Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Exploding Goats and Bike Seat Lickers: My Great Expectations as a MOE First Timer

Old Hat.
It was only a couple of days ago when my membership pin flashed up as I logged on to HNET, reminding me that I was about to enter my fifth year in the fan club.
Five years. Who would have known? I joined in late April 2012, as a spur-of-the-moment type of thing, lured by a 'members only' video blog Zac had just posted and that I couldn't watch. $50 didn’t seem much - little did I know that, over the course of four years, I would give the band the equivalent of several months’ salary for the privilege of joining them on a tropical beach.

Signing up at the end of April - so close to MOE - turned out to be a stroke of luck. I didn’t know what MOE was, of course, but I soon found out via all the stories that were floating around on Tumblr, and which were epic tales of destruction, through which I learned that the first Mmmhops beer tasting had swiftly turned into chaos and that Taylor had to run for his life, nearly losing his beloved Indy hat in the commotion. As the MOE weekend progressed, the stories got worse: I remember my disbelief as I read about groups of fans hiding in Zac’s truck, not to mention The Notorious Incident of the Bike Seat Licker (a story so revolting, it instantly entered Hanson lore)1. Tulsa MOE sounded like complete mayhem, and I wanted to be there.

[Photo by Carolyne Isabella]

Four years later, I am finally going to make my pilgrimage to our Graceland. It’s going to be weird to finally experience Tulsa first hand: if you are one of those fans who go every year, you probably can’t imagine what it’s like to see things from a distance. You get this incomplete, impressionist picture in your mind, where every Instagram photo is like a thick brush stroke: the resulting image makes perfect sense from afar, but from up close, all you see is splodges of colour.

It’s a false perspective, to say the least. Take BTTI: before I attended myself, I had seen all those fan photos with the guys - often with a drink in hand and a palm tree in the background. The impression I had formed was that some lucky fans got to hang out with Hanson. Since going to BTTI I know that those moments are, in fact, what a friend of mine calls ‘grab-a-Hanson’ moments. It’s all part of the illusion, and it’s an illusion that sells the event to the fans left at home. I’m pretty sure the same will apply to MOE - nothing will be what it seems from behind a computer screen. Seeing it through my own eyes will once and for all erase all the implanted memories created by the social media kaleidoscope - this will be ‘my’ MOE and I’ll have my own stories. Like a soldier on his first tour of Afghanistan, this time I’ll be the one the emailing home with epic tales from the front line; only, instead of exploding goats and captured Taliban, I might write about bike seat lickers (hopefully) and Taylor’s inevitable 'surprise' haircut.

Finally at war!
So what are my expectations for a week in the Hanson Mecca? It goes without saying that I’m excited about visiting the city, which, from what I’ve heard, has a lot to offer for arts and culture. Of course, it would be nice to get a chance to speak to the guys, but with a thousand people pursuing the same idea, I’m not banking on it. More than anything else, I want to be blown away by the music. This isn’t an ‘album year’ - instead, we have been told to expect two EPs, cleverly titled so that, put together, they read like ‘LP’. Hmmmm. Nice try, guys - but it’s not quite the same thing.

I don’t know what is stopping Hanson from working on a full-length album, but I can only hope that time, rather than inspiration, is what is currently lacking in their lives. In any case, I’m sure that seeing the guys play those new songs on stage will be a good indication as to whether their creative fire is still burning.

Recording new songs as you play them ‘cold’ to an audience is a very brave thing to do: it paid off in 2013 and gave us ‘Sound of Light’, arguably their best EP of all time - so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility to hope hope that ‘Play’ is the ace up Hanson’s sleeve that we have all been waiting for. We'll soon find out.

MOE 2013 - I wish I'd been there
The Epic Double Drums of 2013 - Zac
(Source: Tumblr)
The Epic Double Drums of 2013 - Taylor
(Source: Tumblr)

Follow Hanson Italian Fanpage and @Hanson_ITA for my forthcoming updates from Tulsa. 

1 Although they come multiple sources, these stories are unconfirmed rumours and should be treated as such.

NB: I'll be happy to credit the owner of any of the images used in this post. 


  1. Another great blog from my favorite fan blogger . I remember these feelings all to well ! I remember being upset that there weren't any shrines devoted to Hanson as I entered the city limits .Didn't the locals know who lived there ! See you in 20 days xoxo

    1. Thank you for the favourite fan blogger ;)
      As for shrines - we should pray in the general direction of 3CG ....we can use our BTTI towel as a prayer mat!

      Thank you for reading!

      PS - I can't quite get my head around the fact that we're seeing each other in 3 weeks O.o

  2. Have fun, ladies!! I will join you next year :)