Tulsa Time: My Favorite Band Throws An Entire Weekend Event: & I Remember

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A few months ago I almost wrote an in depth confession about how I just wasn’t feeling it anymore. I almost wrote about how the new music stopped making me feel as much, how I miss the excitement, the poetry in the lyrics and feeling something. Something changed. I did. They did. We were like BFFs growing apart.

I told the Good Groupie about this, about how I felt like I was kind of losing my favorite band. There was something missing. Then I shut up about it and tried to ignore it, tried to forget. I didn’t try super hard to make the trip to Tulsa this year. I just let things be for a little while. When something that’s been part of your life for longer than it hasn’t doesn’t quite feel the same, you don’t want to dwell. You want that feeling to go away.

Then one day I felt like it was necessary that I go to Tulsa. I pleaded and worked my schedule and hoped for the time off that I wasn’t sure I could get. I booked a too expensive flight for a forty-six hour stay in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the MOE – Members Only Event that Hanson throws in their hometown every May. So I went. 

And I remembered.

My time spent in Tulsa was mostly waiting. Waiting in lines, sitting in folding chairs and wondering when I was going to eat next. It was also spent dancing like crazy, wondering what I was actually witnessing and spending time with friends I barely see.

Every May In Tulsa Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson return to their roots and put on a concert. They play exclusive songs from yearly member-only EPs (we get 4-5 new songs a year on top of albums that are released). This year there were group photos, lectures, a “State of the Band” talk plus a movie screening and bowling (both which I didn’t attend). There’s a pop-up store and a gallery of some sort. This year there were a dance party that was reminiscent of a school dance with Taylor Hanson as our DJ.

If you want a more in-depth recap, check out If You Give A Fan A Ticket’s Hanson Day 2014 post, or these posts by The Good Groupie – Backstage Pass: Hanson Day and Hanson Day Misadventures .

It wasn’t until the beginning of Isaac’s “Underneath Naked” lecture that everything came together for me. They played a clip from a documentary called Strong Enough To Break. The documentary recounts the struggles Hanson had with their record label in the recording of their album third studio album Underneath. I can’t find the clip, but it’s about the future and Hanson and “ten years from now.” That’s the part that really got me.

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That was ten years ago. And to be sitting around with over a thousand fans, in the presence of Hanson reminded of everything. The concerts and excitement, the growing with a band, making friends just because someone shares the same favorite band, having insanely awesome friends all over the states who I met because of this band, the waiting and laughing and worrying. All the lyrics that made me cry, the poetic lines that still give me goosebumps, and all the times I stood in the middle of a crowded music venue dumbfounded by words, voices and chords.

You see, I was a fangirl before that was a word (how very hipster of me, I know. -eyeroll-). We all were. We all made up screen names that related to lyrics, fantasized about being friends with band members and stayed up too late just listening to ten second music clips. We called the Hanson Hotline, a phone number with a Tulsa area code just to hear a voice message here and there. We dreamed of moving to Tulsa because obviously it was the place where all of our dreams would come true.

They have come so far and done so much. They turn an impossible record label situation into an opportunity to fly. While their music may not hit home with me completely as it has in the past, I’ve been reminded of just how amazing they are. I’ve also been reminded of how amazingly luck I am to have a love for music that not many other people understand.

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So I take back all my thoughts I admitted to almost writing about at the beginning of this post. I left Tulsa with a renewed love, sense of adventure and intense longing for a DSLR camera and a record player.

 

If you want to read other posts where I discusses this love, check out

Greatwoods, Concerts & Anthem
Sept 1 2014 photos
Wanderlust: Tulsa
Tell Me, Does It Move You?
Charm Bracelet of Memories
Adventures on Sunset
Still Listening

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Great Woods, Concerts and Anthem

Today is the fifteen year anniversary of my first concert. I was thirteen at the time, a friend of mine had promised to get us tickets to this concert before I had even contemplated it would be possible to see this amazing band live. People did that? I hadn’t even stopped to think they went to shows and saw bands perform.

In the months before the concert, I’m not sure what happened with tickets but I think false promises and failed friendships led to nothing more than shed tears. My mom and I managed to find two tickets, maybe it was online. It was 1998, did the internet sell tickets back then? It was probably through customer service at Filenes, which is now Macy’s. And I met a girl a few towns over who sold us her extra ticket. My mom, my cousin and I had lawn “seats” to see Hanson at the Albertane tour.

I bought a t-shirt and a lanyard and a tour book. I stood as close as I could to the front of the lawn section, separated by two or three rows of girls in front of me while my cousin and my mom hung back in the less cramped lawn. I lost myself inside the music and screaming. I don’t remember the show, not really, but I remember the feeling of standing alone with strangers who all had something in common with me.

Fifteen years ago I knew that Hanson would always be my favorite band. My mom chalked up my “obsession” to a phase I was going through, and humored me as long as she could. It wasn’t a phase, and I knew it back then (but who’s to say I wouldn’t have changed? Outgrown them? It doesn’t matter, because I haven’t) that they were forever in my heart.

That’s how things happen with me. They get stuck in inside the crevices of my heart and stay there forever. People, ideas, songs.

So last week Hanson’s sixth studio album Anthem came out. For a while I didn’t have any words on the album. It didn’t feel like Hanson to me, something was missing. The songs blended together. But I wasn’t paying attention. I hadn’t even stopped to pick out voices and know that Zac was singing lead on a lot more songs than I realized. I hadn’t stopped to figure out the lyrics, either. And when I first listened, a few of the songs were missing from my collection.

Those, it turns out, seemed to be the most important songs – for me – on the album. Anthem was made in a short amount of time by a band who wasn’t sure if they were going to make another album. The fact that Anthem almost didn’t exist really has an impact on the way I view a lot of the songs as well. It’s a little more rock than normal, and a little more… something else. Distanced, in a way. My three favorites are: Scream and Be Free, Tonight and Juliet.

Scream and Be Free because it’s about knowing and feeling and being. It’s about living right now and expressing yourself. Tonight is about living for the moment, as well. It (intentionally) includes titles and themes from a few past songs like On The Rocks and This Time Around and it’s one of those songs that you know will be the final song at a concert. It’s also one of those songs that makes you wonder if this is the end. Is this the last song?  And Juliet because it’s sweet and upbeat and there’s something about the tempo that pulls me in.

You can listen to Anthem on Spotify here but it would be super awesome if you support the band and purchase the album. Hanson in on their own record label producing their own music and it would be awesome to see them get some recognition especially in the form of album sales. They made it up to #8 on the iTunes list when the album came out last week.

Do you remember your first concert?

xo.Melanie. Kristy

BRB

You ever have those nights where you are reading or remembering or hearing or thinking and thoughts and emotions just click into some sort of place… that can’t be explained or put into words? I’ve been reading old words tonight, old fiction and online journal entries from my freshman year of college.

I just need to reconnect with the girl I used to be.

& Then I’ll figure some things out, I’m pretty sure. Here’s to connecting.

 

Things I don’t know if you know about me:
I used to refer to myself as Lady Ivory, if you aren’t familiar with the name, it comes from Girl Goddess #9, the short story by Francesca Lia Block. I had an Alabaster Duchess to my Lady Ivory.
I used to have short hair that I kind of spiked in the back, I straightened the bangs to the side
My hair has been red, blue, purple, a poor attempt at blonde, various shades of brown and also black.
I used to try and make awesome images in photoshop and other programs, I haven’t for a while
I can always use song lyrics to describe me better than I can use my own words

So I’ll be right back. While I’m gone, tell me about you.

 

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freshman year of college, 2003. i was freshly nineteen

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2006 in San Francisco with freshly dyed red hair (I dyed it in the hotel bathroom in Chinatown)

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I used to experiment a lot with makeup. This was 2003/2004. But I think the makeup and smile was actually because I was about to, or had performed in the Dance Company I was a part of at MCLA

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again, at MCLA freshman year. not always smiling

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sometime in Ohio, (I think it was Christmas time 2004/2005) this was evidence of my first cellphone, large and chunky!

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these aren’t tickets from shows I went to, as I made this for someone else, but it’s an example of my attempted graphic editing genius.

Every Word I Say

I promise to return to less music slash Hanson related blog posts next week, but I Just wanted to let you know that I wrote a Guest Groupie post over on the Good Groupie. It’s my attempt to put to feelings to words, or as The Good Groupie says in the post,  I describe “ that single moment when you stand in front of the stage and feel the musical high and you understand yourself perfectly through verse ” You can read the post here: Every Word I Say

 

Wanderlust: Tulsa

Over the weekend I went to Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was for a festival of sorts, what we named a convention that was really a weekend of stuff put on by the band Hanson in honor of their 20 years as a band. At the beginning of the show they played (actually the second of two shows — they had to do two shows on Sunday night because so many people RSVP’d for the event) a video from their audition to play at Mayfest twenty years ago. Isaac was 11, Taylor was 9 and Zac was 6. It was precious.


If you’ve never been to Tulsa, it’s a small city in Oklahoma. The first time I landed there, I was shocked to see there were only five (!!) tall buildings in downtown. This is very unlike cities I’ve been to before, mostly on the northern east coast, even the small ones.




There are cute little stores and restaurants, really pretty houses and art on buildings. I ate fried pickles, breakfast for dinner and drank ice chai tea lattes. I even found a coffee place with tangerine kombucha. We rented bikes and reenacted music videos and blared music in the middle of the street at 11:30pm while we waited for a train to pass.





It was one of those weekends that was exactly what I needed. Even if I couldn’t put it all into words that makes sense just know that I returned home feeling inspired and full of music and love.



ps You can read the Good Groupie’s reaction to our weekend at her post here, where you can also see a video of part of the street dancing three of our friends did in attempts to reenact the Thinking About Something video they were in.
That’s something I was reminded of this weekend as we drove around Tulsa, listening to music we all have in common and the stuff we don’t – it’s so much fun to share a musical moment with someone, knowing you both have a connection to a song.The Good Groupie.

Tell Me, Does It Move You?

They don’t know what it’s like to love one band, one silly piece of music so much it hurts.

Almost Famous

I’ve referenced that quote before, but it’s worth referencing again because it’s one of those quotes that resonated so deeply within me I find my mind quoting it without thinking about it. It was when I watched Almost Famous for the first time and heard those exact words that I fell in love with the film. I thought: someone else gets it.

I have allowed songs to burn inside me, on repeat for days while I attempted to uncover everything it was about and everything that song said to me, meant to me.

I didn’t really grow up around music. It was in the background somewhere and the radio was a consistent lullaby, but I didn’t learn about bands or music from the ones my parents loved. I learned about bands and music from what I loved and from branching off from there. So it wasn’t until I was old enough to to really comprehend the effects music could have on me that I really understood its purpose in my life.

Sometimes there are songs that express me better than I can express myself. Sometimes there are songs that I know what I’m feeling before I do. Sometimes I am unable to write blogs or stories because those thoughts have been said and written and expressed in the more pure forms of expression and in ways that I can’t even comprehend except just to experience.

And so we’ve come to the start of another writing series. I might post songs that have really moved me, or play lists composed of ones I couldn’t live without. Or experiences relating back to music. Or anything else, really.

So I’ll leave you with the song I got this title from, one that’s been on repeat for almost five years now.

Tell me, does it move you
Does it soothe you
Does it fill your heart and soul
With the roots of rock & roll

Been There Before – Hanson

When you can’t get through it, listen to it,