Well it’s now November and my Autumn of Hanson is officially over. I know a lot of you following along at home might think that I’m actually certifiable for following a band across the country and back, but I also know that I just had the absolute time of my life and I don’t regret a single moment, dollar, mile, hour I spent in line, or night that I literally slept in a van. The first show of my west coast follow along was Anaheim...so let’s get started, shall we?
My friend Lorraine and I had been planning this trip for months, and we quickly learned that there was a slew of fans with the same idea. There was a whole group of us who were all following the band for the same cluster of shows. For all of you who think I am the only insane person who does this, let me just say...following Hanson is not uncommon. It’s actually a thing that...a lot of fans just do every tour. By the end of the follow, I felt like I was at summer camp or something, because we literally spent the week with all these girls! It was such a cool experience, and one that I will never forget.
We got to the venue around 7am and ended up being 21 and 22 in line (respectable, honestly). I immediately loved the ladies around us in line, and we all fell into comfortable chatter quickly and effortlessly. Right at the beginning of the day, a cop pulled up and asked what we were protesting, and we proudly exclaimed that we were just in line for a Hanson show. The whole week I kept making jokes about how I love line culture, but at the end of the day, they were not jokes! I had so much fun that afternoon getting to know the girls around me and laughing and chatting. Everyone was so chill and kind! I also got a to see a bunch of friends from past shows, and people I have known for years on the internet, which is one of the best parts of Hanson concerts!
Lorraine and I travelled around SoCal in a campervan, and let me just say, this is the WAY TO DO IT. Having the van at the venue in case we needed to take a nap, or make a snack, or change...a literal life saver. I’m sure I could make it work in a regular car but like...the van was the way to go. A serious game changer that made the days in line so pleasant! After a whole day of chatting and laughing and waiting, we went in for the Member’s Only Event. We were front row on Ike’s side which was AWESOME but we lost our front row spot because MOE’s are not organized and I just don’t think there is a right way to do it. Not leaving after pictures doesn’t work...leaving after pictures doesn’t work...whatever. But it was fine...being in the front for the MOE and getting pictures with the guys was great...okay on to the show!
Highlights from Anaheim, CA:
- When the show started and the guys started playing Already Home, I actually felt like my heart was going to burst out of my chest. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. Pure, unbridled joy. I would have that feeling every time that song was played for the rest of the tour.
- They played Crazy Beautiful, which is one of my favorites (Underneath songs are the key to my heart, boys!). I would get to hear it again during the follow, and it made me so happy.
- They sang Wildflowers which, silly me, I was afraid I would never hear live. I heard it thrice.
- Taylor was very chatty during this show. He just...he had a lot to say! I get it!! I loved it!
- Strong Enough to Break (and Taylor’s speech beforehand) made me cry again, surprise, surprise. That’s like...THE song for this tour I guess. Whatever. It makes me feel like I can actually do anything, so I’ll take it.
- Penny, always.
- The last three songs are almost too much for my little body to handle (in the best way)! I will always love If Only live...then pair that with Fired Up ---> In the City. WOW they sure know how to end a show. And it got better every single night!! Gah!
- For the encore they did Finally It’s Christmas which made me stupid happy, then Lost Without Each Other finished us off (always a highlight for me).
I feel like I’m forgetting so much! But most of it was feelings and glances and an overwhelming sense of belonging. Even the three VERY drunk girls behind us couldn’t bring me down.
After the show, the van once again proved its worth and we were able to cool down a little before the after party. If I ever do another afterparty, I’ll try to organize it so it’s not on a day I line up early because I was pretty much completely wiped out by the time it started. I still had fun because I got to dance around like an idiot with my friends and watch Taylor DJ and look happier than I’ve maybe ever seen him. All in all, it was an awesome day, and the perfect start to this crazy, west-coast adventure.
On to LA…
Peace, Love, and No Tomatoes!!!!!