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04 May 2010 @ 01:32 am
One of Five  
'Lo, livejournal! Long time no see! It was recently brought to my attention that I hadn't actually updated in months (let's not count them XD) and I thought I should do something to rectify that. I was planning several drama/JE related posts (which I will still finish soon) however, that was two weeks and something AMAZING has happened in my life since then. Namely, HANSON WEEK!

As people on my flist may or may not know, Hanson is my most beloved band (that doesn't live in Japan at least! ;) ) that I go to see at every opportunity. Last Monday through Friday, I was fortunate enough to have five chances to see them: as a special event, Five of Five, they did a whole series of concerts in NYC. Each night they played one of their albums in its entirety until the last night when they played their new album for the first time live! Because they love us. (I was actually really lucky to get tickets to all five shows, as most people got them as a package deal and I fought for them on Ticketmaster. XD) So I've decided to post recollections of the five shows on the corresponding nights of this week as I can't let go yet. A lot of these posts will be little details that only I will care about or will be used to locate myself on the forthcoming DVD (!!!) but I will post everything here. So, for the four people who might be interested:

4/26/2010 - Middle of Nowhere

(All photos from Tourphotographer.com!)

Actually, an interesting story lies in my trip into the city that afternoon, before anything Hanson occurred at all. My dad gave me a ride to our local bus stop, we noted there was someone waiting there which is unusual at this time of day and he waved and shouted me off for the trip. I went so far as noticing this girl had nice boots and she was nice enough to let me lug my suitcase onto the bus first. Then when I sat down, she sat down behind me and almost immediately said "I have a random question for you: did you go to this town's high school and is your name Becky?" I laughed and answered yes and she said, "Yeah, I'm Nicole and I think we graduated together. And were in an art class together?" Only then, really only then, did I recognize her and have everything click together! (She was someone who I knew the name of and had interacted with occasionally but we were never friends. In fact, I'm pretty sure that wasn't even my art class and I just attended because I had a free period, liked art and my friends were in it. XD) So, as we hadn't seen each other seven years which was a scary number to face, we spent the bus ride catching up. We updated each other on the classmates we had kept in touch with and commiserated about living our our small town. She filled me in on her facebook stalking and which girls from our class were now mothers with children, always hard to process. I learned that a girl that bullied me a bit in school and been a general ass was now working with Nicole in a school for kids with disabilities and had reappeared as someone totally sweet to kids and an ideal friendly co-worker, something that surprised Nicole as much as myself.

All in all, it was a really successful chat and in fact, went more smoothly than almost all conversations of this sort go for me! We got along well. Unfortunately it went so well that I had spent the whole time turned around in my seat, not good for someone who gets carsick sometimes. It only hit me at the Lincoln Tunnel that I was not feeling well, I was clammy and light-headed as I get sometimes. So we get off the bus (I'm still lugging that suitcase) and Nicole suggests getting tea. I tell her I'm not feeling well and I'm going to have to sit in Port Authority to eat and drink something. Oh yeah, I have not yet eaten today because I woke up late and I'm a dumbass. So we go to the escalators and start to head down. On this long escalator trip, I start thinking "Should have taken the elevator, should have sat down sooner..." as my vision starts to swim. Right as I get to the bottom, I have to take a step to side and I sink to my knees and start to puke. Yup. I've actually had something like this happen once before, when I was carrying a suitcase and hadn't eaten actually because I am smart and never repeat bad situations but it was never to the point of puking. So Nicole is calling my name and asking if I need help and I'm hearing everything but I can't reply as my body is still in the puking process. So she goes to the Port Authority people and they go to the cops. Naturally, as soon as I've thrown up, I started feeling so much better. Enough to start drinking water (whch I had with me, yes, I am that dumb) and explaining that I'm okay, I hadn't eaten and I get carsick. Nicole is super pissed as sit there and recover, as the cops haven't shown up for five minutes and the Port Authority people are just standing across the way whispering to each other. "Good thing this wasn't a real emergency" I said to Nicole, while wishing no one was involved in this and I could slink off to the bathroom by myself. "It kind of was," she replied, still angry. And I realized she had a point, she didn't know what was wrong, I had just gotten pale and collapsed to my knees and thrown up from her point of view and it was a sobering thought. The cops rolled around a few minutes later and I had to give my name and address which I didn't like. But then they left and I collected my stuff and went to the bathroom to change (good thing this was a weeklong trip!) and went downstairs to eat something. Nicole was super nice and stayed with me and I was apologetic. I said I should go before "the friend I was staying with kicked my ass for not showing and resting after this happened" which was a total lie as I was staying in a hotel with girls I didn't know. We parted with an exchange of Facebook information and I thanked her for her protective teacher instinct when she was pissed waiting for help to arrive.

I have not contacted her since. What a second first impression to make! Now when she meets other classmates, instead of being someone already with kids, I will be the girl that threw up in Port Authority. XD ...This story will be longer than my Hanson notes tonight but it is a pretty juicy one!

So, I walk to the hotel and it's on 30th and Park and lovely. The bathroom is amazing, all lined in slate with one half walled off as a shower with a drain the the bottom. I immediately get a little nervous about the girls I'm staying with, as I spot tons of hairspray and straitening irons (while I been experimenting with alternative haircare to avoid chemicals and I haven't been shaving) and because I see packs and packs of cigarettes and, oh god, I cannot tolerate cigarette smoke. I almost called Val, because it had been a rough day so far but since we both hate phones, I texted her and said I couldn't explain today in the text format but I would later. (Hi Val, this is the story! XD) I took some time to really recover and eat more and drink water and generally prepare myself for the night. I got my stuff together, got changed and headed for venue...

Wore: Orange hoodie, Autumn shirt/yellow tank.

Line: For those who don't know, Hanson fans are know to show up super early, even the night before depending on the circumstances, for standing room only shows. As we are hardcore and yes, a little crazy in our love. ♥ I arrived at 5:00 pm but wound up meeting/joining my roommates (Melissa, Jackie, Nicola) who had arrived at 3:45, I think. We were about halfway down the Duane Reed around the corner from the doors (my original spot was right behind the ATM further down the block.) There was moderate rain the whole time but a slight overhang helped us. I was very glad to have been wearing my wool coat, scarf and hat as the last time I waited in the rain for Hanson concert without it, it threw me into a terrible sickness for the next week. But the rain really saved us considering the late arrival, this was only a little past the spot I'd get outside the next day.

My roommates were nice and we chatted but two of the three already were friends and the third girl had arrived the night before me. I got the impression that they had already kind of bonded and I just wasn't quite going to be great friends with these girls, as often happens with roommates I suppose. I was glad for the company on line though!

Standing: In what was only the beginning of an infuriating trend, they let the will call line in at the same time as us. In the giddy rush for the stage, I still got about six or seven rows back, center. When we first got in, I ran and ditched my coat (with my hat and scarf in the pockets) to the side of one of the chairs in the seated parts of the venue. I figured no one would want a soaking wet coat and I don't think anyone actually saw it. XD

Show: The waiting while in the venue is always the worst part, it's crowded and there's nothing to do and you're acutely aware that it should be starting soon. Luckily at least there was no openers for these shows! I spent my time surveying the cameras for the DVD filming, at least six by my counts and one was on a crane which I was so excited about! I'd never been to a show with such nice equipment so close to me. Finally, a guy came out to announce that we were filming tonight, so no cameras really, guys, and Hanson would be on in a few seconds. True to his word, the guys came out and the crowd swelled and cheered as loudly as it always does. The is just nothing like this high for me. :) When "Thinking of You" started, the audience predictably flipped out and entered nostalgia mode. It was quickly apparent that they were keeping pretty close to the original recorded version, Taylor's vocal embellishments were closer to the crowd, and therefore the album, than they sometimes are. As a little introduction, Isaac (I think) spoke about how it's been thirteen years since this audience and they were only able to be here today because we had been supporting them without pause all this time. This was a special event for all of us. (And then there were many awwws and cheering. XD) "MMMBop" got huge cheers and excited jumping, as it always does. We sang a chorus in place of them which is a tradition I love. (It bother me in a review of this show that they mention how "MMMBop" got louder cheers than any other song, just because it made us seem like we were clinging to their old hit. Really, it just the vast majority of fans got their start hearing that song on the radio and to hear it is to be thirteen years old again, discovering a band you will love for thirteen years to come with.) "Weird" was one of the songs I was most looking forward to: I loved the harmonies on it so much though I think I might like it better in a purely acoustic set. I love how the band has really grown into the funk of "Speechless" and "Look At You", those become crazy dancing/grooving songs in concert and I think they work much better in this arrangement than they did originally. "Where's the Love?" is one of my concert favorites of any era because I looooooooooove the "'round and around and" arm movements and the sense of crowd unity since we've been doing the same thing during this song live for twelve years. "Yearbook" isn't one of my top picks of this ablum but I love the drums in the new arrangement. "Lucy" was yessss, because Zaaaaaac soooong. The only problem with MON is not enough Zac. XD It might not have been the best rendition though. "I Will Come To You", crazy sentimental, although I miss the harmonies of their youth more acutely on that track than any other. Though the Tay vocal will never fail to kill. "Minute Without You" I have never had a performance I didn't like of that song as it's another perennial concert favorite. "Madeline" is another song where I particularly love the new arrangement... but I was really too in the moment to remember if it was good. We "ended" with "With You in Your Dreams" which still has the power to strike emotional chords all these years later. But as they took a bow, we all knew that wasn't really the ending...

They retake the stage after a very brief call and while fooling around getting ready, start the opening of the new single "Thinking 'Bout Somethin'" (much, much more on that later!) and just as the crowd started to cheer, they cut it off with it "Noooo, you have to wait thirteen years for that! :P" Jerrrrrrrks. :) So then, Zac says "You know how you're listening to a CD and when it ends and you're chilling out, you notice "Wait, it's still going..." Isaac takes over, "Track thirteen, track fourteen.." we take up the countdown "track fifteen, track sixteen..." until we all shout "Track twenty one!" and they launch into "Man from Milwaukee"! It was really THE CUTEST way to introduce this song especially since we all did this almost exactly thirteen years ago now. I was so so happy during this song, especially since Zac did the "This is mother bird calling baby bird... Do you copy? Do you copy ?Of course we copy! 24 hours a day, in color!" part! Ahhhhhh, Young Zaaaaaaac! ♥ So afterwords, Tay starts on (at least... I think it was this night, I might be misremembering!) "You know how you're listening to a CD and sometimes you want to rewind to a track you just heard.." "Tay," Ike cuts in, "you're dating yourself, no one does that anymore. So you skip backwards to a track. For the filming for the DVD, we're hitting the back button for a couple!" So the encore was also another "Lucy" and "Look at You"! Hooray! :DDD

All in all, we ended getting out around ten! So reasonable! Also as I was collapsed in a chair re-hydrating, while my roommates were battling for merch: Yup, totally had Zac walk right out of the venue next to me. I turned my head when I saw a familiar smile and was like "Waaaaaait". So yeah, they do that now! :DD

Soooooo, no other post will be quite this lengthy! The last one has a ton more Hanson but really, I wasted a lot of space telling that first story. UM, I'M COMPENSATING FOR LJ WITHDRAWAL, HI? XD
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
miquilismiquilis on May 4th, 2010 07:00 am (UTC)
Are you going to be mad if I say I wasn't aware that Hanson were still going? *dodges bricks* not my fault they don't do anything in Europe anymore!!

It's amazing you got to go to 5 shows, I would have been exhausted after three >__
Top: 嵐: SHOOOOOOOtopazera on May 5th, 2010 07:27 pm (UTC)
Are you going to be mad if I say I wasn't aware that Hanson were still going? *dodges bricks*
Oh dear, I'm so very not mad at all, you wouldn't even believe it! After all, I just spent a week waiting on the New York streets where people would ask all the time "What are you waiting for?" and after they heard our answer, we would get a lot of "Really?? Aren't they thirteen/one-hit wonders/dead?" So yeah, I've heard it all! *giggles* As long as you're not saying "dead", you're already being super polite in my book. XD

It's amazing you got to go to 5 shows, I would have been exhausted after three >__
Ha, I actually was super tired after the third one in a row! But somehow by five I was saying "You know, I've really gotten into the rhythm of this now! Let's do another week! :DD" ...Buuuuuut then I fell terribly ill the next day so that's probably all my body could take anyway. XD
miquilismiquilis on May 5th, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
well I at least knew they weren't dead! and it would be seriously worrying if they were still thirteen.

I'm always really tired after concerts, I can't be high tension for that long but maybe after 5 you would just get really used to it. I'd never turn down tickets to see Arashi 5 nights in a row.

out of curiosity do they still sing mmm-bop or do they try and distance themselves from it? they probably wouldn't want it to be the only thing they're known for.
Top: 嵐: = 90% dorkiness / 10% peer pressuretopazera on May 6th, 2010 06:03 am (UTC)
Yes, if they were still thirteen I think it would be even more likely you'd have heard about that on the news than if they were dead.

I'm always really tired after concerts, I can't be high tension for that long but maybe after 5 you would just get really used to it. I'd never turn down tickets to see Arashi 5 nights in a row.
I'm the same way, I always feel like I expend 100% of my energy during the concert and then another 20% on the encore which adds up to very tired. Luckily (at the time it didn't feel as lucky but it probably was) the first four concerts were pretty short since they only played the album, maybe like an hour and a half, and the encore was only a ballad and the songs they had to redo. Otherwise, yes, I may have died.

Also, I would so take that Arashi deal too. WHY IS JAPAN SO FAR AWAAAAAAAAY FROM ME?

out of curiosity do they still sing mmm-bop or do they try and distance themselves from it? they probably wouldn't want it to be the only thing they're known for
Ooh, good question! They still play MMMBop at pretty every regular, full-length Hanson concert. Probably not every single one but almost, since it's such a touchstone with their fans. However, they definitely don't tend to play it when they're doing something that might appeal to more outsiders. For example, this year they're playing at Bamboozle Music Festival with a bunch of other bands and they're playing all new stuff with their one throwback being to a 2004 song. Which I think is the right way to do it, otherwise they'd just get pigeonholed even more as "that MMMBop band" and I'm sure non-fans would say "Let's go to hear MMMBop!" (and maybe laugh, if they're jerks). I'd much rather that all those people get exposed to only new music. :)

Thanks for the curiosity, bb! As you can see, it's fun for me to talk of these things. :)
i lost to a hamburger...: a:マイガールlittlealex on May 5th, 2010 05:31 am (UTC)
lol i don't even have hanson icons anymore
oh man, a Hanson post was the LAST thing I expected to see on my flist. ♥ you, this, and THOSE PHOTOS are all amazing!!!! ♥
Top: 嵐: Fuck you Ninotopazera on May 5th, 2010 07:31 pm (UTC)
LOL It's okay, I don't have a Hanson icon either and I'm supposed to be doing all these posts. XD
Ahahaha, when I was thinking "...Who on my flist will actually click the cut tag?" you were one of the (few) people I thought of! ♥

I know! Hanson! Ahaha, I'm already behind but hopefully I'll be posting about the rest of the days soon and shamelessly stealing and picspamming with the rest of the professional pictures. My love for Hanson always ebbs and flows with the years but right now it's definitely on the upswing. :DD
i lost to a hamburger...: a:group in concertlittlealex on May 6th, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)
a boyband analogy! hanson:mid-teens :: arashi:mid-twenties
nah, man, Hanson are still amazing. I think it's incredible that they grew up with their heads screwed on correctly, and I think it's a really positive thing when you look at all the people who have grown up with them. How could you get on the wrong path with role models like these? They're not perfect, but they've done extremely well to get to where they are today and I love them for it.

Plus, they inspire so much nostalgia. I heard their new song and it was great but all I could think was OMG TAYLOR'S VOICE HASN'T CHANGED~~~
Top: 嵐: = 90% dorkiness / 10% peer pressuretopazera on May 6th, 2010 06:23 am (UTC)
So true! The story of my life: It is always the right time for a boyband
Aw, well said! They have always been such a positive force in my life, I've always been proud to say that I'm a fan. I'm just so pleased that they've grown up and kept doing their thing, following what's right for them and making the music they want to make. And it's amazing to see how all their fans have diverged since 1997 and yet are still united in Hanson love at shows! It's just a very warm and fuzzy place in my life for me, as boybands should be. :)

I heard their new song and it was great but all I could think was OMG TAYLOR'S VOICE HASN'T CHANGED~~~
IT HASN'T~~~ Such feelings bubble up when I hear that voice. ♥ I think this new single really shows it off to full advantage too, Taylor is at his best when he gets his motown-y, r&b edge on things.
i lost to a hamburger...: kt:jin and maru camping. can't lose.littlealex on May 6th, 2010 11:36 am (UTC)
we're totally going to be those housewives with boyband obsessions. gosh.
Yes! Whenever you meet a Hanson fan it's like coming home a little bit. You instantly have a shared history and vocabulary and it's just like... they're your people. We're one big happy family, especially now that we've all grown out of our insane fangirl phases. (Well. At least when it comes to Hanson...)

♥ I still blame Taylor for everything, you know. lol.
stringless_kitestringless_kite on May 5th, 2010 08:04 am (UTC)
Ohh! I remember them. I used to like them & then I thought they disappeared? Haha. I remember googling them a year ago because I wondered what happened to them & gaped at how hot they looked with the haircuts ;) HAHA. <3 They are so better than the jobros in my book. Damn it.
Top: 嵐: = 90% dorkiness / 10% peer pressuretopazera on May 5th, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
Loooooool! Awesome! I always find it hilariiiiious when people who don't know I like Hanson see a recent picture of them and don't even recognize them due to the haircuts (and not being thirteen anymore). XD But, yes, they're totally hot!

They are so better than the jobros in my book. Damn it.
Ahahaha, I'm always like "You kids today don't know what you're missing! Your band of three teenage brothers is so watered down and corporate compared to my band of three (formerly) teenage brothers." BUT THAT'S THE WAY OF THE WORLD, I THINK.
stringless_kitestringless_kite on May 8th, 2010 12:59 am (UTC)
I know! It's pretty funny. When I showed my friends last year, they were...amazed. HAHA :D

This generation sucks. Mwahuz. Yes, unfortunately that's the way the world works...even with Hannah Montana gaining fame because of her singer father. I wonder how hard it would have been if she made it on her own...
peaches in the creases of a plastic bag: je: zero points!phrenk on May 7th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
OH TOP. Poor Top, felled by your own poor choices! Dammit, Past Top! I am glad you are okay and that you had someone there with you! And that your week as a whole was a good experience despite the sicknesses on both ends and the potential for discord in the room.

Top: 嵐: I've made a huge mistaketopazera on May 8th, 2010 01:45 am (UTC)
I had sown the seeds of my own destruction! I could have moved and sat next to the person I was talking to! I was carrying water! There was food in my suitcase! Gahhhhh. I was mostly just embarrassed that someone was witnessing this undignified moment but she was very sweet about it. But yes, my text to you was originally going to be "I am having a bad day! :(" but my day soon got much better! I'm just so glad that I was healthy and happy and things went without incident during all my concert time. GOOD WORK, BODY, I APPRECIATED IT!

Oh yeah and when this was going to be one post, you were meant to have gotten the line "But no one actually smoked indoors and I got along with normal people well, if not quite swimmingly!" Happy ending! :D