Tartan Terrors at The Kate 7/3

Another Wednesday at the Kate meant that we had to try and get there a bit early in order to secure parking.  There once again was a concert on the green (which was sponsored by the Kate?!) but it seemed to be less busy as when we were there for Gaelic Storm, maybe because many had already left for the holiday weekend.  This show was about an hour and a half with an intermission and in addition to being great music – I also laughed so much. (Sorry Chris, Ian IS funny)  Unfortunately I didn’t keep track of the setlist for the show to have one to post.  We were in the front row and I was so impressed watching Emily’s feet as she danced and tapped.  How does she do it!?  After the show we got to say hello to some of the band members.  I am looking forward to when I am able to go see them again!

Justin Timberlake at Hershey Stadium

Friday July 4th Justin Timberlake brought his Forget Tomorrow World Tour to Hershey, PA.  I wasn’t sure what to expect with traffic since it was a holiday, so I left early and somehow only ran into traffic when I was about an hour out and it was due to an accident.  Everyone must have already left before me or the day before, but that worked for me! (In the past the 4 hour trip has taken up to 7 so 4 hours 15 mins is alright with me!)

A storm ended up rolling through just before doors, so we waited it out in the car before joining the absolute masses of people trying to enter the stadium.  It was an absolute cluster, which we were kind of expecting.  We made it to the ADA area and the DJ was already going.  When Justin first took the stage it was still light out which was distracting for me and I was paying more attention to the drone than anything else.  It was also incredibly hot and humid and I was trying to figure out how to best ration my water. (I ended up deciding to spend the $5 on another bottle because it was too much for me not to.)  Justin kept saying “it’s hot, it’s hot, did I mention it’s hot?” whenever he stopped to talk to the crowd.  He had a suit jacket on for a couple of songs but then took it off to have just a t-shirt on, which he changed half way through – can’t say I blamed him, I was trying to track down an event t-shirt for myself since the shirt I was wearing was soaked with sweat.  He also had sweat dripping off his arms and must have gone through at least 5 towels throughout the course of the show.

I was hoping he would walk past us on his way to the B Stage, but since the stadium is so large, he didn’t. But we had a decent spot across from the B-Stage – when the women on the floor weren’t standing on their chairs to see better…

He also took time to ask everyone who was standing to sit, commenting “I’ll wait” as people were hesitant. Then he asked for veterans and those in the service to stand so we could cheer for them which I thought was very nice of him to do.

There was some speculation that he might sing “Love and War” since it mentioned the Fourth of July – and he did when he returned to the A Stage.  There also was a really cool fireworks display during Mirrors that was probably one of the cooler things I have seen at a concert.

As much as I say I don’t like Justin, I do enjoy seeing him live, but do hope for an *NSYNC reunion tour/show in the future.

Justin Timberlake Setlist Hersheypark Stadium, Hershey, PA, USA 2024, The Forget Tomorrow World Tour

Kevin Farley at The Kate

I recently became a member at The Kate and when looking up when Kris Allen tickets were going on sale, I saw Kevin Farley would be coming to do his stand up and HAD to buy a ticket.  I opted to get one in the front row off to the side, not knowing what to expect from Kevin or his opener.  Kevin didn’t do much crowd interaction but his opener did ask my name and what I did for work and told a joke he said usually worked better if the software engineer was a man.

When I got to the lot, Kevin ended up arriving shortly after and parking 2 spots from me and I was absolutely freaking out in my car – it was DOUG LINUS.  Fortunately I got my act together before the show and when meeting him afterwards.  He signed my 2gether CDs and asked where I found them – you don’t understand how obsessed with the band I was! And then we took a few selfies.  His opener didn’t know Kevin was even in a boyband and showed him the CDs.

I really enjoyed Kevin’s set, he was really funny – though I think I know a bit too much about his sex life now… lol I never thought I’d get the chance to meet any of the 2gether members so it was a very exciting evening!  Be sure to check him out if he comes to a comedy club near you! (plus sign…)

BBMak at Stage One

Wednesday June 26 I went to see BBMak do a headlining show in Fairfield at Stage One.  Opening for the evening was Trevor from O-Town doing this thing solo.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Trevor, and admittedly it seemed to start off a little awkward, but I really enjoyed his original songs and he kept me laughing by explaining he was half black and half white and was going to be singing songs from both sides – and would hop and then say he was going back to the white side or back to the black side to sing some of his favorite songs.  I also liked that before his originals he explained to us what they were about and what made him write them which I always find really interesting.

Then it was time for the main event, BBMak.  This was my first time seeing them do a headlining set, although it was my 6th time seeing them overall. It’s amazing how the lyrics from their first couple of albums are still embedded in my brain, and as they sang them, it all came back! The guys were a ton of fun making us laugh quite a lot and at one point Ste joked, “Who let a pterodactyl in?!” Which made everyone lose it laughing all the more.  About halfway through their set a huge storm rolled by, we could hear all the rain on the roof, but I guess the guys didn’t hear it since they never made a comment about it.  Fortunately for us, by the time the show ended, the storm had passed, but we did get to see a really cool heat lightning shoot across the sky on our drive home!

I opted to do the post show selfies with the guys, got some hugs said a quick hello and Christian snapped a few selfies.  I commented to them how the lyrics all came flooding back and Christian said “it’s like riding a bike!” and Ste commented about how I was singing every word.   The brain is strange and mysterious.  (If only I remembered what I needed to do day to day instead of all the ’00 boyband lyrics…)

BBMak unfortunately will not be at my next POP 2000 show – but I hope I get to see them again soon!

Wilderado at The Warehouse 6/17/24

Happiness is…
Walking up to the will call booth saying, “Hi! I should be on the band’s list?” and getting handed a comped ticket and a photo pass and then picking a spot in the front row. Thanks to Stunt Company Media, I was able to check out Tulsa, OK band Wilderado, which I had previously seen perform at Hanson’s Hop Jam Festival in 2019. The touring bassist for the band (Aaron) has also played with Hanson a couple of times, so it was cool to see him again.

The opening band was a band from London called Flyte and they were really good. Unfortunately, as happens a lot at this venue, there was a lot of talking at the bar and I’m pretty sure it was distracting the lead singer, he even asked for people to stop having conversations at one point but I don’t think the people who were talking even heard him because they just kept going. Fortunately, once Wilderado took the stage, the conversations were to a minimum and everyone seemed to be really into the show.

I’m not really familiar with their music but based on the woman behind me’s reaction for each song when they started, it must have been a really great set list. She just kept saying wow. Wow, oh, no way I love this song.  So it must have been a pretty solid set less if you were a fan but honestly not being familiar with any of their music I don’t know if they skipped anything, but it was A really good show.

They opted to not leave the stage before the last 2 songs and just have us cheer for them anyway and then did 2 more songs the first one the crowd was really, really into it. It became a big sing along and the last 1 all 4 members of the band were singing around one mic and the lead singer played guitar. That was pretty cool to see and that song also turned into quite a sing a long as well.  I’m definitely gonna have to check out some of their music soon – and September 20th they will have new music coming – their album “Talker” which they did play the title track from. Thanks to Stunt Company Media for a hooking me up with the ticket and photo pass for the show. I was a lot of fun and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to cover some more shows that I wouldn’t go to on my own in the future because I’ve been introduced to a lot of great music this way!

Stay in Touch w/ Wilderado

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Hanson at The View 6/13/24


Thursday I had tickets to see a taping of the view. We had to get up super early and take a 730 train into New York City. Then we grabbed a cab to go to ABC studios. The traffic was absolutely ridiculous, before we even made it one block our cab rate went from $7 to $14. We also almost got hit by a bus while in the cab. So that was fun but managed to get to the line to the view in plenty of time and were seventh and eighth in line for the show.

We didn’t really know if Hanson was going to be on or not. I had gotten tickets based on a rumor that I heard and everything was kept really hush-hush. But, once we got into the holding room, they told us that Hansen would be there for her performance, but that it was a surprise for Alyssa, one of the host’s, birthdays. We ended up filing into the studio and the guys instruments were all set up. The warm up comedian told us that they’d be playing 3 songs, but that Alyssa thought we were doing a segment on puppy adoption.  So once she was in the area, we had to not mention anything about Hanson and we’re just kind of going,  “Oh, look at the cute puppies” and stuff like that. Then a couple of the other hosts came out and introed the segment which we had to film twice. Because apparently we were clapping too loudly. We had to bring it down from a 10 to about a 4 and then they brought Alyssa in and Hanson was there and they sang the new Penny and Me Moonlight version and then went into MMMBop and then went into where’s the love.

They did a little interview with them afterwards and everything that Taylor said ended up getting cut and didn’t make it on to TV. I also barely made it on to TV, you can see the blue of my shirt for like a split second when Alyssa walks into the room. After Hanson was done, they reset up the stage with the table and everything and then we got to see them film, most of the segments for the view.

Before we went in, we were given a tax form that said there was going to be a giveaway where at least $75, and if it ended up being worth over $600,  we would have to pay taxes on it. We ended up getting 2 tickets to the Hanson show of our choice for their upcoming tour. Which I already have all my tickets so I’m going to be bringing some friends along, I guess. When we saw the show air they had another segment that was giving away some gifts. But we didn’t end up getting those. I don’t know if that would have put us over the $600 threshold. Or why they decided to film that segment separately. We never saw them film the segment with the gifts for Alyssa’s home.

After the show was done taping, it took a bit longer than we hadn’t anticipated, we got an Uber and headed back to Grand Central. He dropped us off in front of a restaurant, so we decided might as well stop and eat, then grab some snacks from Hudson News and hopped on the train home and ended up getting home about 6 PM – the train was on the wrong side of the track, so there was a giant gap which freaked me out on the conductor had to come and help me get off the train, but I’m hoping to figure out some extra accessibility for that for the future.  I think for tour it might have to be taken the train by myself.

It had been on my bucket list since I was about 12 years old and I wanted to see Hanson perform on a TV show in person. We’d always watch these shows from home in the summer and there’d be all these fans there and I was like, Why can’t we go New York’s not that far? So I was happy to finally cross that off my list and also see my 289th Hanson show and with any luck I should be hitting 300 by the end of this year!

Gaelic Storm at The Kate 6/12/24

Wednesday night Gaelic Storm returned to The Kate in Old Saybrook, CT for the first time since February 13, 2020.  I did not attend the show in 2020, though I’m not entirely sure why, but later we found out that Pat went into the balcony and then jumped off the balcony and ended up breaking both of his legs. So I was quite surprised to see the Kate on their tour itinerary again and this time we decided that we weren’t going to miss the show.

The show was on a Wednesday night and unbeknownst to me, the town green, which is right next to the venue, hosts Wednesday night concerts. So there was absolutely no parking close by to be found. I ended up finding a spot a couple blocks away and making it to the venue. (Turns out my next show at The Kate is a Wednesday too so I’ll have to keep that in mind)  We entered just after 7 and the show started at about 7:30 with the Waterbury Police drum and bagpipes, which was pretty cool.  They played for about 10 to 15 minutes and then it was time for Gaelic Storm. Pat of course made a bunch of jokes about PTSD and being afraid to be back the venue and all that and threatening to jump off the balcony again, if someone was going to catch him. After every song, he told a little bit about the story of what happened after he left the venue and went to the hospital, having surgery and all of that.
Steve is still not with the band he’s out on medical leave and they have a young man named Parker who was filling in. He was a great opposite to Pat and I loved how he picked on him by playing different songs on his guitar to try and taunt him throughout the show.  Pat also kept saying that certain songs that were being yelled out weren’t on the set list and ended up saying that they were going to play Russell Crowe because of the requests. But after the show I got a set list and wouldn’t you know Russell Crowe was on there? I was supposed to be followed by Johnny Tarr which they ended up doing in the encore instead. I can’t remember if they switched out anything else from the setlist. But it was a really, really fun show. Gaelic Storm is always incredibly entertaining and I’m looking forward to getting to see them again!

Hanson Day 2024

I recently made my annual trek to Tulsa for my 14th Hanson Day celebration. It gets harder and harder to write about, especially since it is much of the same activities year after year. This year I went a day earlier than normal, to make sure I could attend Taylor’s Food on the Move lunch on Wednesday.  Monday when I was supposed to be packing I got the message that I and another friend were chosen to be the HTP Live Reporters.  No pressure!

Tuesday morning I left at 2:30AM only to find that the highway was a PARKING LOT.  I managed to get off an exit and do back roads to one more exit up – but it was still at a total standstill.  My flight wouldn’t board until 5am so I kept telling myself I had plenty of time – and finally the traffic started moving.  It was also my first time parking at a new lot as the one I used to park at closed abruptly earlier this year.  The flight was on time and I landed in Charlotte only to be told they had no wheelchairs and to wait.  We were waiting so long one of the flight attendants said “I guess they don’t want you to leave!”  Finally someone came with the chairs and pushed us to the top of the jet bridge.  Then we had to wait for someone else to come, who pushed us into a wheelchair pen.  I had a 3+ hour layover (on purpose for this exact reason) so they told me I’d be the last to leave but as people coming in after me were leaving before me I tried to tell them I was meeting friends for brunch and finally it was my turn.  My friends ended up taking over the pushing duties after we ate because I was told that they needed more pushers than they had available – and they kept firing people!

Our second flight seemed to be diverted due to weather (it was absolutely POURING on and off) and then they told us they’d be getting us a new plane.  Somehow the plane that was now circling the airport landed just before the new plane arrived at the gate – go figure! We ended up a little bit delayed but honestly, that’s nothing compared to other flying issues I have had!

That evening we ended up going to the Tulsa Drillers game since tickets were discounted to $9.18 and it was $2 Tuesday for hot dogs, soda and other items.  We left early since we were all exhausted from travel and the team was playing like a bunch of little leaguers. (They ended up losing, 6-3, when we left it was 6-1 so maybe we should have left sooner?)

Wednesday we headed to Taylor’s Food on the Move lunch where we had some home grown greens and locally sourced chicken sandwiches.  Taylor and his team spoke a bit about what they have been doing (LOTS of changes since we were on site last year) and what they are hoping to do in the future to help bring fresh produce to the community.   After the lunch there was a pop up registration which I worked after hitting up the store and spending nearly $400 on new merch.  For dinner we went to Cabin Boys which unfortunately was nothing to write home about, which is sad because it’s so close and convenient but even with us all getting different food, no one was really impressed with anything.  That evening we had to cram watching the EP Listening Party to come up with 6-8 questions for our interview the next day.

Thursday morning I worked registration again, watched everyone set up chairs for HTP and we formulated a plan to get me on stage.  I’ve been dealing with a lot of mobility issues and in Feb/March was unable to go up and down the stairs at my house – even with a railing on either side.  So the fact that I made it up there with no railing (but with 2 helpers) made me realize just how far I had come since then.  We hit up Mexicali’s for lunch and a pre-interview drink and then it was time to freak out for HTP.  We were given seats off to the side to get us as close as possible to getting on the stage, which meant we couldn’t see much due to a monitor on stage. This may have worked in our favor because by the time it was our turn I wasn’t really nervous anymore. It was kind of hard to hear the guys answering on stage, but from everyone coming up to me afterwards, we must have done a good job!

That evening it was time for karaoke, we hit up Empire for some pizza first and then hung out for about an hour of the karaoke before calling it a night.  Younger Hanson brother Mac was cohosting with Isaac.  Isaac kept saying he couldn’t sing with everyone because he had 2 shows to perform – but also couldn’t seem to stay away from singing with almost everyone.  Karaoke was at Cain’s for the first time – and while I liked that we had a lot more room – I do wonder if those performing were more nervous to be on such a big stage in a big room or not.  (I know that was a concern of mine with HTP! But with the way the chairs were situated, I could just look at Hanson and not have to look at the crowd, which I think helped!)

Friday morning we went to Pinot’s to paint our version of a Zac Hanson original.  I do wish they told us before we bought tickets which painting it would be – but it is always a fun time even if it’s not always something we would have chosen to paint.  This was my 3rd time and while I’m not sure it is an every year kind of activity, it is fun every now and then.  After we went to Yokozuna for Sushi.

Friday night was the paid add-on concert – Beyond Perennial.  They had made a few comments that they had named it wrong – but it was about a 50/50 split of what was on Perennial and what was not.  Rarest song award(s) goes to: Happy (1) and I’m Ready (2). Better Man and Grace Unknown full band are also rarer as they are typically done as solos.

After the show we went to a new restaurant – Fixins – for some chicken, cornbread, biscuits, etc. It was pretty good! But any time I have a large jug of Sweet Tea I am happy.

Saturday evening was the Members Only concert – which turned out to be a bit more Underneath than I would have liked.  The guys also announced a fall tour is coming that will hit 13 cities for 2 nights each and more info would be coming out in early June.  The highlight was of course hearing the new EP for the first time.  All the points taken away from Taylor for last second switching his solo from Be My Own to With You In Your Dreams. The other highlight for me was them doing a bit of Thunderstruck.  Wednesday night they had been in Oklahoma City to play at the half time of the Basketball Playoffs game for the Thunder and we couldn’t figure out a way to make it there – and once I saw they did Thunderstruck I was bummed – so I was happy that they included it in the show! But I found this setlist to be too festival-y and not enough member-y – even if the whole night before was all* members songs. (* technically not Nothing Like a Love Song)

For dinner we hit up Antoinette’s for pie night and then got ready for the space / star wars / y2k themed dance party!  I dressed as an Alien and dressed my walker as Buzz Lightyears Space Ship.  yay to Disney Store for not only having wheelchair costumes – but for putting it on clearance and allowing it to be cheap enough for me to do a “let’s see if this works” and it did!  We weren’t sure if Taylor was going to stick to a Y2K play list or not – turns out he did not – but it was still pretty decent.

Sunday I lounged around and updated my website and then we made the trek to Nothing’s Left.  For dinner we hit up the Tavern and I opted to not pack until Monday morning which I was pretty mad at myself for not even starting.

Monday we headed to the airport around 1 – as I was walking to get to my gate, Zac was coming through security and said safe travels and he will see us when he sees us… The first flight ended up taking off a bit late due to there being an automated power issue so the engines needed to be turned on manually, and then off again once we landed.  The second flight ended up being slightly delayed waiting for passengers luggage to get there.  Again, I’ll take it. Not bad at all!

And I may have booked another trip to Tulsa for December while I was there…

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