Riverside Casino Show

May 19, 2023

The Decision

When the Iowa show was first announced, I decided to skip it. It’s not close to me, Hanson’s one-off shows tend to have basic, predictable setlists, and it was the weekend right after Tulsa. But then some of my friends were talking about going as it was driving distance for them, and the FOMO kicked in. When we managed to grab front-row center tickets during pre-sale, it was a no-brainer and I was officially in. I changed my flight home from Tulsa to a flight to Minneapolis where I’d live with my friend for a few days while I worked remotely. Then after work on Thursday, we drove out to Iowa for the weekend.

The Show

To be honest, I had pretty low expectations for this show, but please don’t take that the wrong way. Having low expectations for a Hanson show simply means I expect a good time with my friends hearing some of my favorite songs performed live. I wouldn’t travel and go to as many shows as I do otherwise. That said, I was pleasantly surprised by the show.

The first thing we noticed was Hanson’s usual bassist, Andrew, had been replaced by a new (to us) guy we didn’t recognize. During the show, they mentioned Andrew’s wife just had a baby and this bassist’s name was Aaron. He did a great job, but it was weird seeing someone new up there after so many shows with Andrew.

Without Andrew, I was convinced they’d skip “Cold As Ice”, so I was happy when they still played it. This feels like a staple that will continue to live beyond the RGB Tour and I’m not mad about it. Some other set list highlights include “Runaway Run”, “And I Waited” (I file this in the underrated category), “Watch Over Me”, and ending the show with “In The City” is always a good choice.

Every once in awhile you get a show with some mishaps, and this was one of those shows. During “Don’t Let Me Down”, Zac somehow managed to alert the stage hand that he needed a new snare and replace said snare all while continuing to sing lead and literally not miss a beat. It was highly impressive and fascinating to watch.

The crowd seemed to be mostly local and more causal fans, and there was even a group with homemade shirts announcing “I only know MMMBop”. I never know what to expect from a crowd like that, but from what I could tell, everyone was pretty into it. Every show has a different energy from the crowd that feeds the band, or maybe it’s vice versa, or more likely a combo of both. This is part of what makes each show so unique. The guys seemed to be enjoying every moment of the show just as much as I was, and it’s part of what keeps me going to show after show.

The Travel

Riverside, Iowa is about 30 minutes from Cedar Rapids and there wasn’t much to do in the area. We spent all our time around the casino and I worked remotely the day of the show. However, on our trip out there from Minnesota we saw a small sign for Iowa’s Largest Fryin’ Pan, so of course we stopped for a ridiculous photo op. On the way back, we had some time to spare before my flight (the airplane kind), so we stopped for a flight (the beer kind). ClockHouse Brewery had some delicious sours and ciders and I wish I could have brought some home.

I promised this post would include its own travel woe’s section. I had a flight out of Cedar Rapids, and with a whole 9 gates, it has to be the smallest airport I’ve been to. I showed up to check my bag, and the tag printer jammed. It took them a good 10 minutes to get the label out, and then had to recheck me in on a new computer. This is the actual conversation I had with the desk agent:

Agent: Are you going to Chicago or Phoenix?

Me: Chicago

Agent: Okay, Phoenix

Me: No, Chicago

Agent: Oh right

*Printer jams, we start over*

Agent: Okay, you’re going to Phoenix

Me: No

I was supposed to have a two-hour layover in Chicago, but we ended up having maintenance issues. They announced they weren’t even sure how long it would take maintenance to show up. My connecting flight was the last one to Nashville for the day, and I know they would have had to pay for me to stay in a hotel if I had missed it. But, I have family in the Chicago area and I figured worse case I could spend some time with them sleeping on their couch. We finally took off 90 minutes late, but the flight was way shorter than it said it would be and I made my connection with 15 minutes to spare.

At the end of the day, all the late nights, the early mornings, the cold viruses, and the travel issues are worth it every time. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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