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Throwback Thursday: Honor Society 12/31/09

Headliner: Honor Society
Opener(s):  Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
Venue:  Chocolate Avenue
Cost:  $0


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O-Town on a BOAT

Last week we made the trek to NYC and Pier 83 to board a circle line cruise around the Hudson with a trip that included a concert from both Ryan Cabrera and O-Town.  At first O-Town was saying there would be no VIP for this show, but in May we were pleasantly surprised to see it offered as an option and although the VIP cost was increased to $250 we opted to splurge as it was our only O-Show of the tour.

We arrived early to make sure we wouldn’t miss the boat, only to not board until nearly an hour after we were supposed to board for VIP.  Once we got on board, we grabbed a chair for me (as the rocking boat and my lack of balance were not working well together at all) and waited… and waited… and waited… for the tech crew to get the sound system set up.  We all waited around wondering why we couldn’t kick off the photos with the band first since every minute more it took the crew to figure out the sound was one minute less we’d have to spend with the band.  For whatever reason this was not an option, and finally about 15 minutes before General Admission boarding was about to begin the guys took the stage – decked out in throwback outfits to recreate the We Fit Together music video. (Probably why they couldn’t do photos before sound check) We also go to hear them soundcheck Giants before they decided we would do photos on the level of the boat we were already on (since GA was no doubt waiting downstairs to come up for spots for the show) with the backdrop the NYC sky line.  We were told no group photos but we could still get 2 photos with the band – a normal pose and a fun pose. I had no idea what to do so I told the guys to do whatever while I just stuck out my tongue lol (And I did have to tell Erik that he had to take his Yankees hat off for my photo, which he agreed to)

We were told if we wanted more time with the guys – we had the option to buy a t-shirt to get in the selfie line and VIP would get to cut everyone else waiting. Then we found out the t-shirts were $60 which is INSANE.  We decided that we weren’t going to do this and were really disappointed that a discount was not offered to those of us who paid so much for VIP and ended up getting so little.

Shortly after GA joined us, MMMBop started playing and then was cut off so we could “listen” to a message from the captain – that we could barely hear at all and it was time to set sail!   Despite being up near the front, I couldn’t really see Ryan due to his placement on stage and spent most of his set taking in my surroundings as we went under 3 bridges and went by the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade, etc.  I was glad that I ended up doing this because once O-Town took the stage I kind of forgot where we were due to paying too much attention to the guys being on stage. (Plus we were going backwards which meant they knew what was coming up but we had no clue unless we turned around)  Due to shifting in the crowd I couldn’t see for most of O-Town’s set either – and just a PSA if someone is sitting by you it’s probably a good idea to a) Not sneak into VIP you didn’t pay for and block them B) hold your phone up eye level so they can’t see a damn thing beyond your screen.  Holding the phone chest level would have gotten the same videos AND I would have been able to see.  I did manage to lift my phone over my head every now and then to snap photos of the guys though.

Even after all the time wasted getting the sound to work – it was not that great during the show but the guys powered through and did a great performance in spite of it all.  They also did a covers medley that was simply amazing and had such a variety of songs included, it blew my mind.

After the show Christine and I looked at each other as if to say “Are we really spending $60 on a shirt and selfies?” and well… we did.

While we were with the guys, someone ended up jumping overboard off the ship and things went a little crazy – luckily the guys grabbed me to make sure I didn’t get knocked over as crew members ran around like maniacs not caring who they pushed out of their way.  Turns out a guy that walked into us as we were trying to make our departure from the deck of the ship we were on was the one to jump overboard – which is illegal so security had to keep him contained until we docked so he could be arrested.  This led to us being delayed getting off the boat. Way to go, doofus.

I wish I could have seen the guys more on this tour – so many shows were nearby but with stupid work deadlines looming, it was the time to attempt to be an adult and not run off to fangirl every evening.  And yes, I probably would have bought VIP to another show, despite the fail that this one turned out to be.

After the Lights
Right Kind Of Wrong
We Fit Together
Lines and Circles
Empty Spaces
Chasing After You
Shady Business
Liquid Dreams
Sky Dive
Playing with Fire
Cut the Cord

All or Nothing

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Throwback Thursday: Kris Allen 12/8/09

Headliner: Kris Allen
Opener(s):  NA
Venue:  SBC
Cost: $0


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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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Ed Sheeran at Mohegan Sun Arena

Friday Night July 14th Ed Sheeran took his divide tour to the arena at Mohegan Sun for the first of a two night stay.  Our tickets were marked as “possible obstruction” but aside from the fact we were side stage and couldn’t see the full effect of the screens behind Ed, we were in a great spot!

James Blunt opened and while I only knew his song “You’re Beautiful” (which is just a great creepy stalker anthem but most people don’t seem to realize that) he had a good set and was pretty funny with his banter between songs.  He even jumped on top of his piano at one point.  Before he left the stage he mentioned how he and his piano were going to leave the stage, as was his whole band and their instruments and it was just going to be Ed and his pedal up on stage for the rest of the show and while Ed was performing we should think of him because he would be backstage saying “Damn, a pedal is a lot cheaper than hiring a band”

Ed opened his set up with Castle on the Hill and it just amazing to watch him – just a guitar and a pedal – fill an arena as if he had a full band with him. I had to laugh when he was singing I See Fire and Smaug came up on the screens and everyone was like “AH! A Dragon!” haha.  Ed said that he was going to have no voice by the end of the show and hoped we wouldn’t either (since I’m recovering from bronchitis I tried to be careful to NOT lose my voice as I’m trying to get better!) and said that Argentina had the loudest crowds and he knew that we could scream loud but he was hoping we could sing louder because he thought the US could be louder.

Downer of the night was the dude next to me who was clearly dragged to the show by his girlfriend and he sat next to me miserable for most of the show. Before “Perfect” she said “This is the song I wanted you to listen to!” and when it ended he said “Why would you want me to listen to THAT?” Oof.  I now get what the artists say when they talk about feeling the audiences energy and feeding off of it, because he was totally bringing me down.  Then the woman in front of us flipped out and was screaming about Wexford and decided to turn around and apologize to us. Why? I don’t know. I don’t care where you are from and no need to apologize for having fun at a concert!

Ed left the stage to us singing along on “Sing” but came back out shortly after for a quick encore of Shape of You (and I had far too much fun with the hot dog on Snapchat… Teletubbies, Hot Dogs, close enough) and then finished out with one of my favorite songs to see him do live – You Need Me, I Don’t Need You.

Ed did a 2nd show Saturday night at Mohegan but since tickets weren’t all that easy to obtain and I had pulled up obstructed and threw them away never to get another pair to pop, I opted out.

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Throwback Thursday: Kris Allen 12/8/09

Headliner: Kris Allen
Opener(s):  Article 19
Venue:  Up Or On The Rocks
Cost:  $0


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David Cook at Infinity Music Hall

Sunday, July 9, David Cook and his band returned to Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT for a show.  While the schedule looked like they had a few days off, David mentioned that they had left their show in Philly, flew to Las Vegas, drove to California to perform for the troops and had left that morning with a layover in Detroit to get back to CT, getting to the venue around 5pm for the show.  The VIP M&G was held after the show instead of before the show due to this.  David was also complaining of a sore throat all day to his band, but he sounded great! (He has since had to cancel several shows to be on vocal rest though, poor guy!)

After the song Heroes, he stopped to have a conversation with us. I tried to transcribe it from a recording as best I could…
“We have a lot of music to play but we have to have a conversation first. So, our last public show was… the 6th in Philly and so to people looking at the calendar they’d say hey awesome they have 2 or 3 days off that’s pretty cool. On the 7th we flew from Philly to Las Vegas and drove 2.5-3 hours to Ft. Irwin Army base in California.  To play a show for the base there for their Summer Fest. We got lost on the way in the desert which is already a great end to the story… we were like maybe 20 minutes off the highway and the map was telling us turn left… there’s a cactus there we can’t turn left so in the middle of the desert literally an oasis there was a monastery St Anthony’s monestary and the other side of the fence is just the most lush green you’ve ever seen like they just took all of the water. So we turn around and are going to go back to the highway and all of a sudden this Honda Civic just comes tearing ass over towards us flashing lights at us honking and we are like ok this is like some breaking bad shit. He pulls up beside us and is just like pull over, pull over, it’s this bearded guy. Bearded dudes are suspect. So we pull over which is obviously the smart thing to do in this scenario, so we pull over and its one of the monks from the monastery and it’s like he knew what we were doing and he was like are you guys trying to get to Ft Irwin and he says oh follow me and we are like no! so we get back on the highway another 45 minutes, get up the next day to play the show and its 110 degrees I think… gross! Oh it was 114 excuse me. So we play the how it went well and then 1am his morning pacific time we got up, I got up later I overslept, get in the van drive back to Vegas for a 6am flight to Detroit, in Detroit 40 mins get here at like 5… but listen… it leads me to this point, so we are sitting here waiting for the show to start and I’m just like I want a day off, and then you guys start singing Hereos back to us… that is FUEL. So I don’t know. That’s it”

The girls behind me also had a sign… David took it from them and read it out – Here for Kyle, no longer in the band. Here for Neal, no longer in the band. Here for Andy, no longer in the band, here for Monty, no longer in the band. … David.  He thought maybe they were questioning if they were there for him or not and they said no, they weren’t questioning it they were settling.  So he gave them a guitar lesson on how to turn a chord into a power chord which was basically just giving them the finger.  Then he was teasing how he was #5 in his band there was only 4 guys on stage.

He hung it up on the keyboard but later signed it and passed it back to the girls in the crowd.

Before one of the songs he said he had to be careful what he said because when he’s over tired he gets emotional and no one can sing beautifully with snot running down their face.  I think he was going to mention something about his time on Idol but decided not to.

For the encore, he started off with Light On, his first single post-Idol. He told a story about how they told him that it was going to be his single and he was disappointed because he was hoping he could write his own song.  But then they told him that the song was co-written by Chris Cornell who was one of his idols growing up so he agreed to it. He talked about how the arrangement of the demo was basically the same as he plays it – but the vocals were Chris’ and they told him “Ok you’re going to sing this song” and how he had hoped that Chris was out there somewhere listening.

The last 3 songs from the encore were all tracks from his new EP that he is currently raising money to record on Pledge Music.  The first was a Phil Collins cover of Another Day in Paradise that I think he reworked beautifully. And then 2 originals – Ghost Magnetic and the latest single, Gimme Heartbreak – which I hadn’t had a chance to listen to before the show because… vacation on the other side of the world… but it’s really good as well!

Before he went in to the new songs someone in the crowd yelled out “NEW SONG!” and he thought that she said “YOU SUCK” and mentioned how he thought she yelled You Suck but then realized what she had actually said and was thinking he was going to have to give another guitar lesson – which he did anyway and then was worried his Mom was going to see video and get upset with him

David Cook Setlist Infinity Hall, Norfolk, CT, USA 2017

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NKOTB Fenway Park

Saturday we made the trek to Fenway Park to see NKOTB and The Total Package Tour.  This was my first concert at a ballpark! As soon as we had gotten let onto the field to take our seats, it started raining.  Fortunately I had some ponchos in my purse and we quickly put them on. The rain was on again off again.

Boyz II Men opened the show and it was slightly drizzling their whole set – which made trying to get any photos tricky! When they started playing Water Runs Dry it started raining harder! I thought that they had a great set and it was a lot different from their set on The Package Tour.

On Bended Knee
It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday
Water Runs Dry
Are You Gonna Go My Way/American Woman/Locked Out of Heaven
I’ll Make Love to You
End of the Road
In the Still of the Night
A Song for Momma
One Sweet Day
End of the Road

Paula Abdul was next up, and it started absolutely pouring so half her set I was hiding in my poncho to try and stay dry.  She talked about how singing in the rain inspired her when she was younger to become a singer and dancer… but it took her quite a while to realize… she was SINGING IN THE RAIN.  A few songs in she announced she had to leave the stage and then the PA announcer said severe weather was in the area and we had to take cover in the grandstands.

I have to say, the Fenway staff did an AMAZING job making sure all the wheelchairs were able to get out of the ADA area and to the ramp that was several sections away by holding back the rest of the concert go’ers and doing the same when we went back after we got the all clear.  If not, navigating through the crowd with the wheelchairs would have been impossible.

When we were let back to the seats, everything was being set up for NKOTB to take the stage.  It still was raining lightly, but by the time NKOTB came out the rain had stopped – but that didn’t stop the guys from stomping around in all the puddles that had formed on the stage!

I feel like for the past few NKOTB tours their setlists have been pretty much the same.  With the release of a new EP (which I still haven’t had the time to check out, bad fan!) and them being at it for so long (Jordan said they had been performing in Boston for 33 years!) they switched things up a bit and did a lot of throwbacks to the older stuff as they went through their discography and band timeline.

Highlights included the quick change camera which is hilarious and definitely live because Donnie had a piece of confetti stuck to his arm that appeared in the video just in case anyone thought it might have been pre-recorded and Joe’s son Griff joining him on stage to sing Please Don’t Go Girl. Adorable.

There also was a point in the show when the guys left the main stage and we had no idea where they were – and it seemed like the camera guys had no idea either as the screens on stage just kept panning around.  Turns out the guys were running around on the infield and then ended up on the dugouts for a song as well!

It was a great show and definitely a great first for me! It rained, it snowed, there was tons of confetti (though I only ended up catching a few pieces even though I was convinced we were going to be covered in it due to our wet ponchos) and even fireworks!

Act 1 – The Beginning

One More Night
My Favorite Girl
Dirty Dancing
You Got It (The Right Stuff)
Remix (I Like The)
Block Party
Cover Girl
The Whisper

Act 2 – Storytellers

Stop It Girl
Be My Girl
I Wanna Be Loved by You
Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)
Call It What You Want
Valentine Girl
Happy Birthday
You Got the Flavor
Dirty Dawg
Never Let You Go
If You Go Away
Merry, Merry Christmas
This One’s for the Children
Hard (Not Lovin’ U)
Please Don’t Go Girl

Act 3 – The Close

Step by Step
I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)
Hangin’ Tough

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Throwback Thursday: Honor Society 11/15/09

Headliner: Honor Society
Opener(s): Esmee Denters
Venue: Paradise Rock Club
Cost: $20


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Throwback Thursday: Honor Society 11/12/09

Headliner: Honor Society
Opener(s): Esmee Denters
Venue: Irving Plaza
Cost: $25.50


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