A blog about general entertainment, fashion, and movies. And some random stuff too.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Photoshoot: Keira Knightley

I know this isn't really NEWS WORTHY for a lot of people... but since I can hardly handle my love for Keira Knightley and it's been forever since she's had a new photoshoot.... I have to post THIS:


Monday, November 22, 2010

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

I've seen the movie twice now, and I am still a little fuzzy on all the details I want to zoom in on... however, my feelings for the film are set. Below are the MANY reasons why I liked it, with some spoilers and a few things I didn't like...

I chose the Snape poster for this entry since he's one of my favorite characters, but is not really in the story until Part 2. Probably my favorite comment about this film came from the FugGirls over at GoFugYourself.com and it ran:

: "One of my fave things about : Snape's hair is MUCH more lustrous & voluminous now that Lord V is back. Voldy demands volumizer! - J"

My thoughts exactly, ladies!

Overall, I LOVED this movie. Having just finished re-reading the book, I was extra critical of the movie, and even so, the movie satisfied me and I was very impressed with the adaptation. I can say with no reservations, this was the best adapted of all the films so far. I kind of wish they were able to go back and split the last 3 movies, too. It seems to have helped!

One thing I loved about Part 1 is it really hit the emotions like it should. Sadness, fear, doubt uncertainty, etc. The movie opens showing how the trio is cleaning up and preparing their lives for what comes next. The most moving of all, in my opinion was watching Hermione erase her parents' memories of her existence and watching her disappear from framed pictures throughout the house.

Then, it switches to the Malfoy Manor. I thought this scene was TERRIFYING. I kept wondering how younger kids who love Harry Potter would react to it because it was so frightening even to me, a 24-year-old woman who has read and knows what to expect. I loved seeing Snape, even for a moment. Alan Rickman never disappoints. Plus, the moment where Voldemort asks for Lucius' wand was perfect. Jason Isaac plays Lucius so terrified in this scene that I actually felt badly for him. And when finally, Voldy kills Charity Burbage, I love that the first reaction shot is on Draco, and Tom Felton plays him perfectly. He does not want any part of this and he is NOT ready to be a Death Eater or to kill or even be near someone being killed. LOVED this scene. I knew we were really in for a great film after this.

Maybe one of the funniest moments for me was in the 7 Harrys scene, and this wasn't meant to be funny... but it was: Everyone comes into the house on Privet Drive and in about 10 seconds we get  a bunch of exposition that they skipped in the other movies. It's like "Hey, I'm Bill! I'm the oldest and most forgotten Weasley brother. I was bit by a werewolf! I'm married to Fluer!" and then Lupin comes in and makes a joke and Tonks is like "Hey, remember how we're married! And we're pregnant and...!" and then Mad Eye interrupts, thank God. It was PRETTY hilarious, but I am glad they included that. I bet anyone's who hasn't read the books head was spinning at that moment. It was also wonderful to see the twins again, just because they are so precious. I was actually appreciative of the change that George walked in on Harry and Ginny kissing at the Burrow, rather than Ron, because George's "Morning" was spot on hilarious!

I love the chemistry between the trio, as always. The moment they are together, it's seamless.  There is real friendship and affection as well as comedic timing. They can play off each other in both types of scenes, dramatic and funny. I guess working together in 7 movies will do that to you, but also, these kids are SO talented. I especially love watching Rupert Grint looking with puppy eyes at Emma Watson, finally giving us Hermione/Ron lovers what we've been wanting to see. And he does it SO well. It's subtle, and funny, but real and genuine. Every time there was a little nuance of their relationship growing, I got more and more excited for what's to come in Part 2.

They changed a lot having to do with Kreacher, I guess, for time. They didn't have time to show Harry mend his relationship with him, even though it proves very important in the end as Kreacher leads the house elves on a rebellion against the Death Eaters in Part 2. Instead, they insert Dobby into this part and have him help Kreacher bring back Mundungus. Because of this, Kreacher is almost completely overshadowed... which upset me because I love Kreacher. I'm one of the weird ones who isn't a big fan of Dobby in the least, so I was mostly just annoyed during this part, though I did understand why they did it. However, the tiny aside where Ron goes to shake Dobby's hand and Hermione looks on lovingly was precious. AND I really enjoyed Kreacher continuously poking at Mundungus threateningly with a small fork as though it were a wand. HILARIOUS.

The ministry scene was great. The adults they had play the kids were awesome, and Harry's even tried to walk like him. I didn't like that Harry changed back into himself before they left... though that was a weird decision, but overall it was a really great scene, albeit not my favorite. 

With that said, the scene I was really hoping to be satisfied by was the scene where Ron leaves. In the book, Hermione's reaction is what really gets me, and so I really hoped they would hit that on the head as best they could. Without conveying that emotion, it would be hard for the viewer to understand what a blow it was to their quest that Ron left. Thankfully, this scene was played out very well. The boys' argument was raw and furious as Hermione looked on helplessly. I could feel Hermione's tension and desperation as Ron asked her to choose between Harry and him, then leaves. It was in this moment that Emma had me sold on this scene, when she leaves the tent and all you can hear from her are her pleas to keep Ron there. Broke my heart! It was perfect.

They added a little scene between Harry and Hermione after Ron left where Harry comes over to her and they dance to a song on the radio. At first I was super awkward about it because I didn't know where the movie was trying to take it, and I was like "SEXUAL TENSION WHY OMG!" But, the second time I watched it, I understood it much better and saw that it was just a very sweet moment between two friends, one trying to cheer up there other. I was glad for the addition! Again, chemistry x 10000000000000. The same can be said for when Ron returns later. SO cute and funny, and perfect.Their chemistry cannot be complimented enough.

I was really thankful they cut out Harry's obnoxious obsession with the Hallows. I love Harry so much, but there are moments I want to slap him for being so irrational. He's like my precious little brother that, sometimes, I just want to shake. So it was nice in the movie to not have to deal with that. I also thought it was interesting that they didn't talk too much about Dumbledore's past and all of the doubt and anger Harry shows towards him throughout the story. They talk a bit about it, but in the book it consumes him, almost. I am sure that they are saving all the details (such as Aberforth's resentment towards his brother, the coffin-side brawl, his mother hating Muggles) for the Kings Crossing scene in Part 2. It may just be too much for them to deal with in Part 1 and have to recap in Part 2 when the answers are revealed.

It goes without saying that I loved the Godric's Hallow scene. There really is no way to capture on screen the beautiful writing JK put into it, but they did a good job anyways. And the Bathilda Bagshot part was horrifying, also. I thought it would have been a bit scarier.. but then Hermione finds a fly-infested room with blood on the walls, and that made it hit the mark. GROSS! How frightening!! It was awful in the best way.

Which brings me to the Malfoy Manor scene part 2, AKA: The Hermione Torture Scene. In the book, this scene absolutely HORRIFIED me and so I was expecting a whole lot. The first scene at Malfoy Manor delivered, the Bathilda scene delivered, so I had high hopes for this one, too. However... as awful as it was... it didn't hit the mark for me. I think Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix sitting on Hermione, holding her down as she carves into her arm was so unnerving... but then later on you see that she carved "Mudblood" into her arm and it's a teeny tiny little thing. I'm not saying that wouldn't hurt, I'm not saying that isn't a HORRIBLE thing, and I am not even saying that I didn't like that idea... I just wanted MORE overall. I wanted Ron to be more concerned, I wanted there to be more urgency overall in the dungeon, I wanted more violence upstairs, and I wanted Hermione to look a lot more beat up.

I MUST disclaim that Emma and Helena's acting in this scene was awesome and they both did GREAT. I mean, especially the second time I saw it, I was just haunted by hearing Hermione's screams and seeing her struggle. It was truly awful. I just thought she needed to be bruised, she needed to be bloodier, she needed to look like the WORST most FRIGHTENING witch in the world was TORTURING her. Because that's what was happening, but she did not look like that at all.

As for the Dobby stuff, as a stated before... I am not the biggest fan of him, and I am sorry. Therefore, all the extra lines ("Dobby only meant to maim or injure...") he got were really just unnecessary to me, though everyone else in the theater seemed to enjoy them. It just seemed like it made the scene less frightening and just... silly. It didn't match with the tone of what was supposed to be going on there. But it made the death scene hit harder, I guess, for those who haven't read. I thought that the death scene was sweet and touching, and I did feel sad then.

Does Hermione REALLY look like she's just been tortured? NO! She's gorgeous and there is no blood! Ron looks like he was more tortured than her... Pssshhh.
I was glad for how the movie ended. I thought that it was wise to skip the interrogation and save it for the beginning of Part 2. It may be a good way to review everyone on what has happened so far. And then, for the first time, David Yates does NOT gloss over the sad atmosphere of the ending and he allows the bad guy to win! Hooray, David Yates! There was no uplifting music... there was no trio looking hopefully into the sky even though someone important just died. There was exactly what was supposed to be: grief, fear, and what seemed like Voldemort winning. Then it blacks out and leaves us totally wanting more. I think I made the comment that I wanted to just sit in the seat until summer when the next one comes out, haha.

I never felt like the movie dragged. I never felt like any of the little things I disliked overshadowed anything else that was more important. There was nothing within this movie that upset me or was fundamentally wrong. This was the BEST adaptation of all the films. And maybe with a few more viewings, it will become one of my favorites. Cannot wait for Part 2! Even though I don't want Harry Potter to end... ever. Is there a way to do both?!

Friday, November 19, 2010

HP7: Verdict Pending

This is NOT a review! REPEAT: This entry is NOT a review. I am certainly going to have to see this movie another time before I feel confident in writing up what I think of it. I am just going to recount what last night was like with the HP movie release experience with my friends!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows happened last night! And I was there at midnight... well, actually EARLIER. I got to see The Deathly Hallows at a special early screening at 7:30 last night. It was slightly more expensive per person, but all proceeds went to suicide prevention AND we got to see the movie 4 and half hours early!

Starting about a week and a half ago, I started re-reading the seventh book and decided to make it last till the day of the release so I could end right where Part 1 would end. I was successful and felt pretty confident in where they decided to split it. It was the end of one quest and the beginning of another. There is closure ... etc... however, this conversation did happen between Kevin and I:

Me: I love and hate Return of the King so much.
Kevin: lol
Me: I don't want to feel that way with HP7! Those movies are usually not good enough for me to care, but I fear the 7th and 8th will be just good enough to make me miserable.

Return of the King is the movie have the most confusing relationship with because I love it as a movie, but the adaptation is wrong in so many ways! And with Harry Potter, I usually can let the bad adaptation roll off my back because the movies are never good enough to even be in the same ballpark. But the 7th looked like it might be... which is why I made that comment about RotK. Because that one is SO good but SO wrong I love it and hate it at the same time. I didn't want that for The Deathly Hallows!

As I finished out the day at school yesterday, I had a list of things I want to see in the movie and that I had hoped they would do well. They are as follows (only readers should see below as there are spoilers):

1. Dudley's civil goodbye to Harry
2. The seven Harrys
3. Bill existing in the HP movie world for once
4. Bill and Fluer's wedding (this part is so beautiful in the book, I just wanted a nice glimpse of what it would really look like!)
5. Kreacher and Harry's healed relationship
6. Sneaking into the Ministry: HEART ATTACKS ABOUND

7. Ron leaving and Hermione crying for him to stay. That part ALWAYS really affects me.
9. Godric's Hollow: When I read this part (even for the 3rd time) I wept like a small child when Harry finds his parents' graves.
10. The snake coming out of Bathilda and freaking us all the frick out!
11. Ron coming back and Hermione's reaction

12. Malfoy Manor. I wanted this to TEAR MY HEART OUT.
13. Watching the love between Ron and Hermione grow and them being adorable!

As for what I got when I saw the movie, that will come in the review!

I raced home so I could have time to eat a quick meal and then change into my costume. I had FINALLY just ordered Hogwarts robes. I've been going to HP Events since high school and I don't know why I hadn't just invested in a pair... but I finally did. And I really liked how my costume turned out! Justin, my husband, wore his Triwizard Tournament jersey and brought along Harry's wand. Yeah that's an actual artifact that we have decorating our living room. We were ready! We travelled out the The Rave theater in Hurst with Ashlie and Rocky. Ashlie had a very wizard-like ensemble put together, while Rocky was a Slytherin student! I am pretty sure we looked AWESOME. It's always fun to dress up and go to events like this, but it's especially unique to be able to do it with your spouse and your best friends and know they love it just as much as you do.

Rocky and Ash's outfit! Justin in his jersey!

When we arrived, the line for the midnight showing was already wrapped around the building. And it was cold outside, people. Thankfully, as I said, we were able to go to an early show and that line was inside. We walked in, scanning through the line looking for my friend, Meagan, and just as we thought she had gone missing, she appeared... at the FRONT of the line. Best ever! We ended up getting FABULOUS seats. Middle row, middle section, digital projection, awesomeness.

Meagan and me, and Ashlie and me getting snacks!

Harry and me!
After we got snacks, and I enjoyed my first bag of theater popcorn in ages, we all say and discussed what parts we couldn't wait to see. Because this was a special event, they had hired people to be look-alikes and pose with people in pictures. Because of my renewed red hair and my awesome Gryffindor robes, one of the workers came to me while I was sitting with my friends and asked me if I wouldn't mind posing as Ginny. It was fun, and the guy who was "Harry" was hilarious.

As the lights dimmed and it was time, I couldn't help but feel a little nervous. This was the beginning of the end, and I have forgotten what it was like to be in a world where there was no Harry Potter movies or books to look forward to. What will this new world look like after the summer, when Part 2 ends? What if this one isn't what I hope it is, and then I'm let down by the series? It was a scary thought for a bit, as I watched the trailers. Surreal, to sit there and know I was about to see the movie that has been over a decade and hundreds of millions of fans in the making. I couldn't imagine what kind of pressure the cast must have felt with all that was riding on this movie... but I will say, that as it started, a lot of my fears subsided.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Movie Night: Shutter Island!

The Dearings
So my husband and I have started to get together with another FABULOUS newly-engaged (Check out how awesome they are. Yup, that is their Halloween costume) couple for a monthly dinner and a movie night. This month (... we would have started earlier, but since 3 of the 4 of us are teachers, November is the earliest we had energy to do so, haha) we got together for Shutter Island on Blu Ray!

Caty and I have been friends since college, and she's just recently brought Justin into our lives. He's hilarious and fun, just like Caty, and he has a passion for media and things like that. You may have seen him over at his blog: A Media Hero. Since we all love movies, we thought it would be a fun thing to theme our dinner night to our movie choice. Since this was the first one, we didn't really go all out. However, we did stab the delicious casserole Justin made with a knife (if you've seen Shutter Island, you know it's not really about stabbing but... we couldn't shoot or drown the casserole).

Dun dun DUN!
Anyways, it's always fun to watch Shutter Island. For me it is one of my favorite films of 2010 (as can be shown in my original Shutter Island review, click!) AND who doesn't LOVE watching Leonardo Dicaprio? I mean really. But for all others present, Caty, Justin, and my hubby Justin, it was all their 2nd viewing. Those who have seen this movie know that the second viewing of this movie is a completely different experience than the first time! It was fun to see their reactions and talk about it afterward.

So what do you guys think? What should be our next movie night and theme dinner (Christmas maybe??!?!)? Since we'll have more time to think again, we can tie to movie in with the meal more easily. I am excited, and glad to have such fun friends. Holla!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Deathly Hallows London Premiere

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows just premiered today in London and I have pics from the red carpet with a few fashion comments to make. And so the countdown to Thursday at midnight begins!

Our man Harry!

Daniel Radcliffe looked sharp in this black suit and his blue patterned tie. The red poppy is for Remembrance Day. He's clean-shaven and his eyes are the usual bright blue. Perhaps, that's why they chose that color tie. I may have chosen a different pattern for it, or maybe a solid blue... but overall, he looks snazzy for this premiere.

The ginger

I think Rupert Grint looks so cute here! His suit seems to fit slightly awkwardly in the shoulders... or it might just be the length of his hair, but overall I like it. The dark gray shirt looks good, but I think the tie should have been a different color to make more of an impression.

The hottie 

Um.... I kind of don't have words for this. Emma Watson has always been gorgeous, but since when has she been supermegafoxyawesomehot?! (Name that reference and you will be my favorite person!) There is so much going on with this look, and it all works together so well! The lace at the top is sexy, but not slutty. The skirt is flirty and fun and, again, a great length that flirts with crossing the line of too-short, but is a perfect balance. And her LEGS go on forever and are only complimented by those FANTASTIC pumps! Not to mention that her awesome new pixie cut is nicely balanced with long dangling earrings. A+, chick. You have become a WOMAN. 

 We love you, trio!  Cannot wait to see what you have in store for us in the final installment!! 

The tool

Tom Felton looks so good. I love that he is wearing a tan suit! It's different, it makes a statement, and it matches his coloring perfectly. He is absolutely my pick for best dressed guy on the red carpet. Way to go, Tom! You look delish. P.S. THAT blue tie? WIN.


 Look who it is, it's Chloe Moretz. She was just TOO adorable not to include in this post. I think she looks perfect. Age-appropriate, classy, and more feminine than usual. I love it. And her. 

The crazy B

Oh Helena Bonham Carter? Do true fashion rules actually apply to you? I am sure the Fashion Police on E! will tear you apart, but it's because they don't know the unspoken understanding you have with the fashion world. You're a little nuts, you're basically married to Tim Burton... and you're a totally awesome actress who plays mostly eccentric roles. Therefore, you get to be as weird as you want on the red carpet, from here to eternity. So girl, you WEAR that crazy fucshia wad of fabric like it's a dress, and tease the heck out of your hair until it's stacked a few feet in the air. Then hold a clutch encrusted with rhinestones that is shaped like a Japanese fan while standing pigeon-toed in heels that seem too normal for the rest of your ensemble. Because, babe, NO ONE does Bellatrix like you. 


And last, but NOT even a little bit least, JK Rowling, the woman who brought us all of these things from her brilliant and wonderful mind and heart. She looks so beautiful! Here hair is a gorgeous color and length, make-up done well, dress flattering and graceful. It almost looks like she is wearing the conservative more mature version of the type of dress Emma had on. I wonder what it must have been like to see here there in real life? Even better, I wonder what it must have been like to be her at this event, knowing that none of this would exist if it wasn't for her. What an overwhelming feeling it must be to know that your creation has taken on it's own life and grown to this magnitude! I am so glad it has!

Is it November 19th yet?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Live Blog: Conan's first night back!!!!

I have loved Conan since 2003. The first time I watched was because Elijah Wood was on doing an appearance for Return of the King, and I was watching pretty much every interview of any cast member from that movie. So I had to tune in, and it was love at first sight. From then on, Conan was my late-night host love. Since then I could never imagine a time in my life when Conan wouldn't be on TV. What a strange idea. So when he went away for these past 9 months I couldn't help but think of how I had taken him for granted... But starting tonight at 10 central time on TBS, I will never go to bed before 11 again! And I am STOKED!

LIVE BLOG BEGINS in T-21 minutes!

9:58 pm - LOVE the Conan countdown during Family Guy, haha! Best ever. Oh, and the TBS logo now has Conan hair.

10:00 -  It's HERE!!! OH MY GOD!!!

10:02 - Mad Men cameo!

10:04 - Opening skit WINS. Wait... Conan might jump off the bridge but... LARRY KING comes to help ... HAH! Oh how I've MISSED you Conaw!

10:05 - NEW CONAN INTRO! We've got the Basic Cable Band! LOVE IT! And an episode name!

10:06 - GLORIOUS GLORIOUS red-headed/bearded Conan has emerged!! La Bamba! I just saw La Bamba! Do the string dance! Do it!!! And now they are chanting his name... -HE'S DOING THE STRING DANCE!!!!!!!!- Best day ever! AND he just hugged an audience member. WISH I was there. "Hey, it's the guy from Twitter."

10:07 - "People asked me why I named the show 'Conan.' I did it so I would be harder to replace."

10:08 - First NBC BURN of the night! Keep 'em coming, baby!

10:11 - Ok I really need to go be in this audience so Conan can compliment MY boots. Woa... I feel a 2nd NBC Burn coming up.... YUP! Masturbating bear!

10:13 - Nerd Conan returns! He's actually insulting me... right now, and all the internet nerds that saved his butt. And I LOVE it that he acknowledges that. HAHA!

COMMERCIAL BREAK ASIDE: I feel like life is normal again...

10:18 - Missed Andy Richter too. Woa, did you guys know that Conan can make the moon in the background MOVE? With theme music? Best set EVER.

10:21 -  "Why didn't you just put a cigarette out in my eye?" Bahaha, yay Ex-Talk Show Host masks! "It's very authentic inside. Inside if smells like tears."

10:28 - Awe the "First Guest on Conan" song is my favorite. "You're the first guest on Conan, the most important person in history...." Beautiful.

10:30 - I know this is old news... but Seth Rogen is THIN... The world is not normal again.

10:31 - Awe, they just referenced Lord of the Rings.... made me happy! Also, I must say as a woman, Seth Rogen's version of his proposal is HORRIFYING.

COMMERCIAL BREAK ASIDE: Bezzerwizzer? "Who's the bezzerwizzer now, Jay?" I love commercials that cut Jay Leno down... but wtf is it? Apparently we go to bezzerwizzer.com to find out.

10:40 - I love when Conan has teeny little guests since he's so tall. Lea Michelle looks BIT-SIZED. "Your hair looks amazing, it's reaching new heights."

10:42 - Woa, asking about controversy. Not holding back on the sexy photos? Ah, it's all for a bit. Gotta love it. :)

10:45 - I want him to move the moon again!!

COMMERCIAL BREAK ASIDE: 6 of the 10 trending topics on Twitter are about Conan!

10:49 - Conan with a guitar!!  Conan with a guitar!!! He's performing with Jack White! What a good night.
Spoken Word Cover
10:51 - I feel like Conan performing a musical number with his musical guest officially makes him the coolest host in the history of the entire world.... like WOA.

10:53 - Seriously just clapped for that performance even though I'm in my living room on my couch.

10: 58 - BAHAHAH the cover of the Spoken Word CD is Conan's face. NEED THAT IMAGE.

11:00 - First show is OVER! Can't wait for more from NOW ON. THANK YOU, TBS!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Movie Review: Due Date

Hey, hey! Look what it is: a new RDJ movie! You guys must know by now how much I love Robert Downey Jr, so it should come as no surprise that I saw this movie the night it came out. And here, for everyone who isn't sure if they want to see it... a SPOILER FREE review!

So many critics have said bad things about this movie, but to be completely honest, I  really enjoyed it. It didn't blow my mind, and I didn't feel like it was to the caliber of a Forgetting Sarah Marshall or other favorite comedies, but it was fun and I did laugh pretty consistently.

Robert plays a pretty stiff business man with an anger problem. Zach Galifianakis plays pretty much what he was in The Hangover, a goofy socially-awkward misfit who can't help but cause trouble all the time. When a few miscommunications land them both on the "no fly" list, they are stuck together on a crazy trip back to Los Angeles. From there, it's kind of easy to see where the story is going, crazy situation to crazy situation, but there are still a few plots twists that keep you guessing. And a long with that, these characters also have more to them than might be expected. Galifianakis's Ethan is a mess, but there are moments of seriousness where you see more in him. Same for Robert's Peter. He's an angry man who has a lot of trouble dealing with this crazy man, but there are moments you see some real tenderness and caring from his character. I liked those moments because it added a little more to the movie and made it better than just a silly comedy.

Overall, I liked it a lot. You will not be wasting your time or money as long as you aren't looking for a life-changing earth-shattering comedy. It was fun, smart, and a little outrageous. It's a good movie to go see if you want to go out with the friends or the significant other.Check it out! I'll be seeing it again.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hanson at the Dallas HoB 2010

Taylor, Isaac, and Zac
Yes that's right. That title says "HANSON" and, yes, that's the SAME Hanson that sang the song "Mmmbop" in 1997. Now I know what most of you are thinking... "Do they still exist?" Firstly, my answer to this, the most annoying of all questions, is: Well, duh. You don't just stop existing just because you aren't on the radio all the time anymore, gah. Secondly, to actually address what you meant by asking this question, yes, they do still make music and they have been for 13 years. They broke away from their old label in 2003, started their own called 3CG, and have been releasing music independently ever since. They're all grown up, each with their own wife and family (they are all daddies now). Not to mention, they're all beautiful.

This summer they released their 5th studio album, and it is GREATNESS. Last night, I got to see them live, for the 7th time in my life, on the "Shout it Out" tour!

So before I get into the recap of what was, maybe, one of the best concerts I've seen, a little back story: In 2006, the boys traveled to Africa where they did some charity work and got close to some people living in poverty there. Since then they have done a charity walk before each one of their shows to raise awareness and money for AIDS research, Love Water, African Education, etc. These men are not just real musicians, but they are humanitarians, too. You gotta give them props. 

I've been a part of two other walks before, once in Austin in 2007, and then the next year in Dallas. However, last year I missed the walk, and this year I didn't think I was going to get to do it because I was teaching and usually the walks are in the afternoon. However, for some awesome and random reason, this walk was announced to start at 5:45 and my friends and I were already in the House of Blue finishing up eating. PERFECTION!

Bare feets!

Now, you should know, it'll be hard for me to write this up without sounding like a nutty fangirl because I just love them so much, but I will do my best. ONWARD!

Ashlie, Melissa, and I were waiting outside around 5:30 for the boys to come out to the crowd and get this show on the road. We were sure they would come from around the back on the right side, so of course as soon as we moved towards that side, they appeared from the other direction. Sneak attack! Anyways, each time I've been a part of the walk, they usually do a speech about what it all means, how awareness is key, and remind us to register so they know which charity we want our contribution to go to. As soon as Tay was done with his talk we began walking. Most of us were wearing shoes but a lot were bare foot, to help understand the experience of those who can't afford and have to live without things we take for granted. 

Zac and I... and a girl I don't know.
Every time I've walked, I've had a plan of which Hanson I want to get close to, if I had anything I wanted to say, etc... but every time it never works out and I have always just gone straight to Zac. He's always been my favorite (except a weird phase in 2004 when Underneath came out and I thought I was a Tay-girl, WTF) and regardless of whether or not I though I wanted to walk with Ike or Tay... I thought wrong. I ALWAYS want to walk with Zac. So I did. I have to say, this was the most fun on the walk I've had. I wasn't nervous to talk to Zac. I didn't put a lot of pressure on myself to ask him relevant questions. I just stuck with him and we had some fun conversations (at least I had fun, haha). Ashlie, Melissa, Zac, and I kind of laughed through most of the walk. I think by the end we had talked with him about the Mavs, Sun Chips, and sky-diving. Sky diving came up through talking about how Sun Chips are good for you... then how modern medicine can keep you alive for a century... and then onto how Ashlie's husband, Grant, wouldn't last that long because he'd want to jump out of a plane.... or something like that... HAH! GOOD TIMES. And random.

Me, Ashlie, and Melissa
It was cool to be around him and kind of treat him like a normal human being, because some of the fans don't do that. I think some of them just get flustered and don't know what to say and so it's just word vomit. (I understand, I've felt like that too, in the past, but I had to mega-filter myself.) I can't tell you how many times we witnessed his nervous laughter during the walk because some fan had just told him something awkward. I actually was standing with him when a girl came up to him and started telling him that her and her friends used to travel to Tulsa to stake out his house... OK! Crossing a line! I get it, we all wanted to do that. Shoot, I even tried to plan a trip to Tulsa just to be there and see if I could run into Tay at a Starbucks, but you don't TELL the guy that. You basically just said to him, "I am creepy and used to stalk you!" I think if you want him to feel gratitude or some sort of endearment to you, don't go that direction. Zac, however, was so polite that he just sped up and pretended not to hear so he didn't have to respond.

Taylor and Melissa
A HILARIOUS ASIDE: There was a baby at the show with his parents, maybe 8 months old. ADORABLE. (P.S. Wasn't his first show either.) He was happy the ENTIRE walk and speech and everything, but as soon as Tay noticed him on his way back into the venue, he came over to the baby to say hello and the baby FREAKED THE HECK OUT. It was the best thing ever and I secretly hope someone got it on video. That baby is NOT a Tay fan, hahah!!!

Overall, the walk was magical once again. Lots of people did it, much money was donated, and I got to have yet another wonderful experience chatting and strolling with Zac. Not to mention, I ended up asking him if they had decided anything about the walk in Austin (which was the next day) because I was thinking of driving down but I had to kind of know what was up because [blah blah uninteresting exposition], SOOOO he told me he'd have the info up on H.net by the end of the night so I could check when I got home. AND HE DID IT. I felt very special. Even though the Austin walk turned out to be at 6:45 tonight, and it's raining, and most everything today is working against me so I couldn't go. But STILL. Sweet stuff.  


As for the show, this had to be one of the best Hanson concert experiences for me. Firstly, Ashlie, Mel, and I were LITERALLY closest we've ever been. I feel like I saw that every time, but it was FOR REAL this time. There were only two people in front of me, and if they wouldn't have minded awkward personal space, I could have reached out and touched the partition between the crowd and the stage. Secondly, this was, by far, the nicest audience in Hanson history. We made friends with everyone around us, and there was no pushing or bullying. AND I didn't feel cramped or claustrophobic once. Then, the openers didn't take 7 hours to finish up. It didn't feel like a horribly long time waiting between sets. Hanson actually came out before 10!

When they hit the stage, they opened with the coolest medley they've ever done. It was "Waiting for This" from the new album, but it had "Watch Over Me," "In the City," and "Rock and Roll Razorblade" in it! Then, they proceeded to play for 2 whole hours. It was non-stop. Pure amazingness. Some highlights for me were when they played Speechless. Not sure if I've personally heard it live before. Also, Ike totally ROCKED "Hand in Hand." Tay's solo was "Believe" and I think I understood the full meaning of that song for the first time during this performance. Then, in the slowest moment, some girl yelled "You're so hot, Taylor!" and the moment was slightly ruined... but it was still super beautiful.

"Give a Little" seriously left me all hot and bothered because Taylor was hard core flirting with the crowd. And I know this one might sound strange, but I was SUPER excited to hear "Voice in the Chorus" live. The reason for this is that early in the summer, when I had first bought the newest CD, "Shout it Out," Hanson had already announced their tour dates and Dallas wasn't one of them. I was pretty devastated. Then, listening to this song in my car one day, I felt the full force of my disappointment when I realized how cool "Voice in the Chorus" would sound live, and that I wasn't going to get to experience that. Obviously, they announced their 3rd leg and Dallas kicked it off, so it was a happy ending! And hearing that song WAS awesome live.


The boys finished out, faked the ending, encored with the "Ghostbusters" theme song (because...Halloween was the night before), and then left the stage. The gals and I rushed (ok, so I rushed them) to the back of the venue so we could get pictures. We weren't sure if they would come out... when they would come out... but thankfully we at least knew where, as they had a line forming. It's important to know at this point that one of the things I was thinking of most all summer long was how I needed another picture with Zac. The last and only one I've ever gotten was in 2007 when I had my least favorite hair cut of all time. And... I just love Zac. Plus, last year at the 2009 concert, I missed the walk and couldn't stay after the show and therefore missed a chance to get a picture then. And the year before that in 2008... for whatever reason, Zac was politely declining pictures.

Therefore, at this point in the night, all I could think about was getting a picture with Zac. You could imagine the angel chorus I heard in my head when he emerged from the building, only to have it choked off by him saying: "Sorry guys. I'm getting sick. Goodnight!" FOILED AGAIN!!!! I was very very sad. However, in a few minutes time, Tay made his way through the crowd. He was signing and taking pictures with fans. As he got to me, a homeless man cut in front of me and asked him for some money. Somehow, he managed to very politely (while smiling) tell him this was not the time. It was kind of awesome. He took a picture with me and it was glorious. He skipped my friends and signed stuff for a little girl, so before he moved past Ash and Melissa completely, I asked if he'd mind posing with them. After we got that picture, he said to me "Would you like one? You could swap?" Poor thing was so tired he didn't realize he had already taken a pic with me! I told him thanks but I just got one... but I am thinking now I should have just gotten a 2nd one. HAH! It was super cute, and I made sure to let him know it wasn't that I thought I was too good for a picture with Tay Hanson.

Mel, Tay, and Ash!

Me and Taylor. Favorite pic of us. EVER.
 Then, very soon after, Ike came by and I got a great picture with him as well. Ashlie had never gotten a picture with Isaac before so that was really cool for her. And Melissa had never gotten a picture with any of them. The night, overall, was a success. It was so much fun, worth the money, the time, the anticipation, and only made me want them to come back ASAP. Like next week, please.

Ike and me!

Mel, Ike, and Ash! First for them both. :)
The quality of music, talent, performance, and fan interaction has only gone up and up and up with these guys. I am shocked when I really think about just how lucky and maybe a little spoiled we Hanson fans are that these guys put so much effort into us. They have live streaming events for those of us who can't be physically at events, they have the walks to incorporate us into their passions, they play shows that are extremely long and AWESOME, and then they come out after and take pictures and sign stuff. They don't have to do a lot of those things and I am so grateful to them for being that kind of band. They are genuine and sweet and each experience I have with them only make me love them more. I hope we never take them granted, Fansons.

You better believe I'll be here next year, doing the walk, seeing the show, and contemplating driving down after them to do it again the next day. Hah! I love you, boys. Never change.