We arrived around 12:45 PM and I was #44 in line. Since we went all out for Asheville, we decided to take it easy in Raleigh and aim for a good spot in the balcony. I helped with the walk table again, and though the walk looked smaller to begin with, I think we ended up with more cards filled out than in Asheville. I also noticed a good bit of children on the walk, and it was so cute getting to stamp the hands of a pair of brothers who must have been around 4 and 5. I said "Hey, you guys are going to get some stamps. Would you like that?" They nodded shyly, but then shouted "Look, mom!" and showed them off as soon as I was done. So cute! I even stamped the hand of an infant asleep in her mother's arms, and noticed that two of Taylor's children attended the walk (even barefoot, I think) as well.
Instead of the blistering heat from the day before, this walk had clouds and a little rain. It still seemed to be shorter than any I remember going on, but I forgot to check my watch this time.
Isaac was one of the first ones back from the walk, (I recall someone shouting "Isaac won!") and he came up to me and complimented me on my dance moves. I joked with him about how those dance moves were pretty nonexistant and told him I was slightly mortified, but he was really nice about it and I thanked him for having me up there anyway.
The line was dramatic again, but I tried not to worry about it since we were headed for the balcony anyway. It was a little nerve wracking because once again, they didn't open the box office or will call tickets until the same time doors opened. One friend had a will call ticket, and one had to purchase one.
Let me say that the Lincoln failed as a venue in my eyes. We were told different things by different people all day long regarding camera policies, the number system, and even box office times. When we got inside and my friend tried to buy a ticket (after waiting in line for ~6 hrs and being told the box office would open with doors), she was told "I'm sorry, but I'm not sure we have any left to sell." Really? How can they not be sure if they have tickets? I got pretty angry though my friend seemed pretty composed. I think I mentioned to the employee that it was completely unacceptable that we had been waiting in line for 6 hrs and had specifically asked about tickets, and no one told us it was sold out. Another employee tried to get her to just sell us the ticket and let us in (since we were clearly mad), but the first employee was adamant that they get permission first. She said something along the lines of "But we've oversold already!" Yikes! In the end, we all went inside without the one friend and saved her a spot. She was able to buy one from someone outside and get in just fine, but I'm beyond disappointed that the Lincoln would open the box office without knowing whether or not they had tickets. Completely incompetent!
We ended up with good spots at the front of the balcony as planned, and the show was great. It was indeed packed, and I'm glad I was upstairs rather than in the crowd. I was so tired at this point that I actually fell asleep sitting on my stool leaning against the railing between Rooney and Hanson's sets. Pitiful, right?
The setlist was great and the energy was great, but I think my tiredness and the epicness from the night before made it seem less amazing than it really was. They played a new cover for the first time called "Roll With It," and once again invited girl on stage to dance--this time with Robert from Rooney.
One song that got me excited that I had no idea would have such an effect on me was "Hey." I guess I got so used to hearing it in 2007/2008 that it turned into a staple, and I didn't realize when it was gone. I definitely noticed its presence, though, and it really stood out to me for some reason. We also got "A Minute Without You," "If Only," and "Lost Without Each Other," the three songs that I could hear over and over and over and be happy. LWEO was made to be an encore song and it always ends a show on the perfect note for me.
Afterwards, we went out to the busses because I wanted to get a picture with Taylor since it was my last show. Somehow, it just seemed right that I get a picture and a chance to talk to him after the whole crazy dancing thing.
It rained and we got split up and I seriously considered giving up and going to the car--especially since my umbrella was inside it. Unfortunately, I realized I gave my keys to friends who had to walk several blocks, so my options were pretty limited after that.
Isaac came out first, and a few friends and I got a group picture with him. He was pretty talkative and extremely nice to all of us. Points for Isaac!
It started raining a little harder and my keys were still MIA, so we all huddled under a tree to keep the rain off a little. I also met a really nice fan who hadn't been to a show in years that shared her umbrella with me. I don't rememer her name or have any way to contact her, but whoever you are, thanks!
Taylor finally came out and announced that Zac wasn't feeling well, but he took the time to sign autographs and take pictures. My friends and I got a group picture and I got an individual picture as well since I didn't have any. We talked a little about the whole dance idea and I asked if it was something he was going to start doing regularly. He grinned and was cryptic and said you could never really tell.
We finally left after he moved on, and as exhausted as we were, we went in search of a hotel. We turned down two due to the price, but finally found one that was pretty cheap. Strangely enough, as we checked in (around 2:30 AM), a few guys standing on the balcony asked us what brought us here. We told them Hanson, and one of the guys told us he was good friends with one of Hanson's good friends (Shannon Curfman), and he said he had been offered the opportunity to play bass for Hanson 9 yrs ago but had declined. He joked about how if he had taken them up on the offer, he wouldn't be staying in a motel like that now. No kidding! Small world, though.
Inside the room was grosser than the streets I've slept on for Hanson, I'm not even kidding. There were scuff marks on the walls, it smelled bad, and the comforter on the bed felt a little damp to touch. We quickly decided we'd be sleeping on top of the beds in our sleeping bags, and joked that we'd rather be back at The Orange Peel.
As tired as I was, I was even dirtier, so I opted to take a quick shower. I took off all my clothes, jumped in, pulled the curtain shut, and promptly screamed and jumped back out. The largest roach I have ever seen in my entire life--and I live in Charleston--was staring down at me from the top of the curtain. I swear it was about half the size of my open hand, and I'm not exaggerating at all.
We packed up all our things and packed them back up, and when I "demanded" a refund, the clerk didn't so much as ask any further questions. She obviously knew how gross it was.
We ended up at a Wyndham for a higher price, but that's probably the best sleep I've ever had in my life and the beds were great. I'll definitely keep that chain in mind for future Hanson trips. :)