August 19 – 22, 2022
Several years ago, I made a goal to visit all 50 states before I turn 50. So when Hanson announced a concert in Fargo, North Dakota, I knew I had to go. After all, what other reason would there be to visit North Dakota other than just to say I did? I had also never seen Hanson in Canada, and had never been to Manitoba. One of my good friends lives in Minneapolis, and with all three cities relatively close together and falling on a weekend, I couldn’t not do this trip.
As I’m writing this (2 weeks and several concerts later), these shows feels like they could have been five years ago. This trip officially marks the most number of shows I’ve seen on one tour, although the MOE Tour was a close second (but that was beforeI started this blog). One negative side effect of going to so many is that I’m failing to find new words to describe the shows. Cue “well don’t you get tired of going to the same show over and over” questions here. But no. They are so far from being the same; it’s only my vocabulary that is starting to feel repetitive. So instead of my usual word vomit, here are some highlights from each show:
- While camping in line, an older man told us his son just got off work and had 10 free pizzas, and asked if we wanted any (we declined).
- About an hour later, we saw a handful of homeless people walk down the street with said 10 free pizzas, and they also offered us some (we again declined).
- A homeless man asking us where we got all our “sweet shit” (sleeping bags, cots, etc).
- Hearing “For Your Love” as Isaac’s solo instead of another “River”.
- Hearing “Dressed In Brown Eyes” again; I thought it’d be done after John Calvin Abney left.
- Full Reggie Willie and his banana. #IYKYK
- Having an outdoor show at a brewery was reminiscent of Hop Jam
- A girl in front row center was so drunk (and/or high), she was completely out of it during “Weird”, spending most of the song staring glaze-eyed at the people behind her, with her body turned away from the stage, barely able to stand upright.
- The above prompted Taylor to make a PSA about how beer is fun, but having too much is not fun.
- Maybe not a highlight, but that girl later threw a drink – on purpose, but unprovoked – onto the woman and child behind her, then later fell on my friend as she was being escorted out of the venue.
- According to Taylor, the stage was essentially a giant trampoline which prevented him from being able to jump during “If Only”.
- My friend had her BTTI meet and greet at this show and requested “Fire On The Mountain”, which Zac did end up playing.
- There was a train track right next to the stage, and before the show we made jokes about them playing “Long Train Running” – and then they did, with AMMM, during the encore.
- The key lime pie sour at the Fargo Brewing Company is delicious.
- The pizza at the Fargo Brewing Company, if left in a plastic bag with a hidden napkin on top of it, and then eaten in a car 5 hours later, is not delicious.
- Early morning, day of the show, the most stereotypical Canadian thing happened when a man dressed in buffalo plaid flannel, full beard, a Tim Hortons in both hands, approached us asking, “Oh you’re waiting for the concert, eh? You’re going to get up front, eh? Hanson, eh?”
- Two of my friends and I were first in line, and the other two had a meet and greet and reporter. The five of us were able to be all in row next to each other, front row center during the show. That never happens, and it was especially fun when it came time to do the “Thinking ‘Bout Somethin'” dance.
- I had a brief chance to talk to Zac before the show and asked if he could play “World Goes Around”, and then they did, for which I’m very thankful.
- Taylor gave the Winnipeg crowd a hard time during “I Was Born”, as they didn’t catch on quickly enough to the “before” fist pump. He made the crowd practice it a third time before actually starting the song, and mentioned it was the first time he’s ever had to do that. But, in Winnipeg’s defense, he actually forgot to give the full instructions after his little speech. I was able to mention it to Isaac after the show, and I hope he gave Taylor a good ribbing for it.
All in all, these three shows were by far my favorite leg of this tour. I think they hit a stride where they started mixing up the set list more than normal. In fact, in total over these three shows, I heard 38 unique songs, or an average of over 12 completely different songs each night, which is close to half the entire set list. The crowds at each show were all so different from each other, and I think that also played a part in making each show feel distinct. You never know what you’re going to get from a Hanson show (besides a good time, always), but what I’m starting to learn is that the ones that blow you away often times are the ones you least expect. What started as “well I guess I need to go to North Dakota at some point, and Canada is right there, too” ended up being the highlight of my summer.