Hanson in Sayreville, NJ

Tuesday night was my last Hanson concert of the ANTHEM World Tour. I think. At least for this leg.  It was also the band’s second to last show of the tour. (I always vow not to miss the last show of the tour but have yet to actually go to one)  I think for the first time EVER I actually made it to the Starland Ballroom in the amount of time it should have taken for me to get there.  (One year we left at 11am and didn’t get there until doors? at 7? I live 2 hours away…)  Starland was actually severely damaged last year when Superstorm Hurricane whatever it’s being called Sandy made its way through our area.  They completely renovated and re-opened in September.  Honestly, it had been a while since I had been there and it didn’t seem all that different.  Upgraded? Yes. But the general layout and the ADA section being waaaaaay in the back was all the same.  Although I was worried that where we were, Taylor’s piano would block everything… and it didn’t so that was a pleasant surprise!

David Ryan Harris opened up and I think he did the same. exact. setlist as the other 2 times I had seen him.  I mean, I guess it’s easier that way for him but with Hanson you get a lot of fans going to a lot of shows and I always appreciate it when an opener acknowledges this and switches things up a bit.  I do love his voice but I just can’t get in to him as an opener for Hanson.  I don’t know why they always bring these more mellow guys on tour with them.  Any other place I would LOVE them but before a Hanson show I want to get hyped up, not be on the verge of taking a nap.

Then it was time for Hanson! This was my 93rd show.  And I didn’t get any new songs which was a bummer (I missed out on their cover of Ain’t Too Proud To Beg which is a HUGE bummer! Maybe they’ll do it in Jamaica?) But they did do Too Much Heaven acapella again (though unlike in Pittsburgh, they used a mic) and it was interesting to see how different it was (moreso based on venue and crowd reaction) in Jersey vs Pittsburgh.  In Pittsburgh Zac told us to be quiet and pretty much everyone shut up.  In Jersey they told us to be quiet and it got loud because everyone was “sshing” each other.

For solos – Isaac did For Your Love. Again. So that is 5 out of 7 that I got that from him.  Zac mixed things up with The Walk. I want to say that I had no repeats from Zac in the solo department, but I may be lying (I don’t have setlists handy  to double check but if anything he may have repeated only 1) and Taylor did Save Me… again.  Not sure that count either but the funny thing is before the tour I was talking about how I was hoping that some of the rare-er performed songs would stay that way.  Save Me up until this album I had heard live 2x. Once at 5 of 5 where they played every album song, ever, so that hardly counts.  Now my count is much higher thanks to Taylor’s solos. grumble grumble.

The rest of the show was pretty typical… but for the encore they brought out another mic and David Ryan Harris joined them.  Taylor said something about it being “that time of year” and so they did Merry Christmas Baby and Run Rudolph Run for the encore with DRH on guitar and he sang a verse in Merry Christmas Baby as well.  Then Taylor was talking about how we did the walk (well not me but others) and how they liked walking around the parking lot and that they liked our energy and our enthusiasm for Jesus’ birth?  I’m not sure if that’s what he said exactly but I guess it was because everyone got excited for the Christmas songs.

After the show it was FREEZING and the line at the bus seemed a bit insane.  I had 2 hours to get home ahead of me so I waited a bit for the parking lot to clear but then headed home.  Although I didn’t listen to the GPS when it told me to take an alternate exit and got caught in some traffic because a car was stuck under a tractor trailer… I was only stuck for a couple of minutes, fortunately.  Then when I got closer to home a car or two had hit a deer (they were pulled off on the side of the road) and I got to drive through all the mess of it that was in the road. Gross. Hopefully the cars aren’t banged up too bad.  Then I was trying to be hyper aware of any other deer out there. Fortunately only saw one that was eating on the side of the road and stayed put!

Fired Up
Ive Got Soul
Wheres The Love
Scream and Be Free
This Time Around
Already Home

On and On
With You In Your Dreams (dedicated to their grandfather who would have been 100)
Too Much Heaven
For You Love (I)
The Walk (Z)
Save Me (T)

Crazy Beautiful
Happy Together
Minute Without You
You Can’t Stop Us
Band Intros
Tragic Symphony
Thinking Bout Somethin
Get The Girl Back
In The City

Encore (w/ David Ryan Harris)
Merry Christmas Baby
Run Rudolph Run


Giveaway: Andy Cohen Most Talkative AUTOGRAPHED COPY

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Book Review: In the Secret Service

secretserviceAs a boy, Jerry Parr watched a movie staring Ronald Reagan about the secret service.  Years later, Parr was a member of the Secret Service protecting President Reagan.  While that seems to be the selling point of the book, it is really only a small portion of the story of Jerry and his life in the Secret Service.  I thought this book was incredibly interesting and the Secret Service always seems so mysterious to me so it was nice to read about them from an insiders perspective to see just what goes on when you are protecting the president.

This book is just under 200 pages and is an easy read but incredibly interesting and insightful.  You don’t have to be in to History or Politics (I’m not big into either) to enjoy this book.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Meet Jerry Parr. In 1981, he was the agent standing next to Ronald Reagan when John Hinckley, Jr., stepped out of the crowd, intent on killing the president. In the Secret Service is an adrenaline-filled ride through the life of the agent who saved Ronald Reagan’s life. Jerry spent much of his life as a silent eyewitness to history, with a gun at his fingertips. What motivates a man who is ready at a moment’s notice to step into the path of a bullet? In In the Secret Service, you’ll also follow Jerry’s inner journey. That journey led him from the halls of the powerful to the streets of the poor in Washington, D.C., to the mountain passes of war-torn El Salvador to help orphans.

You won’t want to miss this insider’s perspective on the Secret Service and a look into the heart of a man who was—and is—ready to sacrifice himself for another. At times heart-pounding, at times heartrending, this richly textured memoir of a Secret Service Agent will first move you to the edge of your seat, then to the depths of your soul.

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