Another good thing about appreciating the little things, is that the bigger things seem even more grand.
This weekend I went to Amsterdam to see Hanson live at the Paradiso. Of course, it's not my first show, but it was my first real concert seeing as the only things I've done before are the 2009 Tulsa MOE and the NYC 5 of 5. And there is a difference. There is a huge difference!
Going to a plain, normal concert is something I've been waiting to do since 1997, so I guess you could say it was way overdue. Luckily, all the little things and all the big things made this first concert a night to remember.
A couple of days before the concert I got an email saying I had gotten one of the 14 meet&greets for Amsterdam, and of course I was completely extatic! Even more nerves on top of what I was allready experiencing, but who cares about that?! Meeting Hanson is worth all the nerves in the world! But we'll get to that..
Getting to Amsterdam was resonably easy - Schiphol is close to the city center, and I manage to find my way to the couchsurf host I was to be staying with without any difficulty. Luckily, he turned out to be as weird (/mental) as me, which made for a very interesting and fun weekend - even outside the concert.
I spent Friday morning walking around Amsterdam, pretty strung up before my M&G and the concert, but still managed to take in some of the sites and even make room for some sushi in between all the butterflies in my stomach. After seeing my share of canals, leaning houses and coffeeshops, I decided it was time to make my was towards Paradiso and my fellow fans. What if I got there and realised the other M&G'ers were completely horrible??
Well... Safe to say that wasn't the case!! After recognizing the line outside Paradiso as fansons, I made my way through he crowd - looking for any familiar faces. Yeah, not easy when you only know people from facebook. So I took a shot, walked up to a girl and asked her if she knew my danish facebook-fanson-friend. As it turned out, she was standing right next to me and we ended up chatting until close to doors.
Even better, hanging out with her and her friends, I also ended up meeting most of the other M&G'ers. And what do you know - they turned out to be some of the coolest girls I've ever come across! I don't care if you're Croatian, Brazilian, Dutch or Marsian for that matter - we stand united in Hanson! We ended up having a great time waiting for our M&G, and of course an even better time when the finally let us in.
We were made to wait in the lobby, and few minutes later Hanson walked in. No screaming, no running - we were all very sivilized. Hanson handed out both hugs and signatures all around, and I even plucked up the courage to show Taylor my tattoo. The feeling of meeting Hanson like that is something I don't think I could ever explain to a non-fanson, so I'm not even gonna bother. The only thing you need to know is that it was completely awesome, and I was over the moon when they led us into the venue for the concert.
Which leads me to the next big thing - the front row. Oh yeah. Getting a M&G doesn't only mean meeting the band, but also getting into the venue before everyone else, and thus getting the absolute best spots in the entire place. I ended up right in front of Taylor, and let me tell you, I wouldn't have traded that spot for anything in the world! Through the entire concert I was all smiles (and screams of course), and I just couldn't have enjoyed it more. Sharing it with the amazing M&G'ers at front row just made it even better.
Since there are pictures and videos posted all over facebook and youtube, I'm not going to describe the concert in detail. It should suffice to say it was the absolute best concert I have ever seen/heard, and that the withdrawals will be strong for months to come!
After he concert I had a chance to meet up with the Norwegian fansons who had also come the oh-so-long way from Norway for Hanson. Waiting for Zac, and then later Taylor was cold and killing my feet, but still so worth it. More pictures, more signatures. More of a Hanson-fix for me.
Will you belive I had trouble sleeping when I got back to the appartment after that experience? Still, I did manage after a while and slept like a contented kitten until the next morning.
I spent Saturday exploring more of Amsterdam by foot, some of the day with the awesome Norwegian fansons. I even managed to do a little shopping, despite a tight budget and an even tighter backpack. Another sushi meal, another few km on foot and several canals later I again met up with my host, and he showed me some of the, well, murkier parts of Amsterdam. There is just no way around it - on your first visit to Amsterdam, you kinda have to experience the red light district. Being a Norwegian, it was definetly somewhat of a culture shock, but hey - that's why I travel!
Sooo.. To sum up. A weekend in Amsterdam brought me some amazing new friends, a wonderful musical experience, and a couple of new impressions that I don't think I could have gotten anywhere else. And the little things? They definetly made the big things even bigger - what a weekend!!