I was excited. They ended up loading up another flight just before ours was supposed to take off because the flight was still in the hanger getting looked at.  Then we found out we had to get a new aircraft and had to go to C12 instead. The new aircraft came from stealing it from a flight heading to DC which ended up getting canceled.  We weren’t delayed all that much despite the new aircraft and the extra checks it needed for going to a different country.

We landed in Mexico and headed to immigration and then customs.  After going through customs they have you hit a red button. If you’re green, you’re good, if you’re red, you are getting randomly selected for a bag check.  I was with 2 other Hanson fans I met up with in Atlanta and 1 of us got a red light and the other 2 green.  Then I found out my roommate for the trip got a red one too.

We found our shuttle to the resort and off we went! It was nice to have a 20 minute ride instead of a 90 minute one.  While we were waiting to check in, my roommate showed up (she got in about the same time as us but was in a different terminal – we were hoping it all spit out to one general transportation area, but it didn’t!)

We checked in to the resort, checked in with Island Gigs for our Hanson credentials, checked out the room and headed to the seafood / pasta restaurant for dinner. I had 2 drinks but neither really were all that strong (and I’m a lightweight – I didn’t feel any of the drinks until the last night!) and then it was time to settle in for Hanson show #1 later that night.

But more on THAT next week 🙂

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Around Here, Setlist Voting is Serious Business

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For this year’s Back to the Island, Hanson put up a setlist voting on December 12 with the vote ending on December 18th.  They had 2 polls – 1 had each of the tracks off of their 6 studio albums. The other had just under 50 of their Fan Club Members Only EP songs.  Fans were allowed to pick 10 songs off of each list and the ones with the most votes will be played at Back to the Island’s final show.

Back to the Island this year is in Cancun and will have 3 Hanson shows, a solo show from each Hanson and sets from David Ryan Harris and Nick Santino.  My goal is to always come back hearing some new tracks I’ve never heard live before.  From the lists they’ve posted, there are *7* potential candidates. (And I’m hoping a few more that weren’t on the voting list will pop up as well!)

As I mentioned, I take the voting quite seriously.  For the Members Only songs I knew that the approach I was going to take for my 10 votes was going to be to start with the songs I’ve never heard before. Which put me at 7 songs right off the bat.  With my other 3 votes I went with 3 songs that I have heard 1 time – this past Members Only Event in Tulsa.  I thought that those 3 would be fun to hear again.  My votes were for the following:

Beautiful Eyes
I Can’t Wait
Wait Here For You
All I Have To Give
Take My Time
Bad Solution
Ordinary Words
White Collar Crimes
Panic in the Streets
Show Me The Way

For the album songs, I had to take a different approach.  With the 5 of 5 concerts and last year in Jamaica the guys singing Anthem in its entirety – I have heard every album song at least once (as it turns out, I’ve actually heard them all at least twice.)  There were 16 that I had heard 5 times or less, so I took the majority of my votes from those, picking 7 that I’d like to hear again.  Then once again, I picked 3 others that I thought might be fun. (2 of the 3 were from the top 5 songs I’ve heard live – at least from the albums)  The songs I ended up going with are:

Believe
Lost Without You
Yearbook
Weird
Dying To Be Alive
Tearing It Down
Musical Ride
And I Waited
Minute Without You
Where’s The Love

It can probably be argued that I “wasted” the last 2 votes on the album songs since those 2 are pretty much staples – but after 30 minutes of spreadsheets, databases and much deliberation, I decided it was best not to over think what I was voting for and just get it done with.

Back to the Island kicks off TODAY so we will see once I get back how many of my choices ended up in the set lists for the event.

 

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