This year I had an early flight to Chicago, followed by a flight to Tulsa for Hanson Day 2023.  My friend had landed about 20 mins before me so she waited for me so we could uber to the hotel together.  Upon putting her suitcase in the trunk we realized it had been absolutely torn apart at the zipper and upon arrival at the hotel we found that the handle on mine was damaged!  Cue us comparing notes on how absolutely differently Southwest handled both of our situations for the rest of the weekend. (I ended up getting a $75 refund on the bag that had cost me $77 and I will see if the manufacturer can fix the handle or if I have to buy a new bag entirely)

After checking in to our hotel room we ordered some drinks for the weekend from instacart and then headed out to an event Taylor was having for Food on the Move to talk about some new pods they were growing produce in.  The area the event was at was very rocky and gravely and even with my walker to steady me I ended up falling – right in front of Taylor.  He came right over and asked if I was ok and him and my friend helped me back up which I don’t think could have been any more embarrassing, but it did answer the question my friends and I would often ask – if I fell and a Hanson was around, would he help me up? So I am glad that the answer was yes.   Taylor then ended up announcing a pop-up registration at the Fairfield happening at 3, so my friends and I left a bit early so that we could help out.

I ended up working registration to give out raffle tickets for the record player that two lucky attendees would be able to win. I also got a golden ticket to the store, so between 4-6 I was able to go in and order the items I wanted (but hadn’t had any time to pick out what I wanted! Yay impulse buys!) and worked the door of the store for a bit as well hole punching the tickets so they couldn’t be used again.

Thursday we did the HTP recording which had Isaac in rare form and making himself laugh so hard he cried over fart jokes?  While the whole thing was a bit unorganized and no one really seemed to know what they were doing it was a lot of fun and my friends got to be the reporters for the event so it was fun to see them on stage too!

After HTP was our 2nd pizza stop of the weekend and then we got ready for Karaoke.  When we arrived there already was a pretty long line, so we just waited on the corner for everyone to go inside.  Isaac kicked off the evening by singing Two Princes by the Spin Doctors and joined a lot more groups to sing with than usual, which made it for an interesting night.  We ended up being a bit too tired to make it all the way to to the end this year and it seemed like it ended up going longer than scheduled. (Though it did start a bit late)

Our big event for the next day was the Underneath Acoustic Revisited concert which was done in a horseshoe with the guys on a riser on the floor.  I thought this setlist was pretty much perfect – they did the entirety of Underneath Acoustic – including my first time ever hearing ‘Love Somebody to Know’ full band as well as picked some nice ‘extras’.  If I was in charge of the setlist I probably would have skipped This Time Around for Every Word I Say and added in some solos since that was the tour they started doing them on, but honestly as it was, was pretty great.

After we had the Street Team Leaders dinner, which was a good time but the guys couldn’t stay very long due to an early sound check the next morning for the main show.

After the dinner, I got “kidnapped” by some friends to check in on for more pins and to do the in-person scavenger hunt. My other friends had scooted to the locations as the furthest was a mile out and I couldn’t walk that far and I can’t scoot, so it was fun to see the locations and do the hunt again by car.

The next day was time for Isaac’s Grace Unknown lecture which was very interesting and helpful in helping you process events in your life and not at all what I was actually expecting it to be.

The main show was …good? But not the setlist I would have chosen for it at all.  I would have gone for more Members EP songs that hadn’t been played – especially since they skipped the entire EP last year due to it being the unofficial kick off for the RGB tour and their selection of Anthem tracks for the anniversary weren’t quite what I would have picked either. (Already Home? Screen and Be Free? LOST WITHOUT YOU?!) After the great setlist selection they did at BTTI and even the show the day before, it was a bit disappointing, but I’d still rather be at a Hanson concert than anywhere else, I was just hoping for something a bit more special for their fanclub event.

After the show we went and got a quick dinner at The Tavern, my friend who I was staying with all weekend told me to get back in the elevator because I wasn’t supposed to get off at her floor (cue giggle fit), and then changed into as much NEON as we possibly could for the Dance Party.  I was happy to see some black lights included, a balloon wall for photo ops and everyone absolutely buzzing like neon, neon.  We had a lot of fun dancing around – until the end when I almost got stampeded when Taylor decided to jump off the stage and walk through the crowd.  Nothing like getting your heart rate up to end the night.

Sunday we ended up making a stop at Nothing’s Left Brewery for lunch and trying the new Hanson collab – it was an IPA so I didn’t think I would like it (I am a sour and stouts girl) but wasn’t expecting to dislike it as much as I did.  However the other 3 beers I chose for my flight were excellent. You win some, you lose some.

Monday it was time to leave and I was hoping that my luggage would make it home and I could fix the handle once I got home, but unfortunately it seemed like everyone decided to hold it by the half broken handle which broke the metal piece and rendered it useless by the time I got home.  Fortunately my trips for the foreseeable future appear to only need a carry on so I have some time to see if it can be fixed by the manufacturer before having to buy a new one entirely. (That being said any brands of checked bags you recommend that can last more than, oh, 4? trips? Would be appreciated!)

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