Friday September 16 the Pop 2000 made a stop in Stamford at the Palace Theater. Before the show we did VIP with O-Town which got us into their soundcheck. Usually they do the real soundcheck first and then kind of mess around with VIP but as they had a late arrival to the venue it was a legit soundcheck and some chit chat as well. After soundcheck it was time for photos and we hopped to the front of the line because we were also doing VIP with Chris Kirkpatrick. He did a Q&A chat session before photos and autographs.
Ryan Cabrera opened the show and had a drummer with him this time (past times when I saw him it was just him and his guitar)
Then it was time for Chris to take the stage to introduce O-Town! We had front row for the show and I was very happy to have a monitor in front of me so I could stand and not feel like they were going to be stepping on me the whole time. Brad from LFO joined them for a medley to honor both Rich and Devin and I was surprised how I managed to still know every word and I honestly can’t even tell you when I last listened to any of their stuff…
The show was so much fun and high energy and ended with Chris joining O-Town for Bye Bye Bye and Dirty Pop.
We’ve now seen Pop 2k with both Lance and Chris and well, we all know who I’m looking to see host next…
Lately I’ve been avoiding concerts during the work week, but when I saw Matt Nathanson was coming to Ridgefield on a Wednesday I made an exception. And when he added on a pre-show party, I knew I’d end up needing to work some late nights that week to make up for leaving early to go. Due to covid concerns, the VIP portion was soundcheck, merch and Q&A only – no photos like they used to be. Totally fine with me, I masked up and got there early to check in.
We were let in around 5pm, in to the stage area at 5:30pm after getting our merch (signed poster and coaster) and refreshments. As we entered and Matt asked how we were, someone asked back how he was doing and he said something to the effect of, “well the trailer blew 3 tires and then the bus blew…” and I started to wonder if this was just the new “hey nice to see you” tour greeting since Hanson had said something pretty similar to me as well. A lot of the Q&A time was spent talking about his daughter and I know far more about her now than I ever wanted and probably much more than she would want me to know. I think Matt being in a room of people was therapeutic for him and I liked that a lot of his answers seemed to be honest and vulnerable.
He had a list of songs that were requested from his new fan club (which I am now in the process of trying to join!) and was saying which ones he *wasn’t* going to play, but then kept playing them. Whoops. We ended up getting to hear 4 songs – which he apologized that he needed to use a mic for because his voice was getting a bit froggy from the tour.
Last Days of Summer in San Francisco
Initially the venue was saying we’d have to stay inside because doors would be open, but they ended up stamping us to let us leave and put the poster in the car (thank you!) Venue doors opened at 6:30pm and the doors to the theater at 7pm. Donovan Woods was the opening act and in between his songs he did almost a comedy act talking about them (and cracking himself up in the process) I did enjoy him but I felt like he set me up with a false sense of security with the jokes and then ended with a sick/dead Dad song that ended up as a bit of a gut punch.
For our last leg of the tour we got up stupid early to get the first flight out from Minneapolis to Seattle. I attempted to get some sleep but failed. Upon landing in Seattle we found a Mexican restaurant to have breakfast and then dove right in to being touristy. We parked at Pike’s Place and took an uber to the Starbucks Reserve. Since I am not a coffee person I perched myself on what might have been the most comfortable stool ever and got the setlist from the night before posted. Then we headed back to Pike’s Place, wandered around a little bit, saw the gum wall. (I am not sure why I was thinking that was a good idea but I also wasn’t thinking the whole city was on an insane incline) We sent a friend up a million stairs to a nice view of the city and then headed over to see the Freemont Troll. For dinner we tried to time a seaside dinner at Ray’s with the sunset and were pretty successful.
The next morning we made our way to Vancouver. The questions at the border were pretty quick and when we said we were entering for a concert and leaving Saturday morning all we got was “OK bye” and we were on our way. We headed straight to Granville Island to wander around a bit before our whale watching excursion. We did our tour with “Prince of Whales” because in addition to not tracking or getting to close to the whales, they have a photographer on board. I knew if I went I’d want to try and get a great photo and miss out on the actual experience so it was nice knowing that I could just sit back and watch and we’d hopefully get some decent shots from the pros who know what they are looking for. While I really was hoping for some orcas, we ended up spending about an hour with 5 Humpback Whales. One of which completely came up to the side of the boat and blew out its blowhole and scared the crap out of us. When we got the photos, I realized that on the other side of the boat one had breached out of the water a whole lot as opposed to just the tails and dorsal fins we were seeing on our side of the boat. We did end up circling around where the orcas were known to hang out, but none of them were spotted. (And a PSA to parents out there, if you’re taking your small child who might be newly potty trained on a 3-5 hour boat ride – you might want to ask him regularly if he needs to use the toilet before he starts screaming “I pee peed!” over and over and you have to yell at your friend to jump up off the bench she was sitting on before she gets hit with a stream of pee.) After the boat we ate at a restaurant right next to the boat dock but it turned out to have some pretty nice views. (Of our waiter.) We made it to the hotel just in time to see sunset out of our window.
The next day was show day and pretty dreary. We had already decided we’d be trying for front row balcony at the venue and had no plans to get there early. The groups split up with 1 going to a suspension bridge and the other 2 doing the hop on hop off bus tour – which included a drive by Hanson’s tour buses. I find the hop on hop off buses to be a fun way to see a lot of the city without needing to do a lot of walking and we didn’t hop off but ended up finding an Orca statue I had wanted to see as well as some of the more (and less) touristy areas. After dinner we got to the venue about 3 hours before doors and ended up being 1, 2 an 3 in line. Unfortunately there was no way I could stand for 4+ hours in the front row so I was stuck back in the seats. It was really weird to watch the crowd from the middle and it was even weirder how even when I stayed seated some songs I could see all 3 band members clearly and others I could see none as well as the overall reactions of the crowds throughout the setlist. We were keeping our ears peeled for Taylor playing my request – so when he came out and said he was changing up things for his solo and needed the guys to pay attention – I was curious what got skipped. Taylor ended up changing his solo to Truth and then following it up once again with “With a Little Help from my Friends”, my friend snagged the setlist from the sound booth on our way out and his solo was supposed to be SAVE ME (ugh) followed by… LOST WITHOUT YOU! Was he not sure if I was there because I was back in the seats hidden? Or did he just decide they weren’t ready to actually play it yet?
After the show we went to wait by the buses and I was approached by a young man who wanted to know what we were doing and if we were waiting for a club. Zac came out and I was able to get a photo with him so I got one solo shot with each of them throughout the course of the tour which made me happy. When we got back to the hotel we doordashed some A&W and there’s nothing better than post show poutine.
The next morning we woke up and hit up a grocery store to get every ketchup chip imaginable and some other snacks and drinks. We won’t mention how much we ended up spending. (But it was in Canadian money so not quite as bad as it sounds.) Then we waited to cross the border back to the US. While we were waiting, a familiar face jumped out of the van next to us to relieve himself on the side of the road. One of the members of the opening act. He gave us a smirk as he got back in the van but we weren’t sure if he recognized us as fans or not. At this point we were considering renaming it the RGPee tour.
Two hours later we crossed the border and the agent asked us if the concert we went to see was The Weeknd. When we said no, it was Hanson, he asked if they were still alive. I’m not sure what other band (that became famous in their teens, mind you) gets this kind of reaction. It’s not like they were senior citizens 25 years ago?
We made it back to Seattle but the first option we had picked for dinner was closed so we had to go to a more upscale version upstairs. So upscale they had minimal non-seafood entrees and as not the biggest seafood fan I was going to get just a salad – but then I noticed they had pasta with mushroom, asparagus and crab. If I just got that without crab on it, I’d be all set. I asked if I could and the waitress said they can do a vegan veggie version and I said just the pasta and mushrooms and asparagus would be fine. Well, it came and had 0 mushrooms and was full of cauliflower, brusselsprouts, squash… and I’m not vegan or vegetarian – the opposite in fact – and I’m just picky. (It also came with some cheese so it definitely wasn’t vegan) I ate around all the veggies and just ate the pasta – the waitress was pretty confused when half my plate was left and I didn’t want a box and I was done with it. Maybe if you listened you’d not have been so surprised? (And maybe I should have ended up asking for the kids menu)
Seattle was seated so we got there just after doors and got settled in to our spot. The show was pretty usual, but when Zac came down for the acoustic set he seemed extra smiley our way. After the acoustic set ended (with Write You a Song as Isaac’s solo?) they started a song I didn’t quite recognize at first. Could it be? Nah. Did they? YEAH! Lost Without You! My request had made it into a set!! And the encore included I Don’t Want To Go Home which we had been mentioning earlier in the day as something we’d like to hear. After the show the bus situation was a mess so we opted to get to our hotel that was about an hour out of Seattle on the way to Portland.
There was only a couple of sightseeing things I wanted to see in Portland – the Keep Portland Weird mural and the White Stag sign, but unfortunately that was on top of a building and we couldn’t quite come at it form the right angle to get a good shot of it. We grabbed a bite to eat a couple of blocks from the venue (And spotted Zac wandering around while we were trying to park the car) and then headed for our fun evening at the haunted Crystal Ballroom. My friends had their BTTI M&G Photo make up and would end up in the front row, so I got a front row balcony ticket for this show.
I ended up going in at the tail end of ADA and rode up the (totally haunted) elevator by myself and then had to do 1 flight of stairs up to the balcony. The balcony was 21+ and when I mentioned I had a seat the guy at the door said he didn’t know anything about them. This led to anyone trying to come and sit in them whether they had a ticket for them or not. At first, it didn’t bother me – I was in my seat so it wouldn’t be an issue of someone taking my spot from me – but then people kept asking me if the seats next to me were taken. I told them they were assigned and they went a few seats down and climbed over the seats to sit. Eventually, the people who rightfully owned those seats showed up and they came to exit the row – but stood next to me and said nothing. When I didn’t get up (because I wasn’t ASKED to get up) they said “You know you could try moving”, well I don’t know how it works on the west coast but on the east coast when someone sees me sitting there with my cane they typically a) ask if I don’t mind getting up OR b) tell me not to move and they’ll jump over me. Neither came out of their mouths except attitude – and if they listened to me when I told them the seats were assigned – they’d not have been in that predicament! (The Portland venue had a LOT of attitude and as it was nearing the end of our trip I was exhausted and NOT HERE FOR ANY OF IT.)
The Grand Southern flubbed up and initially said “Hello Seattle – Portland” but we had done so much traveling ourselves that I honestly wasn’t sure they were wrong when they said Seattle at first. They also had a friend join them on stage for one of their songs.
Hanson started the night differently with Can’t Stop and I thought we were on our way to a pretty big setlist shake up, but it settled back into the usual right after. During Rambling Heart Taylor looked like he was going to stand, but also looked like he was motioning for the roadie to give him a stool (he has sat every time he has played the song, as far as I know) but the roadie seemed like he had no idea what he wanted, when we all knew it was the stool! Also of note the venue splits the floor down the middle for drinking and not drinking. The stage is fully on the not drinking side and then there’s a little cat walk. Anyone who wanted to go from the drinking side to the other had to finish/leave their cups on the drinking side. The floor is also springy so it was fun to see when random people out on the floor were trying it out and bouncing.
After the show we tried waiting for the bus but then got security-splained what a corner was and by that point I was over everything. The venue was on a huge incline and my brace kept feeling like it was going to snap because I was standing so unnaturally on it. I ended up going back to the car while my friends waited for Zac as they had items for him to sign. Turns out only Isaac came out and was in a rush so I didn’t end up missing much.
The next day was our last full day and was set for sightseeing. First we headed to the Tillamook Cheese Factory and did their self-guided tour. You can have samples of cheese and see the process of making the cheese from milk to being packaged. Also on site is a cafe for all your cheese needs and ice cream too. And of course, a gift shop full of all the cheese and dairy products you could ever want – which of course we couldn’t buy as we had no way to keep things refrigerated. (But I did stock up on socks and magnets and postcards!)
We then headed to Canon Beach to see Haystack Rock, aka the beach from The Goonies. The Goonies is my all time favorite movie so when I knew we were going in that direction I knew we had to hit up the beach and Astoria, OR as well. After admiring the beach for a bit, we headed to the old Oregon Jail which is now the Oregon Film Museum. This is seen in the opening scene of The Goonies and they have the Fratelli’s car outside and there’s some goonies memorabilia (And Free Willy!) and you also get a “Set Pass” which allows you to make 5 minutes of movie footage in the room that has 3 sets set up with various scenes that were filmed in Oregon you could recreate. It was a fun idea but I think we all decided we probably don’t have a future as an actress. Next we headed to the Flavel House Museum Carriage Shed which housed the penny machine. The museum itself is where Mikey’s Dad worked in the movie and is actually directly across the street from the jail, but the movie has magic editing so you’d never know that from watching. Then I had to decide if I wanted to see Mikey’s house or not. I knew you couldn’t drive right up to it and needed to walk, but not having watched the movie in a while I wasn’t sure how much of a hill it was situated on. Turns out, quite a hill and all gravel. But we made it up, laughing about the seal that were barking SO LOUDLY the whole time, despite the water not even being all that close to the house. There was another group coming down when we were going up and the owner came out to grab her mail and tell us to be careful because the walk down the hill could be “treacherous” (We were being super careful because hills and gravel any other time are something I absolutely would have passed on attempting) We asked her about the seals and she said they leave for the month of July and then come back and are so loud 24/7 and it’s not so bad during the day, but at night it’s not so great. She also pointed out where the Kindergarten Cop school was and said that the house from Short Circuit was nearby as well.
I had gotten word Astoria had a new penny machine at a Brewery and while we weren’t yet ready to eat, we stopped in to grab the pennies and while we were there, were told that they had bought TWO penny machines and the 2nd was just across the street – and unreported! That was the first time that I had ever found an unreported penny machine before so that was pretty exciting, unfortunately one of the pennies was not rolling properly based on the markers in the machine and I wasn’t able to adjust to fix it after 2 tries but hopefully someone else will come across it in the future and be able to figure it out and get me a full roll.
For our trek back to Seattle, we decided to add 15 minutes to the drive and continue to go along the coast. This meant we went across the Astoria-Megler Bridge which was super high off the ground but lended itself for some amazing views. The extra 15 minutes we spent driving was absolutely worth it as the views were so amazing they often looked fake. We ended up stopping at a hole in the wall restaurant for way too much food for dinner and continued on to Seattle with a beautiful sunset behind us.
When I woke up the next morning to get ready for my flight, my 2nd leg was already delayed. It ended up bouncing from 30 mins late to an hour late to not late at all over and over again all day. My first flight to Chicago was fine, though seemed extremely long and I was struggling to sleep because of the woman next to me. The Chicago to Hartford flight in the end was delayed due to not being able to catch up from the initial delay of the morning but then we also had a flight attendant arriving late in another terminal and had to make her way over to us. My 12:30am landing time ended up more like 2am and all I wanted to do was hit up the 24 hour McDonalds by the airport and finally get some food! But when I pulled in everything was dark and they were closed for a steam cleaning! The McDonalds by my house is also 24 hours so 3am cheeseburgers it was and then immediately to sleep as I had a 10am work meeting to attend the next day.
My tour travels are still going, but I need to use today’s off day to blog about the last 3 shows or by the time I finish with the next 3 I won’t remember anything. I failed at journaling after each show so hopefully I’ll remember all the big things… [Note: My travels are over and I wasn’t able to finish this post early like I had hoped!]
First up was Minneapolis. I took the first flight out from Hartford direct to Minneapolis at 6am and landed in MSP around 8am. We picked up the rental car for this leg of the trip – an absolutely massive Toyota 4runner. I hung out at my friend’s place until another friends flight landed and then headed downtown to the venue and our hotel. I was pretty wiped out from the day of travel and was asleep before the TV show I was watching even ended.
Friday was show day! One of the perks of being a member of Hanson’s fanclub is that you get to be let into the venue first. When I got in line a couple of hours before doors, that line was relatively short and I made it in with plenty of time to easily find my balcony seat. Allen Mack Myers Moore was once again the opener, though their time on the tour was coming to a close.
For the most part, this show started off similarly to most of the others I had been to so far, but I was pleasantly surprised that Isaac decided to do For Your Love. Of course he said he hadn’t yet done it this tour, but he’s not as great with Hanson setlist stats as I am 😉 Then there was a first – Zack Mack from AMMM joined the guys on stage playing harmonica for Dressed in Brown Eyes. Taylor’s solo was once again Save Me – despite the fact that Rambling Heart was listed on the setlist. Zach Myers had been teasing about Reggie Willie (Zac’s character in the Don’t Let Me Down video) on social media all day, so when it took a bit longer than usual before the encore, we had a feeling that he was putting on the muscle suit. And that he was. And for good measure he put a banana down his pants and then somehow got Zach Myers to take a bite of it (it ended up being thrown into the crowd.)
After the show we waited by the bus. I was really mad at Taylor for doing Save Me again, but still ended up asking him for a photo at the bus (or maybe I just handed my phone to him while he was talking to some others about baby names and he knew what to do) and Isaac came out as well and I got a photo with him. We saw Zac walking around a bit but he never ended up coming out to the barricades.
The next morning we headed for Fargo, North Dakota. Since there’s essentially nothing to do in North Dakota they have a “last state club” since so many leave it for last when trying to visit all 50 states. Initially, that was the plan but when Hanson play a show in a new state, all plans go out the window so rather than it being #50 it was #31. (Hanson state #28) We stopped at the visitors center, had dinner at Wurst Beir Hall and hit up a few murals in town before heading to the concert. It was outdoors and at a brewery and no one had any idea what to expect – including the staff. We started the show in the Box Car section but ended up moving into friends extra floor seats because the sight lines weren’t really great from the Box Car area once the crowd started filling in. Zac ended up doing Fire on the Mountain as his solo after a friend requested it at her M&G. The setlist said Isaac would be doing For Your Love again, but of course he decided to bust out River again instead. Taylor finally did Rambling Heart in my presence. Since I had a seat, I decided I was going to time “jumping” up to stand for some of the show with Taylor’s jumping during If Only. Except, somehow, he didn’t jump at all? So this one will forever be the show where I jumped more than Taylor during If Only. When there was a break in the set a song or so later, he explained that the stage was as trampoline and they were worried if they jumped they’d have gone flying into the crowd.
The show was at a brewery which led to a lot of drunken shenanigans with the crowd and a girl who was being escorted out for being too drunk ended up falling onto me and hitting my shoulder pretty hard on her way out. My friend told me that Taylor’s PSA about looking out for your friends was mostly due to the fact that she was so drunk in the first row. I’m all for having a drink or two at a show but know your limits and don’t ruin a good time for everyone else because you’re a loser who can’t hold your beer (literally and figuratively).
The venue is right on the train tracks (hence the ‘box car’ section) and since it was AMMM’s last night on the tour, they invited AMMM to join them on stage for a cover of “Long Train Runnin” We didn’t stick around after the show at the bus and instead headed to Canada for our last show of this half of the run.
We got to the Canadian border and after some brief questioning were allowed to enter the country. It was about 3am when we got to the hotel for the night. Since I was reporter that evening we decided to take it easy and not do much of anything but hang out in the hotel room and finish up my list of questions. When we go to the venue, I was sitting behind the Hanson.net Members Line in an effort to not get a last second sunburn before my photo with Hanson. Their bassist, Andrew, came around the corner and asked me what part of Connecticut I was from. I told him and filled him in on the fact that one of my former coworkers was the father of one of his friends. Small world. Except after he left – I wondered – how did he know who I was and where I was from?! We had never talked about that before (in fact, the story about my former coworker I had been wanting to tell him since 2017 and never had the opportunity!)
Then it was finally time to go in for my interview. As I approached them for my photo, I asked “are you ready for this?!” and they all laughed and Taylor said it reminded him of the song and started singing jock jams are you ready for this. Then he asked me if I hadn’t been reporter before and I said that I had, but it was 18 years ago “ohh it’s been a minute” and then he asked me where I was from because he didn’t think I was from Canada so I told him No, I’m from Connecticut. (How did Andrew know?!)
After the photo, they found a bench in the back of the venue that Isaac and I shared and Zac brought chairs down for him and Taylor to sit in and then threatened the staff that if they made noise while we were recording, he would beat them up. We chatted a little bit before the interview officially started about their long stretch of driving coming up next and issues with the bus where I mentioned we were skipping the long drive shows but would be flying out for Vancouver, Seattle and Portland. Isaac attempted to record the reporter interview and flubbed it, then tried again and continued to flub but Zac told him to just keep going (I think both he and I were worried we’d spend my whole interview time with Isaac trying to get it just perfect)
If you’re a Hanson.net Member, my interview is now posted in the archive!
After the interview the guys asked me a few more questions about the site and how I got the setlists and Taylor asked me if I had a request and I said “Lost Without You”. At this point, we had held up doors opening on time (which my friends outside said was making them anxious but also that they knew it was because I was still talking to them so it was a good thing) and I was allowed to just stay inside. I dragged one of the chairs Zac had brought to the front row and all my friends were able to join on either side of me. Taylor did switch up his solo to Weird, but didn’t end up doing Lost Without You. [Later I heard they had sound checked it twice in its entirety at the shows in Canada after this one]
My friend was able to snag me a setlist from the stage, but I noticed it had all the Calgary concert info on the top. When Isaac came out for photos and signing I had him fix it (as well we add in Zac’s solo) and sign it. The other 2 didn’t end up coming out, but the annotated setlist will be a nice addition to my photo and photo mat I had the guys sign after the interview!
The next day a couple of my friends had to work, so another friend and I went to the Zoo! We heard they had polar bears AND mobility scooters and really you can’t beat that. The polar bears did not disappoint and we probably could have stayed there all day watching them play and fight and sit on our heads, but we ended up having to rescue a friend from the airport and drive her back with us as apparently my flight delay luck rubbed off on her. (After we made fools of ourselves trying to pronounce all the dinosaur names)
After hitting up the Manitoba welcome center and checking out some touristy shops, we made our way back to MN with a stop back in ND for dinner on the way. We had an off day on Tuesday before our final leg of the tour kicked off! Which hopefully will be posted quicker than this post was? But I also may just sleep for all of September and write nothing. We’ll see…
I’ve often found that when there’s something I don’t quite understand and want to understand more, the best way to learn it in a way I can easily comprehend is to find a kids book about it. The past couple of years I have been trying to learn how to become Antiracist. I’ve read several books on it. I get the general idea, but still wanted to know more. I picked up The Antiracist Kid, a book geared at teaching young readers about being antiracist and about how identity works. Almost immediately, I learned a new term, “person of global majority” and that wasn’t the only thing I learned. If you’re an adult and want to learn more, and maybe how to explain racism to kids or if you have a young reader curious to know more about racism and being antiracist, I highly recommend this book. It broke everything down into bite size, easy to understand and digest pieces and has some great illustrations in there to help as well.
I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.
About the Book
From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of This Book is Anti-Racist, Tiffany Jewell, with art by Eisner-nominated illustrator Nicole Miles, The Antiracist Kid is the essential illustrated chapter book guide to antiracism for empowering the young readers in your life!
What is racism? What is antiracism? Why are both important to learn about? In this book, systemic racism and the antiracist tools to fight it are easily accessible to the youngest readers.
In three sections, this must-have guide explains:
– Identity: What it is and how it applies to you
– Justice: What it is, what racism has to do with it, and how to address injustice
– Activism: A how-to with resources to be the best antiracist kid you can be
This book teaches younger children the words, language, and methods to recognize racism and injustice—and what to do when they encounter it at home, at school, and in the media they watch, play, and read.
The 3rd leg of my tour was supposed to be the easy one off show in Cleveland. A friend had just moved there and while I had been to Ohio once on a family vacation around 20 years ago, I didn’t have it as a Hanson state.
I woke up at 3:15am, drove to the airport and got on my flight to Baltimore. It’s short, only about 50 minutes and not a decent length for napping, though I did try to sleep. I made it to my next gate and when we were supposed to board, the gate agent said the aircraft was locked for maintenance. Something wasn’t right in the cockpit and they were waiting on parts and he kept saying “it could be 2 minutes or it could be 2 hours”. While it appeared they were actively fixing something, an hour and 20 minutes after we were supposed to board the flight was canceled.
I ended up calling southwest as the gate agent line was lengthy and he was going to get me to St. Louis and then to Cleveland at like 11pm. I asked if he could ticket me for that flight but that I’d keep looking at other options but it ended up disappearing, probably because a gate agent gave someone else the option first.
All the other airlines either had no options or were stupid expensive with layovers. It was only 6 hours driving so I booked a one way car (thanks to my great work discount!) And headed to the rental shuttle. Which took forever and a day to come. AVIS said they had no cars until 3:30 via the app but I was hoping if I showed up earlier they could help me out and I ended up getting an orange Nissan Kick.
By about 1:30 I was off, ETA 7:40. Having to make a couple of stops and dealing with 3 storms rolling through, I ended up dropping the car off around 8:30pm and my friend and her youngest son came to pick me up and then I went to sleep.
Saturday morning we went to check out downtown Chagrin Falls which is the area Bill Waterson known for Calvin and Hobbes is from. We went to a local bookstore and a popcorn shop and then the boys played at a park for a bit. I got pooped on by a bird. After we were all sufficiently tired out, we headed home to nap before the show.
I had opted for front row Mezz seats for this show, not realizing it was a 100 year old venue with no elevator and steeply pitched stairs. Slow and steady we made it up to the mezz and then down to the front row. The view was worth the effort though! Except for when during Zac’s solo a spider appeared on the outer side of the plexi glass!
This was my first time (of 3) seeing AMMM and I enjoyed their set. It was nice to see Justin (now going by JR) from Ingram Hill again. I’m not even sure when the last time I saw IH play was, it’s been quite a while but back in 04/05 we used to see them quite frequently.
Then it was time for Hanson – who came out playing a song I didn’t recognize at first. They had a few opening songs this tour but this is the first time they started with “everybody needs somebody to love” which they had played for the first time this tour as the encore the night before. They also pulled out Great Divide for the set as well.
Zac’s solo (with special spider appearance) was Wake Up, which I can’t get mad at because even though I’ve heard it, at least it is from RGB. Isaac started his solo by talking about Hanson.net members and then said someone had requested Next Train. A girl up in the mezz stood up and screamed so we figured it was her! When Taylor waved and came up to the front of the stage I knew what he had chosen for his solo – Save Me, once again. I have 6 shows left and I’m hoping for a rambling heart one of them…
After the show we waited by the bus. Zac was out first, but we couldn’t get closer than to get him to sign my friend’s shirt. After he left, a bunch of girls left and we managed to get on the barricade. I figured with my luck that meant no one else would come out, but we were pleasantly surprised with both Isaac and Taylor came out and I was able to get pics with them and my friend got her shirt signed by all 3!
We got back to my friends place around 2am and needed to leave at 9am to get me back to the airport. I got through security pretty quickly although TSA made me pat down my own brace? That’s a first. My flight to Baltimore went fine even though the incoming flight was ‘tardy’. The incoming flight to get me in Baltimore was running a bit late so we ended up getting delayed about 20 minutes for boarding. After we boarded, we seemed to be waiting to take off forever, to the point that I woke up from trying to nap to check my apps to see if anything was up, but the captain finally came on and said they were trying to stagger the planes going north east more so we had to wait a few minutes so there’d be less traffic. When we landed, it was raining really hard and we were told that we had to wait because due to the storm there was lightning within 3 miles of the airport so all the ground personnel had to take cover so we had to wait a bit until they were allowed to come back out and get us to the gate.
I still have 4 more flights left this tour so I am hoping they all end up going smoothly.
For the second leg of the RGB Tour we were more on my home turf, New England and NYC. This series of shows also had a couple of milestones. The Hampton Beach show was my 700th concert overall and the NYC show was my 250th Hanson show. This was extra special because back in 1997, the radio stations were giving away tickets to an exclusive Hanson show at the Beacon Theater in NYC. I tried and tried and tried to win these tickets, but in the end, didn’t end up being successful. At the time, I didn’t think to “just show up” and see if I could get in that way and taking trips to NYC wasn’t a common thing with my family at this time. That Beacon Theater show ended up being used throughout Hanson’s tour VHS, Tulsa, Tokyo and the Middle of Nowhere. I ended up going to the Beacon several other times over the years – to see Penn & Teller, front row to see The Wanted and even seeing Hanson as part of their String Theory tour. But I feel like after 25 years I was finally righting a wrong, as I had front row seats to see a proper Hanson show there.
But let’s start with Boston…
Initially I wasn’t going to Boston, it can be difficult for me to get to and the venue is across the street from Fenway Park and the Red Sox also had a game the night of the show. I also had tickets to see Shawn Mendes, so I was going to skip and meet up with my friends in New Hampshire instead. Then Shawn ended up postponing and then canceling his tour and when I looked for tickets there was a front row box seat still available so I crashed on my friend’s plans. I was going to pick my friend up at the airport and then she was going to drive my car in to Boston – but Thursday afternoon we got word that her flight was delayed into the evening, so I was on my own with getting to Boston. Fortunately I only had to drive about 5 feet into the city before getting into the parking garage at the Prudential Center.
Due to rain supposed to be coming in, we changed our dinner plans and went to Earl’s in the Prudential Center for dinner and spent about $200 between 3 of us. Here I thought being home for part of this leg it would be the less expensive run! The next day we did our original dinner plans for lunch at Buttermilk and Bourbon which is a New Orleans inspired Tapas experience. We had a lot of delicious food to share. When we left the venue, we tried to get a Lyft to go the mile or so up to the venue and it gave us like 5 different drivers (one even named Hansen) before we swapped over to Uber and finally made it as close to the venue as we could get.
A couple of nights before the Boston show the guys had debuted “Dressed in Brown Eyes” along with the opener John Calvin Abney. Since we had 3 more shows with John we were hopeful we’d end up getting to see it and we were quite pleased that it made it as the encore in Boston. We weren’t very pleased that we were now 4 for 4 with Isaac doing River and Taylor doing Save Me as solos. We were even less pleased when a friend snapped a photo of the selist and we found out that Taylor’s solo was supposed to be “Truth” and followed by “With a Little Help From My Friends”. We thought maybe they practiced it and it didn’t sound great and weren’t sure if that meant it would never see the light of day or if maybe it would show up later in the tour.
Overall the Boston show was a good one, but the section I was in was not into it at all. I am not sure the woman next to me even moved, which is fine, but she kept giving me looks when I was singing along and swerving my chair around to “dance”. The vibe was just all off and almost somber. Until…. MMMBop when a few girls somehow appeared behind me out of nowhere and in true Boston fashion, someone ended up spilling a drink on me. And then you wonder why I think Bostonians are obnoxious. They can’t drive and they literally can’t hold their liquor. After the show the bus was pretty much chaos (and we missed seeing Zac in the bus door by about 10 seconds!) so we opted to just head back to the hotel.
Saturday morning we took it easy because we knew we had a late night drive ahead of us. We made the drive up to Hampton Beach and the parking lot I wanted to park in said it was full, but I knew they had a few accessible parking spots which sometimes aren’t included in the count for “full” so we decided to drive in and see if we could get lucky and in fact we ended up finding an even better parking spot, with the bus right behind us. While waiting for the rest of the crew to arrive, we saw Taylor drive his bus by and knew that he’d need to park it right behind us soon. We ended up hanging around since we weren’t sure if my car would need to be moved to assist in the parking attempt and well, we didn’t really trust Taylor to safely drive past it either. First Taylor came and assessed the situation and then pulled the bus in. There were shouts of “WATCH THE RED CAR” and then some locals came by and finished directing him. When he was finished and we were all pretty impressed he said “You either do it, or you do it” I mean, yeah, I guess there wasn’t really another option there. But for 10 minutes my anxiety was through the roof watching him. He, on the other hand, appears to be fearless.
After (finally) getting a late lunch we went to sit by the beach for a bit. When we decided to maybe hit the arcade, we ended up in line waiting to see what they would do for ADA instead and had a view of all the line drama and the staff trying to keep everything under control. We weren’t sure if the Casino Ballroom would even have an ADA area and weren’t expecting to see much of the show, but were surprised we had a good spot off to the side of the stage. Of note: Isaac decided to do Hand in Hand with no fake voting, but Taylor decided to do Save Me again.
ADA ended up being a show within the show as we were interrupted during Go by a medic due to a girl looking like she might end up passing out and needing to be walked out of the crowd. (We had a barricade behind us that she had made her way up against, so she wasn’t actually in ADA.) Another point during the night a girl came running in and plopped herself down on one of the stools. When security asked if she was ADA she said “Eighty?” and then they had to get another security guard to escort her out of the area. Also behind the barricade near us were a couple of kids, so Isaac jumped down off the stage at the end of the show and walked along the barricade to give high fives. The barricade ended up leading him into the ADA area and he couldn’t figure out how to get out. After they moved the barricade for him, he waved and said thank you to us and made his way backstage.
After the show we hung out by my car and decided to see where things were at around midnight since we had a long drive back to my house after. In the end we stayed until 12:30, all 3 guys came out and my friend helped get my CD to Zac and Taylor so I could get all 3 signatures. (I had previously gotten Isaac in Birmingham) We also made song requests for the NYC show and felt the most confident that Zac would try to play what we asked. (The requests were World Goes Around from Zac, Greener Pastures from Isaac and Truth from Taylor – and I told him we knew it was on the setlist in Boston.)
We made it back to my house at 3:30am and ended up taking a 12 something train into the city and a cab to our hotel. We ubered closer to to the venue to meet some friends for dinner and then made our way to the Beacon. Unfortunately it was surrounded in scaffolding so my marquee picture dreams were crushed. I knew this show was going to a bit emotional on several levels – one being the last time I was there front row, was for my last time seeing The Wanted. When I saw the hallway we had to wait in before the Wanted M&G I started to cry a bit. Fortunately it was all before the show and I was able to get it out of my system. During John Calvin Abney’s set, he leaned down and said “Miss, do you know what time it is?” so I told him it was 8:25 and he said “25? I have time for one more song!” and finished up his set. Hanson ended up taking the stage about 10 minutes earlier than usual and the end seemed a bit rushed so I think they had a hard 11pm curfew. While I’ve been kind of annoyed that this tour seems to skew more towards MON than RGB – all those old MON songs hit differently this night, since I remember seeing so many of them over and over and over being played here on TTMON from the video they filmed back in 1997. I somehow managed to push myself to stand for the entire show – figuring if Taylor did Save Me again, that would be my break. But he ended up doing Truth – which has been converted from a guitar song to a piano song – the other 2 joined him for the end of it and then they went into With a Little Help From My Friends. I’m not sure why they decided last second to cut it in Boston because it was AWESOME. At the end of the show, they didn’t do a bow just the 3 of them which was disappointing because they would have been right in front of me and I would have gotten a great photo!
After the show we waited by the bus but it was straight up 1997 with the fans singing MMMBop. *eye roll*. Taylor ended up coming out and driving his bus away and we called it a night and ubered back to the hotel, only to see Zac came out about half an hour or so after we left. But after standing for an entire show and being 3 shows deep for the weekend, I was ready to lay down.
On the train back home in the morning I was getting texts from work and needing to be on site so I have had a wild week and have been unable to sleep in like I was hoping. But the blog is finished, the work week is almost done and I have to get packed to do it all over again this weeknd.
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