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Hanson – Perennial Live

November was Hanson’s 2nd set of streaming concerts with “Limited In Person Tickets”, since things went smoothly last month, we decided to try again.  This month’s theme was from their newest release “Perennial” which was a compilation of 20 previously Members Only tracks and 1 brand new track.  Nearly every year since 2003, Hanson has released 5 tracks to their fanclub as a thank you for their membership. (7 tracks this year!)  Members who join now can purchase or stream the back catalog if they wish, but anyone who has not been a member has not had access to these 80 or so songs.  Whenever the talk of themes comes up, “Members Only” is one that fan club members would like to hear so I think in an effort to make that happen without completely isolating anyone who may be a more casual fan and hasn’t had a membership, they put together a few of their favorite “flavors” and released it to the general public. Perennial = continually recurring, just like the fanclub EPs.

We took all the same precautions as last time, trying not to slack off because things went smoothly last month especially with cases spiking across the country.  We got in later than last month, so it was time for dinner (or way past it, actually) once we landed so we ordered curbside pick up from Kilkenny, an Irish pub and basically went to sleep.  The next morning after brunch we did some sightseeing and went to the Golden Driller (seems like big men in Tulsa wear masks) and the praying hands at Oral Roberts University that somehow I had never gone to see before.  Since the Arkansas River actually had water in it, we went down to the River Walk to hang out for a bit as well.

That evening was the first show.  While the first month’s shows seemed to focus on songs from the first 3 albums and nothing else existed, this month’s shows focused on the last 3 albums and members only songs.  I was surprised they did not play MMMBop for the casual fans watching at home, but not too sad about it.

Friday we picked up some snacks and sweets from Antoinette’s and took some photos at the wall in our Potterhead Running Club jackets. Then it was time for the matinee show!  Last month, this show was a bit of a flop for me – but this month it was FULL HIGH ENERGY and whew. I was exhausted.  “Georgia” was a nice surprise, and had been a topic of conversation a lot that day as in between our sightseeing and concerts we were maybe obsessively checking election results. (Some of us more than others.)  I have to say, I was glad to be in a mask for these shows because the Members Only songs I don’t listen to as often as the album tracks so there were several that not only did I not know the words, I sometimes didn’t even know what song they were singing until they hit the chorus and sang the title.  I know, I’m such a terrible fan.

 

These setlists had a bit less variety than last month’s, but I think it is probably due to the fact that they also probably didn’t remember all the words when they started rehearsing and it was a lot heavier on songs they rarely/never do.  (Just don’t listen to Isaac when he says they have never or rarely played something, he’s never right! :-P) Overall I thought they mixed them up really well and I was only sad once I saw the setlist for the last night that “Sunny Day” was missing and Taylor’s solo was going to be “All I Know” but he changed it to A Song to Sing (which was great and I love it, but man, would have been nice to see All I Know!)  I think I only ended up with 2 new songs heard – Zac’s solo of Good Days which was on the member’s EP for this year (normally debuted at their Hanson Day concert in May, but it has been postponed to 2021) and the new track “Nothing Like a Love Song.”  I was not into this song at all when it was debuted during Taylor’s after party last month.  When I played it after it made it’s debut on Hanson.net, I still wasn’t fully sold on it – despite waking up with it stuck in my head on a couple of occasions.  But live, it totally won me over.

While at the airport waiting on our flight home, we found out that the election had been called for Biden.  After some celebratory shots (at a bar with a lot of not very happy dudes) I realized that I would miss the President and Vice President Elect’s speeches because I would be in the air.  But as luck would have it, my plane had TVs and I was able to watch most of it as we made our descent back into Connecticut.  Definitely a really surreal experience.  I may have also seen one of the cutest puppies ever.

By now, you’ve probably heard that someone at the shows tested positive for Covid a couple of days later.  As a precaution, I got a test (it is hard to get one here unless you have symptoms or may have been exposed) and the results came back negative.  I’ve kept this post in quarantine, like me, to add in any relevant updates. My 14 day quarantine is now up and I have been symptom free.

Hanson – Live & Electric Revisited

 

In September, Hanson announced they’d be doing a streaming series with “Limited In Person Tickets” which at first, seemed a little bit scary.  Did I want to risk it in the middle of a pandemic?  I talked with some friends and we formulated a plan on how we thought we could do things as safely as possible and decided to try for tickets. We were able to get tickets for all 3 shows so our planning began.

To try and limit my interactions with others, I decided to park at the parking garage at the airport rather than my usual valet shuttle.  While AA flights were half a much as Delta, I opted to go with Delta because they were keeping middle seats open.  We rented a car so we wouldn’t need to uber/lyft.  Upon entering the plane, hotel room AND the concert we wiped everything down with disinfecting wipes.  We wore masks the whole time (even the concert when it wasn’t “required”) unless outside and able to stay a distance away from anyone else. I did no indoor dining, instead a mix of outdoor seating and take out.

Wearing a mask on the flight there was not my favorite thing, which kind of made me nervous for the rest of the trip, but I think I just had too many layers on my face and when I woke up I panicked and couldn’t breathe. I wore a different mask on the way home and things were fine (or I had just gotten more used to having a mask on for hours at a time at that point.)

We landed, picked up a car, checked in at the hotel and got to sanitizing. We ordered lunch and decided to check out the Gathering Place a new-ish park that we had never gotten a chance to check out on earlier trips because Hanson activities had kept us far too busy. While wandering around, I spotted who I thought was James van der Beek.  Turns out it WAS indeed him and his family on their trip to TX and we chatted for a bit and took a photo. (He is originally from CT so that was our topic of conversation) After that we found a penny machine so I was having a pretty great day.  It was SUPER hot, so we jumped back in the car and headed to Buck Atom’s because I had donated for a brick for their neon sign and wanted to check it out – plus Buck was rocking a face mask so I had to see that as well! Of course, Route 66 was being all dug up and we had to go all around to get there, but figured it out.

Friday we did more exploring, this time at the Philbrook Museum, another spot we never had time to visit before (and where Isaac got married!) Masks were required at all times inside but outside only if someone you didn’t come with was nearby.  There were not many people there at all. But it still was H-O-T so we didn’t last outside very long.  We were all pleasantly surprised they had some pennies on display too!

We were pretty nervous walking to the first show as we had no idea what to expect. And while I would have preferred to have more people wearing masks, I wore mine the whole time and the tables were about 8 feet apart and everyone stayed at their spots.  The theme was “Live & Electric Revisited” which was released in 2005 and recorded during a show on a 2004 tour in Australia.  I wasn’t quite sure what the theme meant – but apparently it meant nothing released after 2005 existed.  Which was weird, but also a little refreshing.  When you have such a large catalog, trying to pick a 25-ish setlist is probably a difficult task.  Cutting it in half-ish (Underneath was their 3rd full length album, they have released 6) probably helps narrow things down a bit more.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the setlist, but they did a pretty solid job. A new cover of “It’s Your Thing” was a pleasant surprise as well! And “Love Me” is my favorite Taylor solo, ever. (Broken Angel is up there as well. Being Me… well, not so much, but you can’t win them all.)

When we left, there were fireworks! The ballpark had a concert as well and I guess they had fireworks once the show was over. It was nice to see them but unfortunately they set a nearby building on fire so not sure the ball games will be getting anymore fireworks now.  Taylor did a virtual DJ after party we watched in the room – and he debuted a NEW Hanson dance track!  I’m still on the fence about it, maybe I need a few more listens for it to grow on me.

Saturday was TWO shows – and let me tell you – 8 months of no shows and doing 3 full-length (or maybe even longer than usual) Hanson shows back-to-back-to-back in 28ish hours was BRUTAL.  I am so out of concert shape it isn’t even funny.  While the beginning of the setlists were similar to the night before, there were 6 different songs show #2 and 8.5 during show #3 (extra verse to A Song to Sing I am counting as a half)

Sometime after the first show, a water main broke across the street from the venue.  By the time it was time to head down for the second show, we found the real life “Hanson Stream” – opting to NOT ford through ankle deep rushing icky water, we had to go alllll around the block but made it with plenty of time to spare – and there even was a scare that the venue would have no water and the show may not be able to go on.  After the show we were going to just walk through it since we could dry everything off back in the room – but it was still rushing and we fortunately had a friend willing to give us a ride back up to the hotel. Cue the Oregon Trail jokes about fording the river.

Sunday I was happy to head home.  My buttocks set off the scanner at the airport and after my first airport pat down in I don’t even know how long, we got to the gate and waited to board.  Finally on the plane, I was ready to sleep, but the pilot said that there was an issue with a tire.  Of course, it ended up needing to be changed which would cause a delay that would make me miss my layover in Atlanta.

I ended up getting off the plane and calling to try and get a new flight out the next day and stay another night in Tulsa.  Except the Delta app was only letting me change my 2nd leg from Atlanta to the next day.  I was told they could get me on a flight out the next day but I was considered “boarded” on the original flight and they couldn’t get me off.  I was on hold to the point that the flight started re-boarding when I finally asked to speak to the supervisor directly – who told me all I needed to do was walk up to the desk and ask them to “de-board” me. 2 seconds later, everything was all set for my 6am flight out the next morning (ughhh) and Delta gave me a voucher to stay at the Hilton on the airport grounds.  So much for not dealing with a shuttle or Lyft – I had to do both to get to/from the hotel… you know, best laid plans and all.  Fortunately the flights out were uneventful – unless you count Taylor’s daughter and wife being on one with me.

Despite not being home to grab tickets for November’s shows, we did alright and will be heading back again.  We will be doing all the same things as this trip, I think it is important to not let our guard down just because we had done the trip once successfully.

This post had been quarantined, like me, for 14 days.  I am and have been, symptom free.

COVID-19 and Concerts

 

I thought that I wouldn’t be in school in March-May, so I jam packed my schedule with concerts.  I had made a New Year Resolutions of sorts to only try to do concerts during the weekends (Thursdays of Off Friday weeks count as weekend) as leaving work early to get up to shows was getting harder and harder to do as my responsibilities at he job increased.  The only exception was that shows in Fairfield could be done any day of the week because it is so nearby.  Despite these restrictions, it seemed like every show I wanted to go to was on a weekend! So I filled up my plate – and then realized that the final course I needed to graduate would NOT be offered in the Fall – and SURPRISE! March 16 – May 4th I’d now need to spend on research for a 15 page Capstone final paper.  :-O  (I think the Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone “AHH” gif was most appropriate)  But I had managed to finish course assignments at airports and on the beach in Hawaii and Jamaica so I wasn’t going to let a few concerts stop me.

Well, I guess the Universe had another idea.  I had 13 concerts scheduled from March – May.  Here’s a breakdown of where we are at now:

  1. March 11 – John K radio show – canceled due to health concerns the afternoon of the show
  2. March 28 – Mandy Moore – venue closed to end of March, Mandy postponed tour
  3. April 2 – BBMak – rescheduled to October 2020
  4. April 4 – Dashboard Confessional – DC says tour is postponed.  Venue/ticketmaster say nothing
  5. April 18 – Stephen Kellogg – going virtual, I can watch from my living room
  6. April 19 – Stephen Kellogg – going virtual, I can watch from my living room
  7. April 28 – David Archuleta – tour postponed, venue closed until end of April
  8. April 30 – Eric Hutchinson – venue closed through May
  9. May 1 – Niall Horan – no news yet, but this will probably be the next cancellation
  10. May 10 – Ben Folds – venue closed through May, postponed
  11. May 15 – Hanson – postponed to 2021
  12. May 16 – Hanson – postponed to 2021
  13. May 17 – Hop Jam – postponed to 2021

My one concert a month streak – which I started in January 2009 came to an end in February 2020.  I guess it will have a * now, as you can see, I should have had shows in March, April and May.  It also seems like my fall is going to end up pretty jam packed, but that’s ok because I will be graduating in August! (Although the graduation ceremony was supposed to be in May and is now TBD)

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Stephen Kellogg at Stage One

Friday night I went to my last show of the decade (!!) which happened to be an almost yearly tradition of Stephen Kellogg.  Parking was an absolute nightmare at the train station, I guess everyone opted to go to the city on their vacation but I parked with about 2 minutes to spare before I needed to check in for VIP.  VIP consisted of The America Song and May Day.  Some chitchat about fatherhood and his book being finished among other things. We took photos and then it was time for doors to open.

Casey opened the night and I thought she had a beautiful voice even if none of her songs were happy. (She suggested to look her up on Spotify by her song “Dying” so search – Casey Dying to find her.)  The one song she said might have been considered happy – was called Grey.  “Branding is important!” lol  She is from NY so maybe I’ll get to catch her again soon. (Turns out she was also on idol season 13 but I don’t remember her!)

Stephen came out to Pomp and Circumstance.  Then he went in to Four Kids and Satisfied Man, which seem to be a staple at these homecoming shows with his family all present.  Then he told us he had instructions and we had to listen to them all before doing anything.  Under our seats was a piece of paper. And a pencil. We were to pick ONE song we wanted him to sing and for the rest of the set, he would choose from a hat songs we requested and so if the rest of the show sucked – it was our fault.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pick “Gravity” or “My Favorite Place” but I overheard the woman next to me say she was putting down “Gravity” so I went for “My Favorite Place.”

First picked out of the hat was… Satisfied Man. Which he played BEFORE he gave us instructions.  He also later pulled out Four Kids. *shrug emoji*  First pick ended up being Fourth of July – as was 2nd pick so he pretended like he was going to start it again.  My pick came up 3rd! Yay!  Gravity never did, but with the exception of Thanksgiving (I don’t know what it is about that song, I just can’t get into it but it seems to be a big fan favorite otherwise so it must just be me) it was a very solid set.  He did almost not want to do See You Later, See You Soon so early in the set – it’s usually near the end – but it worked.   He picked a couple more songs and then said he had something else planned out and brought out Eric Donnelly to play guitar for “Objects in the Mirror” and finished out the set with Milwaukee and went in the crowd for the final song – he said he had played at his daughter’s school recently and was going to play this song because it is their song he sings her before bed.  She told him “I wouldn’t” and so he wanted her to see it was “cool” and had us all do a big sing along to – You Are My Sunshine.  Definitely an interesting way to close out the show, but a lot of fun too!

And so I closed out my decade doing a sing a long to You are my Sunshine and I’m not really mad about it. He did mention maybe doing TWO shows in Fairfield next year so that would be pretty exciting especially if he has some fun things up his sleeves for sets.

Stephen Kellogg Setlist StageOne, Fairfield Theatre Company, Fairfield, CT, USA 2019, Alone for the Holidays

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Year In Review 2019

Most expensive show:
Other than BTTI – Justin Timberlake

Least (not free) expensive show:
Red Hot Chilli Pipers at the Highland Games came in at $25

Free shows:
Brian McKnight, Gaelic Storm, 2Cellos, Parachute, Hanson, The Hop Jam, Gavin DeGraw, Ben Folds

# artists seen: 111
# unique artists seen: 43
# shows seen in CT: 23
# of shows out of state: 36

Show farthest away: Hanson in Australia
Closest show: All the shows in Fairfield. (Matt Nathanson, Parachute, Gaelic Storm, Stephen Kellogg)
$$ spent on tickets: $6,582
Miles traveled: 62,189

Top 6 shows of the year?

Hanson Sydney Opera House
SPARC Live:Art
Robbie Williams
Paul McCartney
Hanson in Indiana
John Mayer

Total number of shows in 2019? 59

First show of the year? Brian McKnight

First show with actual tickets: Brian McKnight

Last show of the year? Stephen Kellogg

Most surprising show? 2Cellos

Most disappointing? None are really standing out.

Farthest traveled? Australia for Hanson.

States attended shows in? CT, OK, VA, MA, NV, MN, RI, NY, DE, MD, NH, HI, NJ, IN, TX, Jamaica, Australia

Venue most visited? Mohegan Sun Arena

Band seen the most? Hanson at 27 times

Best new discovery? hmm. No real new standouts.

Bands seen this year that also broke up this year? I don’t think any.

Friends made at shows? Nah. Do I ever?

Band members met? Hanson, Gaelic Storm, Matt Nathanson, Jon McLaughlin, Parachute, David Cook, Kris Allen, Haley Reinhart, Mat Kearney, Isaac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, Zac Hanson.

Best souvenir from a show? Parachute foam finger

Longest time in line? Hanson in Hawaii maybe?

Shows seen from the barricade [front row]– Hanson, David Cook, Jonny Lang, Kris Allen

Most shows in one month?

January – 4
February –  5
March – 8
April – 3
May – 7
June – 6
July – 4
August – 5
September – 3
October – 6
November – 1
December – 7

March wins!

Most shows in one week? Hanson March 1-9 in Australia

Biggest crowd? Basilica Block Party I think or maybe Hop Jam. Those were the two big outside events

Any drunk encounters? I had beer dumped on me at TWO shows this year.  Hoping that doesn’t become a trend.

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Hanson Wintry Mix Tour

I had fully intended to make these separate posts, but now that all the shows have come and gone and I couldn’t find the time to make separate posts I will just include them all here.  (Keeping up with work, grad school, a Hanson fan site and my own shows I am attending proved to be a bit difficult this time around.)

So the theme of this tour is that it would be a “Wintry Mix” – ie, new songs, old songs and Christmas songs.  The guys have a new album due in 2020 called “Against the World” and this tour would preview some of those songs for us.  I had wanted to hit up the first show of the tour to not have to deal with any sort of setlist spoilers (when you run a setlist fan site you can’t just not post them until you get to a show) but while it was over Thanksgiving break and would have required 0 vacation days – the cost of flying across the country to Seattle & Vancouver was a bit excessive when I’d be (hopefully) hearing the same songs later so my crew ended up deciding we would do Texas – they continued on to New Orleans but I was out of PTO 🙁  I also hit up some of the east coast shows as well.

Austin

We kicked up our trip to Austin with some BBQ from the Salk Lick that was really good!  Then we headed to the Capitol Building and toured around a bit.  We were going to explore a bit more but one of the group had an incident with laughing (I won’t name any names) so we headed back to the hotel room before going to Torchy’s Tacos for dinner.  The rest of the crew ended up camping out and I hung back at the hotel working on homework and watching Fuller House. (And jumping on the bed all I wanted.)  Sunday most of the day was spent in line.  I was let in first with ADA and stood in the front at the barricade for about 2 minutes before realizing there was NO WAY I could stand through 2 openers and all of Hanson’s set and not totally ruin myself for the rest of the month so I asked for a chair.  Everyone else was right up front though!! And even my seat wasn’t too far back, but with no raised area once Hanson came on I had to stand if I wanted to see much of anything, so I alternated depending on how much I liked the song.  I got 3 new songs – Don’t Ever Change, Annalie and One (Zac’s solo).  It’s always hard to judge how much you like a song when you’ve heard it for the first time in a live setting – but I really liked One (and can’t even tell you why – the piano? the lyrics? who knows!) and Annalie was SUPER catchy.  Don’t Ever Change came too early in the set for me and I had gotten a text the *moment* the guys took the stage that threw me a bit.  So I’d have to wait for Dallas to make further judgement on that song.  After the show we were able to get photos with Zac and a group photo with Isaac who had somewhere to be.  Taylor never came out.  We headed to In-N-Out (Why is most of this trip going to be scrapbook pages of food?) and off to Dallas.

Dallas

We rolled into Dallas about 4am with me driving the last leg as I had gotten the most sleep not on a sidewalk the night before.  Driving while the rest of the car is all asleep and you could easily be next was certainly a challenge, but I did it. (And when the construction made the road go over a rumble strip everyone woke up “KATIE! Are you OK!?” Yes, yes, the road just shifted and they didn’t patch the strip. Go back to sleep…) We dropped off half the crew at the venue and the rest of us went to the hotel.  For lunch we got some tex mex and then some booze infused popsicles. We also took the drive that JFK took when he was assassinated.  I have to say, the grassy knoll was not at ALL what I was expecting? When I came home and told my Mom she said she had gone by it as well on her trip there and thought the same thing. I’m not sure what I was expecting, exactly, but that wasn’t it.

For this show we had a balcony seat! Wooo. We got repeats of Don’t Ever Change and Annalie – I am all in on Annalie but still a little on the fence about Don’t Ever Change at this point.  Zac switched his solo from One to Better Man and I like it, but I prefer One.  So now I am up to 4 new songs!  Taylor once again did Crazy Beautiful as his solo and my favorite part of that song is when we get to clap, which he doesn’t do with the solo so it was definitely a wasted opportunity two nights in a row when I could have heard the new song that he had done earlier in the tour. (Never to be done again. *tear*)  After we waited by the bus again, Isaac and Zac came out but getting to the barricade was not going to be easy so we didn’t bother. We had hoped to catch Taylor, but instead just saw him driving away.. in a winnebago.  I managed to get maybe 3 hours of sleep before flying home and having to work for half of the day.  Whew. Exhausted didn’t even begin to cover it.

 

Uncasville

The Uncasville show was… weird.  This is the venue where I see 90% of my shows each year. At capacity, it holds 10k people. I am not sure they sold all of the tickets that could have been available, but they also gave out a lot to radio station listeners and high rollers (We at one point had 4 pairs to choose from.) While they were kind of sort of billing this as part of the tour, it was probably just so that the date would make it on the shirts and hoodies for sale than anything else.  I was antsy because I had a Yule Ball to get to after the show (and came in my dress!) and was hoping they would have been on before Andy Grammer and weren’t.  The crowd was mixed – Isaac called them out for not singing along during This Time Around which was pretty shocking.  They did seem to win everyone over from MMMBop til the end – and as I was leaving the concourse there were a lot of people obnoxiously singing the chorus to MMMBop.  Probably one of the more bizarre Hanson shows I had been to and kind of a bummer it was my home state show but I am hoping this will give them some backing to come back on the full tour as they haven’t done a tour show here since 2011…

 

Silver Spring

Silver Spring… I have spent 5 days in the air this year which means I have also spent a lot of time with TSA.  None of their searches have been as thorough as what we had to go through to get into this venue.  He opened everything I had in my purse – my ear plugs containers, my bag of feminine products… ID’ed my prescription drugs (and made my friend toss hers because they were not in the script bottles  – but assured us even though it was illegal he wasn’t going to have her arrested) and had to call over back up to make sure the tiny screwdriver I carry to fix the screw in my brace would be allowed in. (Thankfully it was) But note to self – if they go back there again bring a clear stadium bag with ONLY the necessities because 30 mins to get through security is effing ridiculous…

The ADA at this venue is hit or miss. Usually we are closer to the center but this time got bumped due to 2 wheelchairs so if I opted to not stand I couldn’t see past the girls on the side balcony who were standing. (Another note to self – get VIP balcony or do the balcony upgrade next time)  Nothing new with this setlist but Isaac did do a solo and the setlist said it would be new but it was… hand in hand. Meh.  I am fully hooked on Annalie and Zac did a repeated new solo with Better Man.  This is why he is my favorite. Rotating out the new songs for the solos!!   They also put Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in the break during If Only and then sang Happy Birthday to Kevin. Whoever that is.

After the show we waited by the bus for 2 hours and nothing!  It was even snowing at one point.  I think this was the only show the whole tour none of the guys came out – after all of them had the night before. Boo Hiss. (A tweet would have been nice. just saying)

 

Boston

Ah Boston. I had bought 2 seats to this show and ended up selling one – and the one I sold was the wrong one, I think.  I couldn’t make it up in time to go to the Members Only Event (but I don’t think I missed much) and got there when Mac’s set had already started.  I drove into Boston all by myself and as I was texting a friend to let her know I made it, the girl behind me dumped like 3/4 of her beer ALL OVER ME.  Fantastic.  Something told me to put a tshirt on under my sweater that morning, but I didn’t and only had on a tank top underneath so I figured I’d freeze with just a tank on.  What is it about shows I over come anxiety to drive to alone and getting beer dumped on me? I don’t know

New songs – we got Against the World – which was my 300th unique Hanson song heard live. Woo! It was acoustic and I am still on the fence about it. I need a studio version. Or to hear it a few more times.  Taylor had 2 more shows to redeem himself and bring back Serious Woman, but he did A Song to Sing. It was really, really good and unexpected so I feel like a brat being annoyed about it. But I kind of am.  For the encore Paul and Joshua and the Holy Rollers came out and sang Run Rudolph Run with the guys which was a lot of fun!

After the show I opted to not wait by the bus and Zac was putting his luggage back underneath the bus as I drove by!  Like the 5 cars in front of me all pulled off to the side and everyone jumped out, but I don’t think he ended up coming back by to sign. (I believe Isaac did though)

 

Huntington

Last show of the tour! Nothing new for me this show either (so my total was 5 for the tour) but it was also my 50th time hearing I Was Born which is kind of ridiculous considering it is only 2 years old…  Once again they did Against the World and had the openers join them for Run Rudolph Run.  This was also the first show where all 3 did solos – and only Zac did something new, Taylor and Isaac both repeated with A Song to Sing and Hand in Hand.

After the show we opted to wait again for someone to come out and were successful in getting photos and brief chat with Zac, then the van picked him up and they all left.

On the way home, I pulled over at a rest stop to play HQ after dark and then decided since I didn’t really have dinner, I’d grab some McDonalds – only to have myself scarred for life as a woman’s ass was facing me in the drive through lane and she was peeing.  She must’ve been beyond drunk as it was *freezing* out and the rest stop WITH TOILETS was a mere 10 foot walk away… I am not sure if the image will ever be removed from my brain 🙁

Overall it was a fun tour – I didn’t end up with any new states but I did end up with a new city (Austin) and was excited for them to play CT again!! I am pretty impressed with most of the new stuff and very much so looking forward to 2020 and the new album and new tour and no new children!
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Hanson in Anderson, IN

This year Hanson have been doing a lot of “one-off” shows – as in a show here and there in a (seemingly) random location and not as a part of  a full tour.  They all seemed to be at casinos too, but that’s the norma for me with 2 of our major concert venues being in casinos here.  But this casino had one of the weirdest set ups and seating charts I think I’ve ever seen.  Turns out, one of my friends had gone to college in Anderson, IN and I had spent the night in IN once but wasn’t counting it as a state I had visited and had that Friday off work so we made a deal that if we could get tickets in one of three rows in the center section, we’d go.  Somehow after we probably should have given up with a nightmare of a presale I came through and gotten 4 seats in our 3rd choice row.  The venue is usually used for viewing horse races so the stage was only really close to a couple of sections but the room was VERY wide.

I left most of the planning to my friend as she was familiar with the area. I got picked up at the airport and we headed to The Lemon Drop a little hole in the wall burger joint for lunch. They had a train going around and a weird message on their sign outside that took us WAY too long to realize what they meant. We hung out at our hotel for a bit, drove around the campus of her college (that took about 5 minutes lol) and decided to head to the casino.  I played for maybe 30 mins and only lost $5 so not all bad.   Then it was finally show time…

Our seats were 7th row, but there was an aisle between us and the rows in front of us.  Now that Zac has taken over as front man for the time being, he has been walking through the crowd playing cowbell – I figured this would be the perfect spot for if that happened – and sure enough during Fired Up he walked right past! (And wasn’t too far away when he did a second lap as well)   I seemed to figure out the perfect set up for this show since I had no chair in front of me to hold on to – I stood for 30 mins, sat for 30 mins (where I could still see Taylor most of the time) and then rocked out for the last 30 minutes!  It was a really fun show!

After the show we were going to go to a 24 hour donut shop because before the show, post show donuts seemed like a GREAT idea.  After the show though… real food seemed like a better idea.  I guess Hanson had the same idea because as I marched into the restaurant excited to see they had a TouchTunes jukebox, I was stopped in my tracks when I spotted that Isaac, Taylor & Crew were *also* there.  We had some secondhand embarrassment when the jukebox started playing MMMBop (turns out it was the manager on duty who did it!) but we took over and played some *NSYNC, Aqua, and Jon McLaughlin (who is from Anderson!)  We were going to just leave them alone, but as they were leaving even the restaurant staff was asking for photos so we figured we might as well join in.

Saturday we finally hit up the donut place, went to Muncie for some Thai and then the campus coffee shop. Then it was time for me to head back to the airport for my whirlwind trip to come to an end.  But I added a new state AND discovered Airport Sherpa at BWI which is *amazing* I usually don’t eat because lugging my stuff through the airport to find a place to eat can be difficult. With Airport Sherpa, you pick one of the airport restaurant that is partnered with them, and for a delivery fee, someone picks up the meal and brings it to you.  GAME. CHANGER. (Z896987K is my referral code if you want to give it a go! I am not sure where it is at other than BWI at the moment but I do hope it expands!)

But it was a great trip, I hit my 3rd new state for the year (I had 2 each of the past 2 years) and I am now at 27/50 and I think 23 or 24 that I have seen Hanson in!

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Hanson at Caesars

At the end of October, Hanson played a show in Atlantic City. This was my 209th Hanson show, but probably one of the most different shows I had seen!  A few weeks before the show, Zac was in a motorcycle accident and broke several bones, leaving him in a sling and unable to play the drums.  Rather than canceling the show, they had Dash Hutton come along to play the drums and put Zac center stage to sing, play tambourine and rock out on cowbell.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but Zac gave it his all and was having a blast! He even walked through the crowd playing cowbell during a song! (And dropped his mic during a song as well!)  The setlist was pretty similar to what they have been playing recently – but switched out Juliet (where Zac sings lead and played piano) for one of my favorites, Musical Ride, where Zac sing lead (and usually drums).  I am not sure if Zac will be up front or not for my next show next week, but the sling is gone and it seems like my December shows will have things back to normal  – but I’m not sure I am ready to give up on the fun that is Zac as the frontman so soon!

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Mat Kearney Ridgefield Playhouse

Mat Kearney came back to CT for his City of Black and White tour in Ridgefield at the end of October. I did the VIP experience which got me a poster, exclusive vinyl and a m&g with Mat. He came out and sang “Learning to Love Again” just him and his guitar and told us a bit about the writing of the song and chatted a bit with the group. Throughout his set he also told some of the background of his life and the songs which I really enjoyed. This seems to be the norm on acoustic tours which probably explains why I have been enjoying to go to so many this year! He teased a bit about CT and geography and how the area was so bougie and we must take helicopters to work and how easy it is to get from state to state because he is from the west coast where you drive for days and are in the same state!

(Just have to note his opener was Eli Teplin and he went to do a song about Curious George on guitar and it was not coming through the sound system so he stepped away from the mic and did it all with no amplification and completely rocked it when he otherwise could have given up and did something else and that was worth mentioning!)

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Carrie Underwood Foxwoods Grand Theater

Carrie Underwood has been hitting up large arenas on her Cry Pretty 360 tour. When I saw she was going to be coming to Foxwoods but in a more intimate setting, I knew I had to try and get tickets. I didn’t think I was going to end up breaking the bank and landing myself a 2nd row ticket, but it is what it is! By the time the show rolled around – I was tired. I had Haley the night before and had to be at work bright and early the day after so I was very happy when they said not only would the show be starting at 7:30 – there would be no openers and it would only be running 90 minutes versus her usual 120 minutes. Yay! Even with grabbing merch after the show I ended up leaving the parking lot before 10pm! The first 3 rows ended up allowed to go up to the barricade but I opted to stay in my seat as I’d have been farther away down the barricade. I’m not sure what fancy tricks she has up her sleeve for the 360 tour but this was just her, the band and her voice, no fancy anything. And it was great! Although there was a string of songs that were a bit too sad to be all in a row like that! When the show was almost done, she called a fan up on stage to rap during The Champion. She was sitting just a few seats behind me and did a great job! From what I can tell, her set was very close to the 360 set – just missing the medley – which from talks from fans around me who had gone to other shows, she did those with the openers and they weren’t there! I’m really excited to scrapbook this show – in addition to some great pics I think I pretty much nailed the tour logo cut out and got some eye gems from the merch booth to really bring it all together. I know I haven’t posted scrapbook pages in years, but maybe I will catch up at some point!

 

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