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Hanson in Disney October 2017

For Halloween I made the trip back to Disney to see Hanson perform at Eat To the Beat at EPCOT.  This trip I also included a trip to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party so that I could meet the Seven Dwarfs in my Snow White costume that I had put together for the year before.  What I did not anticipate was how COLD it was going to be in Florida – texting with my Mom it was about the same temperature in FL as CT which is just not how it’s supposed to work! Throughout the party we kept asking “where is the sweat pants store?” and other than my photo with the dwarfs, I kept my hoodie on the whole night and was still wishing I had something maybe a little bit heavier.

One night I ended up at 3/4 parks and over my 4 days there I was able to hit up all the parks as well as ride on Tower of Terror and Rock N Roller Coaster for the first times!

Each night Hanson played 3 sets – the first night they put Where’s the Love in each of the 3 sets so by the time the run was done, I had seen Where’s the Love a total of 100 times live. The second song to get this honor. Penny and Me is close behind as I have now seen it 99 times.  I should hit 100 for that in Jamaica in January.

For Halloween the guys dressed up as characters from Life Aquatic, the movie with Bill Murray. Most of us had no idea what they were supposed to be – even after they said what they were! Red beanies and blue button down shirts was the attire for the entire band and crew.

The last day, we decided to have a character breakfast (so all my photos with Mickey are him in different outfits!) and while we were there the waitress told us that Hanson was doing a beer tasting. They never advertised it but we managed to eat and head over and get in line and be one of the first 100 to attend the beer seminar/tasting and get photos with the band.

It was a long and exhausting trip but a ton of fun as well!

 

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Hanson: Chicago & Grand Rapids

In addition to adding 2 new countries to my map this Hanson Middle of Everywhere Tour I also added 2 states. Over Columbus Day weekend I made the trek to see Hanson shows in Chicago and Grand Rapids. For whatever reason, most people assumed I had been to Chicago before but other than airport layovers, I had not.

About a week before the trip I started googling to see what food was available nearby to be delivered, since I’d be at the hotel with no transportation available to me. I found a restaurant called PotBelly and downloaded their app to order while I waited for the shuttle to bring me to the hotel. This was two strikes against Chicago – after waiting 45 minutes the shuttle never arrived so I took a cab and after confirming my order, PotBelly told me it would be delivered Monday morning – it was Friday night and on Monday I’d no longer be in Chicago. (And I am currently fighting with them as they have not yet refunded my credit card like they said when I called to cancel the order.)

I ended up spotting a Jimmy John’s as my cab driver drove around in circles because he was convinced I said “Holiday Inn” and not “Quality Inn”, you know those north east accents make all the H’s and Q’s sound the same… Jimmy John’s delivered right to my hotel so I was able to have dinner.

The next day, we waited in line in an attempt to get front row for the Hanson.net Members Only Event before the show. While waiting, Chicago got a couple more strikes against them and I became convinced that Chicago did not want me to eat as the hot dog place was not open on Saturdays (they would have delivered to us in line) and the bagel place had no plain bagels…

Our attempt at front row failed, but the members only event was fun – they even threw in a Christmas song for good measure. (They recorded it and implied it was going to be available to watch at some point, but Hanson Time.) They did a Q&A which led to them teasing a girl who had not been to a show in 19 years asking her where she’d been and if she’d seen Johnny because they’ve both been gone a really long time.

After the MOE photos there was some craziness going on for everyone to get back to their rightful spots, I was on my ADA seat by that point and basically had a front row seat to all the drama unfolding and was happy to not be a part of it. Before the show started, House of Blues dropped a screen down in front of the stage and proceeded to play the Cubs vs Nationals baseball game. Unfortunately Bryce Harper tied up the game and then Ryan Zimmerman gave the Nats the lead and then the win 🙁

Hanson took the stage and for the most part the first 6 songs of their sets have been pretty consistent, since they all transition one right into another with little to no stopping in between. This show was special because they opted to not do With You in Your Dreams or any other Hanson ballad in its place, instead they did a Tom Petty cover of the song Wildflowers. When they did it at 2 shows and then stopped I didn’t think I’d end up getting to see it live, but I was happy they added it back into the set. They also ended the set with I Don’t Want To Go Home which they had also done during the Members Only Event earlier in the day.

After the show we headed to 7-11 to try and get some snacks before Taylor’s after party only to find that… they were CLOSED! I was still pretty convinced Chicago wanted me to starve. We hung around for part of Taylor’s party and then hit the road to Indiana to get a head start on the way to Grand Rapids.

For lunch we went to Portillo’s which was supposed to give me a taste of Chicago (finally!) and I really enjoyed it. Then we made it to Grand Rapids where I waited at the hotel for the rest of my crew to join me as I had been bouncing from group to group all weekend.

Since we had seated shows for the show we opted to head to a locally recommended place – Hop Cat for dinner – but their 45 minute wait was cutting things a little bit too close. We went to a different restaurant instead where we ordered cherry coke that tasted like root beer? Upon returning to the venue the line was around the block and we waited a while before jumping in – finally made it in just minutes before Hanson took the stage and I am not sure everyone was actually inside yet!

The setlist was nothing too different for Grand Rapids and being in the seats made for a different perspective – the girl behind us was screaming that she loved Taylor like it was 1997. No one in the upper balcony seats were allowed to stand until Taylor demanded it so it was a weird vibe going on, but still a fun show. Taylor tried to do his side step with Isaac during Get the Girl Back but Isaac was having none of it. Andrew and Dimetrius were go-go dancing during one of the songs which was hilarious to watch. There also seemed to be a lot more children at this show than any of the others, I counted 5 or 6 down on the floor and imagine there were probably more in the seats as well.

After the show we decided it was our only chance all tour to try and get a photo with any of the guys and while all 3 of them came out it was very crazy and hectic and we couldn’t get up close enough to them before Taylor said security had to leave so they’d have to go. We encountered a couple of rude, pushy girls who were talking about how it was their first show. While I’m happy that so many old fans are returning, I wish things could be a bit more laid back at the bus areas after the shows. A nice, organized line is probably too much to ask for though 😉

I am sad that the tour is over for me – even though i have 9 shows coming up in Disney World, it just won’t be the same as a full length tour show! But I am looking ahead to the Christmas tour which will be here before I know it where I will be attending 4 of the 8 shows!

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Hanson in Boston

Sunday night was time for my second double header as I headed to Boston to see Hanson at the House of Blues.  The line was around and around the block which was insane. Fortunately the Hanson.net Members Only Line was just finishing going in so we were able to hop in it and enter the venue.  My seat was on the balcony on Isaac’s side – although since I had bought the tickets I was convinced I had the stadium seats. It was a nice surprise since the stadium seats were much further back than I had expected. If I leaned at just the right angle I could see all guys, but for the most part my view was Taylor and Zac and Isaac looking like he was in jail due to the bars around the balcony!

I opted to crowd watch a bit more this show than usual, probably because I had such a great view of the GA Floor below me and the Boston crowd did not disappoint.  There were a couple of younger girls in the crowd singing along at what appeared to be the top of their lungs (with feeling) to every song.  There was a girl dancing with the merch guy to Weird-  complete with her twirling him. And that same girl’s reaction when This Time Around started was gold. Probably because it was the complete opposite to my usual reaction when they start that song.

Highlights included – me making it through With You In Your Dreams without crying (the trick is to try and ignore the fact that you are at a concert and check your social media accounts that you had neglected for the last hour or so) and I Don’t Want To Go Home as the encore.

We didn’t stay for the after party this night as it was a “school night” and I was disappointed to find out that Zac came out by the buses relatively quickly after the show – but I think the extra sleep before heading to work on Monday was more necessary than another photo with Zac. (At least, that is what I am going to keep telling myself)

Still one more double-header to go… and this time I’ll be adding 2 new states to my map!

 

Already Home
Waiting For This
Where’s The Love
Look At You
Tragic Symphony
Thinking ‘Bout Somethin’
Great Divide
This Time Around
Weird
Go
Madeline
Juliet
Strong Enough To Break
Penny and Me
Watch Over Me
With You In Your Dreams
On and On
I Was Born
A Minute Without You
Get The Girl Back
I’m A Man / Gimme Some Lovin’ / Long Train Runnin
MMMBop
If Only
Fired Up
In The City

Encore:
I Don’t Want To Go Home
Lost Without Each Other

 

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Hanson New York City

Saturday September 30th Hanson brought the Middle of Everywhere Tour to Times Square and the Playstation Theater.  This was my 3rd show on the tour in the US. This show was the first time that the I’m a Man / Gimme Some Lovin’ / Long Train Runnin’ medley made it in to the set in the US (I had previously seen them do it at a couple of shows in Australia)

It’s getting harder and harder to write about the show specifically – but at this show it seemed like someone was smoking weed up front – the smell was so strong (up there, I didn’t smell it) that even Zac called them out on it from the stage.

I have to say that the people that surround you at a show can make or break it for you and somehow I ended up with a bunch of people who broke it for me.  I was seemingly accused of attempting to swipe the girl behind me’s leather jacket before the show even started. (Where would I hide it? Why would I want it?) A couple people stood and the people behind them had a cow [the aforementioned jacket girls] which led to the boyfriend next to me asking them to move which resulted on them instead standing on the rail and blocking MY view for the rest of the show.  I was fully prepared to stand if the people legitimately in front of me were standing but I was not prepared for everyone behind/next to me to pitch a fit because they “bought seats for a reason” and “couldn’t stand”.  If you have a legitimate medical issue that results in you being unable to stand – you should have talked to the venue about ADA seating. They were eager to fill the section as EVERY employee that saw me walk by asked if I wanted to sit in there – but I preferred to stay in the Mezzanine. Perhaps that was my mistake – but I wasn’t convinced I’d be able to see Zac from there and what I ended up with was being unable to see Taylor most of the time. A trade off I will take every time.

After the show we attended our first Dance Like You Don’t Care after party.  Getting this organized was kind of a shit show as the venue had no idea how we even bought tickets.  “How did you get tickets?” “Online” “Were they still available?” “As of last night”

They had us all sit in the mezzanine seats to clear the place out and it was like we were back in elementary school – they didn’t want us to move. Eventually we got permission to go to the bathroom or get food (since they would not be serving food after hours) but it all felt a bit like punishment for 8 year olds and we were worried we would end up with detention.  Finally they came by to scan our tickets and then told us to go down to the stage row by row, which were the instructions we were following but I guess another worker didn’t like how we were doing it and wanted us to go back. It’s one of you versus hundreds of us, lets see how that works for you, buddy. (Spoiler: It didn’t)  We ended up on the barricade and then waited… and waited… under an air vent for Taylor to make his appearance.  He did shots with some of the crowd – one being my friend Samantha so that was cool and another notable point was actor Drew Seeley was in the crowd with his wife.  We decided to make “No Diggity” our final song before heading out to get some cheesecake – and once he started up Katy Perry right after we knew our choice was correct.

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Hanson Middle of Everywhere Silver Spring

After our trip to VA we made the trek to MD for the Hanson show in Silver Spring and the Members Only Event preshow.

Any Hanson.net member who RSVPed for the event was let in early to a pre-show performance of 7 Members Only songs and then a Q&A. They answered questions about who sings verse 2 on Ive Got Soul (and I think that is when Taylor quipped you could use Google – I’d have to agree – any question that I know the answer to or is on my website is not something you should be wasting our time asking…) they also go asked who has the best Walk of Shame story – which they refused to answer. They talked about if they felt their social media was personal or marketing (neither) a bit about Christmas shows being close to selling out and toying with the idea of a yearly Christmas themed event (please alternate it with BTTI somehow if you end up doing it, Hanson!) and then they did group photos with members in groups of 10.  You had the option of forgoing a photo to get to the front of the line for the entrance to the stage again after the photos. Since we were doing ADA anyway we opted for the photo and ended up next to Zac.

Then we waited for doors to officially opened and got our spot up on the balcony for the show (Taylor’s side this time) The setlist was a bit different than the night before – they always do tend to mix things up a bit when they are on tour in the US since they know so many fans travel to many shows. Unfortunately it is getting harder and harder for me to review said shows lol   Nothing of note happened – except that the AC was on FULL BLAST and blowing right at us the whole show which brought my chair dancing up a level or two to try and keep myself from freezing!

After the show was the after party but since it was a Sunday night we opted to not stay.

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Hanson at The Norva

Sometimes my partner in crime and I think we have great ideas and we can do it all. I think we also forget what ‘It’s only 5 hours away’ really means. Friday night I headed down to her place in Pennsylvania, we got to bed early and woke up at 5:30 to do the 5k / fun walk for Four Diamonds at Hershey Park. After completing the race we went back to her place, changed and headed in the car for the 5 hours to Norfolk and then attempted to nap in the car. (Which really didn’t work because we ended up in a noisy parking garage that was apparently free but we paid $10.50 before leaving)

Upon arrival at The Norva, we were told there was no separate line/entrance for ADA and it was “first come, first serve” I am not sure how you can tell people that it’s too bad so sad that they are disabled but they no longer have room to accommodate you… but whatever. We hopped in the members only line, got inside only to be told that Maribeth might not be able to stay near me in the ADA section. WHAT? (Also the fact that it was already “full” and the general line had yet to go in was pretty crappy) They put me in the “best seat in the house” according to our security friend Nolan (who was awesome and helped me up on the high chair and everything) and Maribeth stood next to me. Then one of the other security guys came over and told Maribeth that she couldn’t stand next to me and could go stand behind the section a good 5 feet away from where I was. She explained she didn’t drive all the way from PA to go to a show with me to not end up next to me… and the guy told her “If I make an exception for you, I have to make an exception for everyone. But I’ll make an exception for you” What? We couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic or what but then he told her that no, she could stay there. WHY bother arguing and telling her no then, if it in the end you were just going to let her stay? Why do these venues have to get us all riled up over being able to have a safe spot and worry us for no reason? (This isn’t a one-off thing – getting an ADA spot is very often very stressful and it shouldn’t be that way!)

The great thing about this tour is that there is no opening act, so Hanson took the stage shortly after 8pm. Our spot put us just above Zac so we were staring at Isaac and Taylor’s back most of the night but it was a cool perspective because we could see the crowd like Hanson does during the show! When Zac and Taylor swapped spots for “Juliet”, Taylor spotted us up in our spot and ended up singing a few songs to us. They have been switching up the set a lot more in the states than they did in Australia and I was glad to sneak a peak at the setlist before the show and see that ‘with you in your dreams’ was NOT on it – but that Runaway Run and Save Me were! Zac was sick – I have never seen him sweat so much (and he actually wrung out his shirt at the end of the show on the stage and it was gross) so we opted to not hang out by the bus after the show and instead head to our crash pad for the night.

It was a great show to start our tour “run” on (if you can call just weekend shows a run) and we were looking forward to the members only event and concert in MD the next night.

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Hanson in Australia & New Zealand

I was born to DO. I was born to GO. I was born to BE.
That is the chorus of Hanson’s newest single, “I Was Born”.  I had already decided before I knew the lyrics to the song that I was going to try to go to Australia on Hanson’s next tour to see them play.  When I heard the song it all seemed a bit serendipitous.

For months I planned – I may have actually bought tickets to all the concerts before I even had approval from work to take the time off. (Spoiler – I did) I booked flights, I researched things that I wanted to do while I was there and narrowed it down to 3 “must do” activities – Sydney Opera House, hold a koala and see Hobbiton.  Combine I Was Born with The Hobbit – and I was born to be going on an adventure!

Little did I know just how much of an adventure it would end up being. Immediately upon checking in at the airport I was told that my flight was delayed and there was no other flights that could get me to Dallas any sooner. Instead of an hour layover I was down to 30 minutes and while I might make the flight – my bags most likely wouldn’t. I grabbed some winter clothes out of my luggage, threw it in my carry on and hoped for the best.

The best turned out to be my flight to Dallas ending up so delayed I wouldn’t make it until an hour after my flight to Sydney took off and I’d be in Dallas for the night, off to Los Angeles the next day (worried I’d end up in LA with only winter clothes!) and then straight from LA to Melbourne that night, losing a day of sightseeing in Melbourne. (I am so, so glad I planned in that extra day so I only missed sight seeing and didn’t miss any of my must dos or any Hanson shows!)

Before I had left my coworkers were teasing me for never having had an “In N Out” burger and said I needed to hit up a Hanson show in California next. Well, there wasn’t a Hanson show but I made sure to leave LAX and head to a super packed In N Out just up the street from the airport. It was worth the effort.  I wish I could have hung out in LA a bit more, but my “Premium Economy” ticket was downgraded to regular old “Economy” when I missed my flight so I had to head back to the airport to get that straightened out. (I never did.)

By the time the flight from LA took off I felt like it was 1am so I slept the majority of the flight and I also fell asleep during every movie I tried to watch – Beauty and the Beast, Fantastic Beasts and Trolls. The only thing I managed to stay awake to watch was Netflix’s The Ranch.  Landed in Melbourne at 7am and hit the ground running.  That evening I thought that I might fall asleep for the first time during a Hanson concert, but I pushed through.  After that I adjusted pretty well to the time change despite everyone asking if I was feeling alright and wondering about any jet lag.

Everyone I met that didn’t already know me or wasn’t a Hanson fan thought I was nuts when my friends would say, “And this is Katie. She is from the States! She came here to see Hanson!”   Most were wondering if Hanson never played shows in the states and then my friends would say “Oh we were just there in May to see them!” Wait but… if you’re from the States and they play the States… why are you in Australia?  Um, why not?  It was somewhere I’ve always wanted to go and it was a good excuse to go AND see my favorite band… And KOALAS!

Day 2 added to the adventure when I slipped in the shower, punched a potted plant on the way down and it smashed and sliced open 4 of my fingers.  We got me all bandaged up and then I ended up covered in super glue which led to the joke of the trip that they broke me and then tried to glue me back together again.  Slowly each finger healed and by the time I got to New Zealand I was in pretty good shape, although one finger is still sore even now.

After Melbourne we were off to Canberra and then to Sydney.  Since we had seats for the show we headed to cross off the first item on my must-do list which was to see the Sydney Opera House. We opted to not take any tours since they didn’t seem really handicapped friendly and we had already missed the tour that removed all the stairs from it.  So while we couldn’t actually go inside it was cool to walk around and see the bridge and the docked cruise ships.

After 2 nights in Sydney and a Members Only Event where we got to meet the guys and get tourist suggestions from Zac (Only 1 of which we did – since it was already on my list) we were off to Queensland via a flight from Sydney.  You don’t need to show your ID or ticket to get through security and I was thoroughly confused the whole time we were at the airport since it was so, so different from in the US!

Since we had another seated show in the Gold Coast we headed up to the Australia Zoo before hand so that we could cuddle a koala! We also fed kangaroos and saw some dingos. And to add to the adventure, the koala, named ‘Tato, pooped on me.  We also saw a baby koala that we probably otherwise wouldn’t have noticed thanks to some kids screaming “THERE’S A BABY KOALA!” when we were watching them sleep in their trees!

Gold Coast and Brisbane is when the tour started catching up to us, and my friend Nat ended up so sick she couldn’t even go to the Brisbane show. 🙁 I was hoping that whatever it was would hold off for a few more days so I could finish off my trip and then get sick when I got home (be careful what you wish for)

At the airport on the way to New Zealand I saw Hanson at baggage check and said hello – Taylor commented that I was going on quite an adventure – and he didn’t even know the half of it! Turns out, Hanson was on my flight to New Zealand.  They went straight to do press upon landing and I went straight to take a nap.  The 2 hour time difference from Australia to NZ is when things really started going downhill for me.

It turned out that with the addition of 2 members only events for this tour, my Hanson show count was going to hit #150 with the Auckland show.  Everything just kind of worked out perfectly that way (and MMMBop the first night in Melbourne ended up being my 100th time hearing it live)  Since they had a members only event before the show I was able to tell them I’d be hitting #150 which ended up with my getting a shout out before Penny and Me and Taylor calling me one of their most devout and dedicated fans. What!?

The grand finale of my trip was waking up at 5:30AM to take a tour of Hobbiton through Bush and Beach, who picked me up right at the hotel and took me to Hobbiton for a private tour. This company is amazing and we only had *5* people in our tour group as opposed to the other tours that were like 40!  This led to our amazing guide, Sonny, personally chatting with us all and taking basically as many photos as we would like at each of the various stops along the tour.  The tour was a bit difficult for me in places due to steps, but Sonny helped me out and we made it through with no injuries to report.

I arrived back home only to head to the doctors and find out that I had bronchitis and be put on antibiotics. For the next week or so no matter what time I went to bed, I woke up at 5am but I have since seemed to switch back to the correct time zone. Phew!

I know most people think I am crazy for going to see Hanson so many times and just don’t get it. And that’s ok. I can’t really explain why I do it other than it just makes me happy and I have made so many friends because of this band (world wide!) that even though I flew to the other side of the planet alone – I was never really alone.  That is my happy place and when those opening chords of the opening song start – I know that I am Already Home.  I can’t wait to do it all over again for 6 shows in the fall when their tour finally kicks off in the States.

 

 

 

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Throwback Thursday: Hanson Members Only Event 10/18/09

Headliner: Hanson
Opener(s): NA
Venue: Manchester Inn
Cost: $0

Setlist:

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Throwback Thursday: Hanson 10/16/09

Headliner: Hanson
Opener(s): Steel Train, Hello Goodbye
Venue: Northern Lights
Cost: $34.70

Setlist:

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The Hop Jam 2017

Sunday after Hanson Day Weekend was over, it was time for the Hop Jam.  Once again I volunteered this year, so as far as the music portion went, I only saw a few performances. I was sure to sneak away from Castro’s set and watched it from the “VIP Box” that was my hotel room.  I ended up back at the hotel in time to hear KONGOS “Come With Me Now” and then of course, stopped all volunteering duties in order to see Hanson get inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and see their performance.  Afterwards we picked up our volunteer shifts once again, doing all sorts of “fun” things to make sure that the street would be back to normal and no one would ever know such a huge festival had just went down.

The Hop Jam marked my 99th time hearing MMMBop live (which is pretty cool because #100 will be in Australia and that’s obviously why I had to go on such a big trip) and my 250th unique song heard live was their new single,  “I Was Born”.  It was also my 141st Hanson show meaning that I will most likely be hitting 150 in Australia / New Zealand. (Looking to be New Zealand based on the Members Only Events that were recently announced)

Here are a few highlights from the show:

Hanson getting inducted

Taylor starting Fired Up in the crowd

 

For most of the day I was at the entrance gate, watching people get pissed off because they couldn’t bring in outside food or drink (and one particularly happy guy dumped his water bottle at my feet because he was told to dump it. Thanks dude!) and handing out maps of the festival grounds and answering questions about where to get tickets scanned and all that good stuff.  I handed a map to someone and he commented about how he hoped now he wouldn’t get lost, I told him “Good luck!” and the security guy asked me what I said so I was like “…good luck?” and he goes “Oh. I thought you said ‘Get fucked'”  I mean… I’m not sure that is the language that I really should be using as a volunteer at a festival? But this guy was also making fun of everyone who tripped over the entrance fence to their face – I was a bit relieved when they moved him to a different gate and hopefully it was with less public interaction.

 

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