Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Let's Get Fired Up - Hanson in Milwaukee

Where to begin? I guess 6:30 AM on Saturday morning is a good place to start. That's when I pulled into downtown Milwaukee and swung around the Pabst Theater to scope out the situation. I'm not sure why I was surprised, but there were already quite a few people lined up for the Hanson show that night. I drove around for a bit and found a place to park. When I got in line at almost 6:45, I was number 24. That's how crazy we Hanson fans are, folks. Many of the people ahead of me had camped out, but I think the group right in front of me had only been there for maybe an hour when I arrived.

From the Pabst's Facebook page. This was taken around 8 in the morning. You can see my empty red chair in the middle and my friend E to the left of it. I must've been off getting coffee at that point.

As you can imagine, the rest of the day was a lot of sitting around, waiting for something exciting to happen. Here are the highlights with an approximate timeline.

10:30 - Our friend K arrived and joined us in line. I had given the three groups behind me a heads up that a couple of friends would be meeting me later, and they were fine with it.

11:30 - Some drama broke out about line jumpers behind us. The cops got involved. No seriously.

12:00 - A truck pulled up, and the crew started to unload equipment. I recognized a guy from high school and tried to chat him up in hopes of getting some VIP access. I didn't really know how to make that happen, so I basically engaged in a few minutes of small talk and then walked away.

12:30 - Hanson's tour bus arrived, and we welcomed the excitement. I saw Isaac come off the bus and was dumbstruck by how good he looked in his leather jacket, scarf, sunglasses, and hat. I'm used to seeing him in a suit, but I prefer his laid-back look. Although I had jumped on the Zac fan train for a few years there, that moment brought me back to my Isaac fan roots.

1:30 - K's friend R arrived, and we educated him on all the craziness he witnessed while we waited for the 1-mile barefoot charity walk to begin at 3.

3:00 - The walk commenced, but Taylor was nowhere to be seen. We hung out by Zac for the first half mile and Isaac on the way back.

Zac making sure we all get across the street safely

Mid-walk speech

I paparazzied my friends by Zac, got a few pics with them by Isaac, and then got to have a couple conversations with him myself, which went something like this:

Me: Isaac, your foot, what happened? (He had a bandage wrapped around his foot.)
I: Oh, it's nothing.
Me: Oh OK, nevermind then. (I almost said something about it being a sore subject, but it sounded too punny in my head. At least, I hope that stayed in my head. I can't remember for sure.)
I: It's on the top. It's not walk related.
Me: That's good to hear.
I: It's more...ignoring something for too long.
Me: Ah, gotcha.

We then stopped and waited for the light to turn green, and a girl took a picture with him. When we started walking again, there was no one else walking by Isaac up in front, so I felt like I had to say something else to him. I'm kicking myself because I had my camera out, on video mode, and pointing at myself and Isaac during this next conversation. The only problem was, apparently I did not push the button to start recording. Arg!! Luckily, my friend K got a couple pictures and a video!

(Also, my outfit was inadvertently but conveniently very similar to the Inspiration Monday photo for this week, so I also wanted to link up with them. I wish I had gotten a full shot of the outfit I was wearing that day, but I never think of it at the time. Too much other stuff going on.)

This conversation isn't accurate at all. I think Isaac was rambling more than what I actually remembered to write down afterwards. But here's the gist, which I updated on 10/16 when I saw the video clip K got of the conversation:

Me: I'm really excited for MMMHops tomorrow. (They were debuting their beer, MMMHops, at the two House of Blues Chicago shows.)
I: Yeah, we were hoping people would be. I hope we have enough.
Me: I was wondering about that. Should I only have one? Is there enough to go around?
I: Haha, you should have as many as you want.
Me: OK done!
I: You should have as many as you want. Um, heh.
Me: so it's just going to be at the bar?
I: It's gonna be at the bar, yeah so, there should be plenty left to go around, but it's our first time, so we'll see how quickly it goes. (Foreshadowing...)

After the walk, I stood right by the guys on the steps for their post-walk speech.

4:30 - We listened to the sound check going on inside from our spot in line, and I headed inside the adjoining hotel to charge my phone for awhile.

5:30 - Our friend T showed up with her friend D. They went across the street to kill time at the Newsroom Pub.

6:15 - R and I got bored and joined them for shots.

6:45 - Doors opened!

Although the Pabst is a seated venue, they used the area in front of the seats for a pit, which is where we ended up. The four of us got spots about three people back from the stage on Taylor's side. Everyone in front of us had either gotten there way earlier than we did or had a meet & greet, so I was pretty satisfied with our spot. Plus, I'm a head taller than everyone else anyway (sorry, people behind me).

It felt like forever before the opener, David Ryan Harris, went on at 8. He was pretty decent, but most of his songs were pretty chill, and I wasn't feeling very amped up at that point. His set finished at 8:45, and we waited impatiently until nearly 9:30 before Hanson came on. That's when I decided I would never stand on Taylor's side again. He kept having to tell the fans in the front to move back and be nice to each other because one little person fan in the front row kept getting slammed into.

Besides that, the show was great. I loved hearing the new songs live and thoroughly enjoyed the covers they did of "Happy Together" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg." I was also glad that they decided to bring back the portion of the show where each guy performed one of their solo songs. Many of us Isaac fans felt shafted on the last album with no Isaac leads, so hearing him sing the new song "For Your Love" was a treat.

11:30 - After the show, we filed out to the bus to wait for the guys to come out. Zac came out almost right away and signed autographs from the bus window since there were so many people.

1:00 - Isaac came out and signed a bunch of autographs for people. K got a picture with him, and then E pulled me into her picture with him, which I am very grateful for. I was a couple fans back, and I don't think I would've gotten a picture otherwise.

Yup, all three of us basically have crazy eyes in this picture, hehe.

2:00 - Taylor came out for the handful of fans that were left, and E got a picture with him. Very soon after that, the bus left, as did we.

You can see the rest of my pictures from the weekend in my Facebook album (hopefully that link works).

Needless to say, I was pretty tired Sunday morning when Bridget woke me up at 7, but I was ready for another day of Hanson excitement down in Chicago.

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