Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Package Tour Adventures

Another two concerts down. This weekend, my friends E and T and I attended the Package Tour shows in Chicago and Minneapolis. I must say, I love when Chicago shows are not downtown. As much as I do love the downtown area of Chicago, I do not love dealing with rush hour traffic. Driving to the Allstate Arena seemed like it took no time at all, and we arrived much earlier than expected.

Although our wedge sandals are cute, T and I were both in pain by the end (or beginning) of the show.
Tickets for this show must've sold out relatively quickly because we were not able to get seats together, which made for a less enjoyable concert experience. Still, we each had pretty good spots, and it's hard not to have fun while watching this show.

Boyz II Men



And then Vanilla Ice randomly showed up! He mostly promoted his show on HGTV and of course sang his one hit.

After the show, it was POURING and storming, and I was wandering around in it for way too long, trying to find the car. The parking lot had to be the least efficient setup ever, and I probably nearly hit 100 fans with the car before I collected my friends. I should've timed how long it took to drive from one side of the venue to the other in that madness. At least a half hour - probably closer to 45 minutes. And I'm not exaggerating.

Eventually, we made our way to the fence dividing where the buses were parked from the rest of the lot, and we parked with the handful of other cars that were waiting it out. A couple of the Boyz II Men guys came out, but we didn't get pictures with either them. After a few of the buses left, we were able to get a better view of what was going on, which was Drew and Nick from 98° playing bags (or cornhole for Ohioans) together. When they finished their game, they actually walked over to meet the fans along with Jeff, who strolled up a few minutes later. For some reason, I never recognize Jeff until he's right in front of me. Everyone was swarming Nick and Drew, so I got a pic with Jeff first after he walked right up to my friend T like he knew her and gave her a hug. It was an awesome and adorable moment. She had met him in Milwaukee, so either he did recognize her, or he was happy to see fans, who knows. 

Yeah, they're pretty short guys.

The Nick picture took some more effort. Nick's security guard, whom you can see over my shoulder, announced that they were only going to hang out for another 3 minutes. With less than a minute to spare, I touched Nick on the arm and got to tell him I was a big Sing-Off fan and that I had seen Pentatonix (winners of the last season) in concert earlier that year. He seemed pretty excited about that and said that they're amazing. I agreed, thanked him for the picture, and told him I couldn't wait for the next season. And that was about it. Nick took a couple more pictures with people and then was whisked away.

Since we were going to the next stop on the tour, our plan was to follow the buses up to Minneapolis. Finally at around 2 AM, they pulled out, and we tailed the bus we knew at least one of the Lachey brothers was on. T drove first and switched off with E as the sun was rising, and I struggled to stay awake the whole time. But let's face it, I did doze off for a bunch of minute-long naps along the way.

It was a little after 9 AM when we entered Minneapolis. We followed the bus to their hotel and waited around a little to see if anyone would come out. Someone probably did, but we missed it, because then the bus drove to the venue.

From there, we made the 20-minute drive to my husband's college friend's house to crash for a couple hours. Thank goodness for free room and board and an accommodating host. By 3 PM, we were showered, dressed, fed, and back at it in downtown Minneapolis. I'm always surprised by how little sleep someone can survive on. With only about 3 hours of sleep each, my friends seemed like they had a full night's rest; and on less than that, I was completely functional if not a little cranky.

We didn't have any band member sightings during the day, so we just killed time until the show started.

Woohoo, we got to sit together this time!

The show was so much more fun sitting by the girls than sitting alone. I really wished that I could join them at the Indianapolis show in 2 weeks, but that's not going to happen for me. After the show, we knew a little more what to expect as far as the timeline went, and we knew exactly which buses belonged to the guys we cared about most - 98°. Jeff came out to take a few pictures at one point, but otherwise, he was mostly hanging out with his family on his bus. Nick and Justin walked by us later in the night, but when I asked for pictures, Nick's security guard shot us down.

Most of the fans were stationed on another side of the venue, staking out the New Kids buses. We did migrate over there when T saw Donnie out, and she got a pic with him! Here's a tip - have your camera ready when a guy comes out. Donnie was trying to get through the line as quickly as possible, and he moved on almost immediately if someone's camera wasn't ready. A few minutes later, we headed back to the 98° buses only to find that T's wedge sandals that we had left there were stolen (she had changed into flip flops). Not only that, but all except for Jeff's bus had left. So that was two bummers in one. Shortly after that, the rest of the buses left, as did we.

Although it was an exhausting weekend, and I am undoubtedly getting too old for this stuff, I can't wait to do it again. And in 2 weeks, I get a more subdued version when we go see Backstreet Boys!! After that, I'll be done with tour life for awhile.


  1. shoot, i wish you would have gotten to see them again (or meet them, i guess). at least you got to go back and get a little sleep!!! i hope the drive home wasn't too bad!

  2. Wow so many 90s flashbacks hehe Oh Vanilla Ice... still holding on

  3. YOu lucky Lucky Girl! THank for linking up your photos and outfits this week and last!