When your next Hanson show is going to be #100 you start thinking that maybe it should be something really crazy. For a while, I thought it was going to be a 7-8 song set in Disney and while that was pretty crazy, I kept thinking that I could probably come up with something even crazier. It was announced a while back that Hanson would be playing at the CNE or “The Ex” in Toronto, Canada. At first I figured there was no way that it was going to happen because it was on a Thursday and I had no days for vacation from work – but when the boss kept mentioning “take off a Thursday and a Friday and come in on the weekend to make up hours” I thought – hey – maybe I can make this work to my advantage. Enter my partner in crime for this trip – Marisa – and we started planning out the 8 hour trip.
Wednesday night I ended up staying at Marisa’s house in NJ and we were hoping to leave at 6am. We ended up hitting the road at 7. We made it to Toronto by 3 after a couple of pit stops along the way/time spent crossing the border. We stopped at Kitten and the Bear which is a shop owned by one of Marisa’s friends. They make their own jam and scones and boy are they good! Like, really good.
Then we headed over to The Ex and tried to find a parking garage that I thought we should park in. We found a lot for $20, but drove around a while with no luck finding the street we needed since so many streets were blocked off. Finally we decided to go back to the lot we had originally passed – and instead of $20 it was $15! By getting lost and not knowing what we were doing we saved $5 so that was exciting. We ended up being at the entrance right by where the concert would be – which worked out pretty nicely!
We walked all the way to the other end of the fair in order to check out the “Let your fandom flag fly” exhibit and some of the sand sculptures. We were also excited to see that the “Share a Coke” kiosks were there. Marisa was able to get her name on a coke which is not available otherwise. I debated getting my name (which IS available, but I haven’t been able to find it) or getting one that said Hanson. Ultimately I decided to get one that said Hanson to commemorate my 100th show. After we headed towards the food area and stopped to get poutine. I bought a coke – and they said I could pick one out of the fridge. What name was right out front? KATIE! So my decision to skip getting my name turned out to be a good one. We stopped for some ice cream in the food building and continued to head over to the concert area.
The opening act was already on stage and the place was PACKED. We were able to get into the handicapped area even though it said it was only for wheelchairs and motor scooters. After the first part of Hanson’s set a lot of people in that area left so by the end of the show we were what you could consider “front row” (not against the barricade but no one was in front of us so it counts!). The Seasons were the opening act, they are from Montreal. They had a bit of a 70s vibe to them – probably because of their outfits – but they were a pretty good opener I thought!
Then it was time for Hanson! They played a full set show and had a few songs in the setlist that I was not expecting. (I actually rattled off a mock setlist on the car in the way there and missed I think 6 songs – some of the songs I even had in the right spot in the setlist too lol) Runaway Run was a really nice surprise, Thinking of You I kind of threw in my list as a wild card but they played it. They also pulled out Get Up and Go which was an interesting choice as well. The set ended with back to back jumping of If Only and In The City. (Taylor made a comment that if you ate any deep fried food you might be regretting it during these songs) and for the encore they did It’s a Long Way To The Top by AC/DC and I forgot how great of a cover that is for them!
After the show we left right away, even though there would be fireworks later on. We had a hotel in Rochester about 3 hours away and wanted to get there. We did decide to make a detour though when we realized that we were right by Niagara Falls. Unfortunately we arrived at 1am and the falls are only lit up until midnight. We obviously could see and hear the falls (and feel the mist!) but getting a photo of them was NOT happening. So while we were there – we don’t have much photographic evidence of it! (Though I did take pics around Clifton Hill and the surrounding areas while we were driving of stuff that was lit up.)
We ended up getting to Rochester at about 2:30 AM – but didn’t fall right asleep of course – we had to check our phones and catch up on everything we had missed for the day on social media 😉
We left Rochester around 8am, made it back to NJ by around 2 and then Connecticut welcomed me with hours and hours of traffic so I made it home about 5:30. It was kind of funny to be driving by where I get on the highway to come home from work at just about the same time I would have been coming home from work if it was a normal day!