Venue: Manchester Inn
Venue: Manchester Inn
Headliner: Drake Bell
Opener(s): Tiffany Giardina, Honor Society, Care Bears on Fire, VFactory
Venue: Blue Mountain Ski Resort
Sunday after Hanson Day Weekend was over, it was time for the Hop Jam. Once again I volunteered this year, so as far as the music portion went, I only saw a few performances. I was sure to sneak away from Castro’s set and watched it from the “VIP Box” that was my hotel room. I ended up back at the hotel in time to hear KONGOS “Come With Me Now” and then of course, stopped all volunteering duties in order to see Hanson get inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and see their performance. Afterwards we picked up our volunteer shifts once again, doing all sorts of “fun” things to make sure that the street would be back to normal and no one would ever know such a huge festival had just went down.
The Hop Jam marked my 99th time hearing MMMBop live (which is pretty cool because #100 will be in Australia and that’s obviously why I had to go on such a big trip) and my 250th unique song heard live was their new single, “I Was Born”. It was also my 141st Hanson show meaning that I will most likely be hitting 150 in Australia / New Zealand. (Looking to be New Zealand based on the Members Only Events that were recently announced)
Here are a few highlights from the show:
Hanson getting inducted
Taylor starting Fired Up in the crowd
For most of the day I was at the entrance gate, watching people get pissed off because they couldn’t bring in outside food or drink (and one particularly happy guy dumped his water bottle at my feet because he was told to dump it. Thanks dude!) and handing out maps of the festival grounds and answering questions about where to get tickets scanned and all that good stuff. I handed a map to someone and he commented about how he hoped now he wouldn’t get lost, I told him “Good luck!” and the security guy asked me what I said so I was like “…good luck?” and he goes “Oh. I thought you said ‘Get fucked'” I mean… I’m not sure that is the language that I really should be using as a volunteer at a festival? But this guy was also making fun of everyone who tripped over the entrance fence to their face – I was a bit relieved when they moved him to a different gate and hopefully it was with less public interaction.
Over the weekend I headed back to Tulsa, OK for Hanson Day Weekend 2017! This was the biggest members only event yet and many of the activities sold out quickly. I managed to get tickets for all of the sold out events and here’s a bit of a recap for each of the events I attended… more details coming soon but I’m way more exhausted than I had anticipated.
I Heart Hanson Store
We waited in line for about 3 hours for the store to open and were some of the first ones inside. Things were a bit slow going inside the store probably due to the amount of shirts and accessories that were available. Highlights included a pin that said “All my friends are here I don’t want to go home”, a ridiculous amount of t-shirts and the Play EP on CD! (Previously the release had been digital only) There were some things that I didn’t even realize were for sale so I may have to place an order once items go up on the website Friday.
Isaac hosted karaoke on Thursday night. A huge storm came through while we were waiting and it took me a while to be able to make it across the street from the bakery I was hiding in to the venue for karaoke so I ended up missing 2 songs. Fans were able to sign up to sing (if they wanted) and names and songs were drawn at random and they were called up on stage. I opted to not participate but had a lot of fun watching my friends and other fans up performing on stage! Isaac also did a rendition of “Stand By Me” on stage in addition to air guitar and singing with some of the other performers as well.
Each year Zac does some original paintings in a gallery that has some for sale. In addition to the originals, there were also some prints. I was really hoping to get an original and/or something of a pansy. When I got in to the gallery a little before 11, there were still originals left so I was able to get a painting! Unfortunately the print I had wanted of the pansy was sold out as they were limited to only 10 🙁 They also had a new “Hanson History” aspect of it which included some outfits and props from their music videos – including the MMMBop pansy which had a photo booth set up so you could get photos with it. The pansy has been my favorite flower since before Hanson (When they video first came out my Mom said , “of course you like this song, it has your flower in it”) so I was pretty pumped about that.
Photos with the band
We were told to be in like by 1:15pm in order to ensure photos with the band – I was working a volunteer shift at the gallery until 1 when I heard they were saying “last call” for photos. We headed over there only to be told the guys had left – but others told us they were just taking a break. We took our chances and it started raining while we were waiting (I very much so debated wearing my poncho for the photo!) but we did end up being able to get a photo. My friend Maribeth teased that I should have worn the poncho and I said I didn’t want to get the guys wet to which Zac responded “That’s why she wanted you to wear it”
This year the lectures were an additional concert – an acoustic storytellers of sorts. The guys did songs and talked a bit about the stories behind them, or just whatever stories in general they wanted to tell. They started with a song that was not on the setlist – Rockin Robin – which they used to sing on the corner before they got their big break. The guys each did a solo song as well!
ST Leaders Dinner
I am a Hanson ST Leader for CT and we have a dinner to meet other leaders and discuss a bit what we needed to do to help promote the upcoming single release, tour, etc. The guys showed up and Taylor said he liked the shirts I made for Maribeth and I and took a photo with us (that later ended up on the band’s instagram!) It was pouring rain the whole time we were there which made for an interesting walk to our next event.
This tournament was a new addition this year. There were 3 rounds lasting an hour each of modified Hansonopoly. I started off pretty well with everyone landing on my property but ended up coming in I think 3rd or 4th of 6. The first round was fun but I didn’t like that if you lost, that was it. (Except that it gave us time to get to the dance party) I had heard that the 2nd round was much more competitive though so I am not sure I would have enjoyed it much.
Taylor’s activity was the dance party. We got there a bit late due to Hansonopoly and we didn’t stay very long either because at this point it was pretty late. Taylor was DJing a mix of songs and everyone was hanging out. There seemed to be a lot less people than last year, I am not sure if they sold less tickets or if a lot of people ending up opting out because the day was such a long one!
Members Only Concert
Before the concert they had the “State of the Band” where they played the new music video that will be out on Friday (which I unfortunately couldn’t really see because of the set up) and announced that the Christmas album will be titled “Finally It’s Christmas” and that they will be doing a TOUR! Woo!
The concert started with the 5 new songs from the new EP “In Color” that they released to members, then they did some other members only songs and a few album tracks as well. They ended the show with a bit of Weird acapella.
Sunday Night needtobreathe brought their tour to The Fox Theater at Foxwoods, CT. It had been several years since I had last been to the Fox Theater but I was able to fight ticketmaster longer enough to get a 6th row center seat. (Unfortunately the seat I tried to get for my friend disappeared)
When doors opened, they didn’t scan my ticket which was weird – just told me to go on inside. I got to my seat and a few minutes later two people showed up with tickets for the same seat. One got moved to the 3rd row and the others scored themselves some free drink tickets.
Opening up for the night was Nashville based band Colony House who I really enjoyed. They had a lot of energy and were a lot of fun to watch.
Then it was time for needtobreathe. I had wanted to get a bit more familiar with their catalog before the show but unfortunately didn’t have time so I went into this show knowing no songs at all. And after the first song I thought I might have had to leave because the flashing lights were really bothering me. Fortunately the lights calmed down because if not I would have missed a really great show! A couple of songs in the guitarist headed out in to the crowd and after the show there was a guy (possibly even a Dad) totally fanboying out about how he played guitar “with” the guitarist.
At the end of the show they came to the edge of the stage for the last 2 songs with a request that no one else sing when they were singing so they wouldn’t have to sing over the entire crowd and they did the songs with no mics and minimal instruments and it was AMAZING!
The show also ended pretty early so I was in my car and ready to head home just after 10pm! Not bad when you’re 1.5 hours away from home.