Last month I made my 11th trip to Tulsa for a Hanson Members Only Event. This one was a little bit different from the rest because we would get FOUR consecutive nights of music and I’d also be hitting my 200th show while there. :-O
I opted to try Westchester airport this time to see how things went not for a work trip. The way there was perfect – I had a layover in Chicago and got to Tulsa without any problems. My room was ready when I arrived and was facing Main St – but was too far down to actually be able to see the Hop Jam stage from it. I met up with some friends and we grabbed lunch and then went to the “pop up” registration that ended up happening.
Thursday morning we got in line early for the store – but still had to wait 4 hours. I started feeling like I was going to pass out minutes before it was time for us to pay (an hour after placing our order!) but fortunately my friends were around to help me out and things were ok after that. We ordered some lunch, headed to our volunteer shift and then it was time for the “Storytellers” show. I’m not sure they quite understand what “storytellers” means as they don’t often tell stories – but they did theme it to the Underneath Acoustic/Underneath tours since it is the 15th anniversary of that album this year. And in a rare and special treat, Isaac ended up playing the cello on Underneath! After the show it was time for karaoke but with both of us feeling less than stellar we weren’t able to make it through the full event. (And it was a lot more fun last year with Mac co-hosting)
Friday morning we got in line for group photos and then had time to actually get a meal before our Edible Digital Pants listening session. After that we went to painting. I wasn’t too thrilled with the painting chosen for us this year, and I’m not sure I would have bought tickets if I knew what it was going to be ahead of time but ended up having a lot of fun (once again) with the whole painting process. After painting we went to Buck Atom’s on Route 66 and got our String Theory Galactic Space Sandwiches that were very good but perhaps a little bit too big of a serving. That evening was the String Theory show and also my 200th show. I even made myself a brag sash for the occasion. After the show we hit up Hurts Donuts and got their Peanut Butter Cup stuffed donut as well as a few others. The peanut butter stuffed was underwhelming but I did enjoy a couple of the others we had gotten. Then we hit up the after party with DJ Taylor. They were handing out heads of each of the band members on the way in and the song list was requested to Taylor in advance and I guess that was all that was needed to have a really fun time – we made it all the way to the end of the event! Woo! Maybe we’re not so old after all 😉
Saturday it was absolutely pouring rain and storming so we opted to skip going to the gallery. I didn’t end up making it inside at all, sadly. We had our Street Team Leaders lunch and then I had a volunteer shift until the Members Only Concert started. Before the show the guys had their “state of the band” where they announced what would be coming up in the future for HANSON. The big excitement was that they are working on not one but TWO new albums and hope to release them in 2020 and 2021. The first album will hopefully get some preview shows later this year and then kick off one of their most comprehensive world tours. Now I’m not so sad I can’t make it to Disney anymore because hopefully I will get to hit a few shows on this tour (and maybe another new state or two?) After the show we skipped the Firkin Feast and just went to sleep early as Hop Jam was the next day and is exhausting.
Sunday we did our volunteer thing for Hop Jam and I wanted to check out most of the performers, and that I did. Unfortunately the ADA section got combined with Music VIP and then once Hanson took the stage everyone stood. I either had to sit there and be claustrophobic (not something I wanted to do with the near passing out/potential panic attack a couple days before) or attempt to stand for most of the show (also not ideal) So I ended up standing up, taking a couple close up photos and heading over to Mexicali’s to sit along the wall. Apparently I should have been saving my spot all day and not volunteering to ensure I was in the front of ADA. Oh well, I’ll try better next year. Anyway… Phantom Planet had a surprise guest – Darren Criss from Glee – I knew he was a Hanson fan but apparently he is an even bigger Phantom Planet fan and had to come in to see their reunion show. I had never seen PP before but thoroughly enjoyed them!
It was on Sunday we were realizing that the weather on Monday for our flights home was going to be BAD with the possibility of many tornadoes coming through. My flight out was 3pm so we were just hoping that we could get out before the storms hit. Fortunately we were able to get out – but when we landed in Charlotte, we had to deplane via the stairs. I waited until the end and it was terrifying, fortunately I had a friend on the flight ready and willing to help me out. She also made sure I got to my next gate. I then realized that we would have to do stairs – AGAIN! With no one to help me I said I wouldn’t be able to do the stairs so they said they would put a ramp up after everyone boarded. No pre-boarding perks but fortunately there was still room for my bag when I got on and when we landed back in NY the ramp was up for *everyone* (as it should be!) But we weren’t at a gate and there was no wheelchair so I had to lug my way too heavy on the day after Hop Jam backpack back to the terminal. Not sure that I’ll be flying out of Westchester again for fear of that happening again or I’ll just have to be more demanding for assistance.
And it took me so long to put this review together, RSVP is already up for Hanson Day 2020! I’m hoping to attend once again 🙂