The Olympics are underway in London (or were at the time this was taking place, and I started writing this...slacker, I know), and I can’t help but think that a cappella should be an Olympic sport. Or maybe just a spectator sport. At the very least, the last weekend in July was an a cappella Olympic event for Amanda and I that proved to be epic in all senses of the word. We like to refer to this weekend as our “Double Stuf Oreo” weekend. Straight No Chaser was the delectable cream filling on Saturday and Sunday, while Hyannis Sound made up the scrumptious chocolate cookie portions on Friday and Monday. A cappella overload may be an understatement, but we quickly came to the realization that you can never have too much a cappella in your life.
My mom joined us for the weekend, so on Friday (after some stitches removal) we got Amanda and headed to Cape Cod. This had been a routine trip for Amanda and me on Fridays throughout the entire summer, so we had no problems navigating our way to Hyannis…well, except for the traffic, but that has also become a normal part of our Friday adventures. We made our ceremonious stops at MaryLou’s (the best coffee place in the world…my mom is still raving about their creamy chocolate coconut iced coffee) and Wendy’s, and then made our way over to the Federated Church on Main Street. It was only 6:30, but we sat ourselves on the steps of the church and patiently waited for the weekend we had been waiting so long for to begin. Tara and Jenn joined us during this time and laughs and chitchat took place as we greeted the guys of Hyannis Sound and continued our wait for the show. The show was everything we expected and more. We had really come to love spending our Friday nights in this way, and it was really special sharing this music with fellow Chasers and my mom. We chitchatted with the Hyannis Sound guys for a bit after the show and then made our way to our hotel which was conveniently located a little farther down Main St. It was very nice not to have to make the long, yet normal journey home that night.
The following day we woke up, walked to Dunkin Donuts (which was conveniently located directly across the street from the hotel), and wandered about Main St. for a while. Amanda and I had been to Hyannis many times by this point in the summer, but we hadn’t explored as much as we had liked to. This seemed like the perfect opportunity. We perused the shops, and my mom even bought me a late birthday present (a Cape Cod bracelet). Eventually we headed back to the hotel to get ready for that night’s show in Cohasset. My mom found the two of us quite amusing. It doesn’t take us very long to get ready anymore, but we are quite particular in the way we go about certain things (especially when getting ready for SNC). I guess Amanda and I have just done this too many times (ha…no such thing as too many times).
When we were ready, we decided to hit one of the many Christmas Tree Shops along our route to Cohasset to get some glow sticks. We had forgotten to pack the ones we had already (this was my bad…woops). Christmas Tree Shop failed us, however, so we exited the Cape via the Sagamore. We would be meeting a college friend (Courtney) for dinner in Cohasset and we decided that the glow stick snafu would not bring down our moods. A strike of luck struck us as we were exiting Route 3 to our Cohasset destination…there, right off the exit, was an iParty! This is like any other party store across America (I clarify because apparently they are native to the great Northeast) and they have never let us down in the glow stick department. This was the case once again. We purchased our glow sticks and made our way to the restaurant where we would be meeting Courtney.
We had a very nice dinner, through which we caught up with a friend we don’t nearly see enough of and ate way too much. We left Courtney’s car at the restaurant and piled into my car. Courtney would be joining us for her very first Straight No Chaser concert and we were all extremely excited to get there. Logically this meant that we arrived at the venue super early, per usual. We sat in my car and continued catching up and listening to music. That is until my car battery decided it was a perfect opportunity to die.
Confession time: this is where I admit to not being the most brilliant person on the planet…especially when it comes to my car. My first thought when parked in the parking lot was to save gas and shut my car off. We had been showing Courtney Hyannis Sound videos on Amanda’s phone, so we weren’t even using the radio. Well super smart Megan left the keys in the ignition on the ACC position, but didn’t shut her lights off…how silly. I could have avoided all of this hassle if I had just removed my keys from the ignition, but that was just too logical. So now we’re sitting in my car, my car alarm is chirping…probably the most annoying sound ever, especially when your battery is dead…and I pretty much went into panic mode. I like to think that I looked calm on the outside, but I’m pretty sure that was not the case. Luckily my mom was in the car and had a sound mind at the time. She found a very nice parking attendant (despite finding the whole situation very amusing) who brought his car over to mine and gave my battery a jump start. After a few failed attempts my car finally started and I left it running for about a half an hour. This was when we decided it was time to make our way into the venue. Seriously, what a hassle cars can be sometimes.
|Our view of the round stage.|
We went into the venue, with fingers crossed that my car would restart when we exited the venue a few hours later, to find a large group of Chasers convened under the only awning in the place. It had started to rain and they wouldn’t let us to our seats yet. Among the Chasers we also spotted Molly and Walt’s mom. We reconnected with the Chasers there and introduced everyone to my mom and Courtney. Finally, we were able to enter the tent that was the venue and find our seats. The stage was “in the round” meaning that the stage was in the center of the tent and the seats went all the way around it. We were off to one of the sides…if a circle has a side, which it doesn’t, this would be a true statement. However in the case of the stage we were near one of the poles making it seem like we were on the side of the stage not toward the front or back. As everyone made their way into the venue, the skies opened up and a fierce downpour commenced. The background noise of pouring rain should add to the ambience of the concert…or at least we hoped it would.
The concert was a lot of fun. As much as we love to travel to see these guys, having them in Massachusetts adds a whole new element of fun. We get so proud when other people in the venue have great reactions to their songs. We were definitely feeling the “hometown” pride in Cohasset. The spinning stage, the dramatic fan that made the guys look like they were a part of an 80s music video, and the points and waves from the guys as they rotated past us brought even more fun elements into the show. A highlight of the show was when Walt exclaimed, “Yankees suck!” The crowd erupted in cheers. Ryan turned and looked at us in a blaming manner…Hey! We didn’t say it…we just agreed, and we didn’t have to convince the rest of the crowd either.
Intermission came far too quickly and the guys cautiously exited the rotating stage. Despite the fact that the stage had indeed stopped moving, I couldn’t help but feel like I had just gotten off a ride at Disney when you can still feel the sensation of everything moving. I could only imagine what the guys were feeling “backstage”. They returned after some fun intermission tweeting (which involved us likening their show to an 80s music video...we were seriously loving the effects of that fan onstage), and it is safe to say that the crowd was still loving SNC just as much, if not more, then before their departure from stage. The crowd loved the Movie Medley, rewarding SNC with a standing ovation. Not long after, the crowd gave yet another standing ovation during the final club song medley. During this, Ryan, Seggie and Don pointed in our general direction. We were so proud of all of them, and the fact that they had won over the occasionally ill-tempered New Englanders. We could tell that all of the guys were truly taken aback by the reaction of the crowd and genuinely grateful to all of their fans. In return, they came back out for an encore which include the 12 days of Christmas…because everyone loves Christmas in July…and then they invited us all outside for a meet and greet in the rain (this may have been a first). Thankfully there was a nice awning for the guys to sit under and the rain had diminished to a nice drizzle instead of the thunderous downpour it had been earlier.
We made our way out of the tent, while having various conversations with Chasers, Molly, Blake, and Trist. As we approached the signing table, I took note of the order the guys were sitting in: Don, Jerome, Mike, Walt, Ryan, Randy, Charlie, DR, Seggie, and lastly Tyler. This isn’t something usually noted outright in the blog, but it is imperative to the flow and formulation of the “meet and greet” portion of any blog, so I thought I would share. It is usually the first thing I try to recall when I get back from an SNC show…the rest always finds a way of resurfacing from there.
When it was our turn to greet the guys, we approached Don, Jerome, and Mike and introduced Courtney to them. Jerome asked her how her first time was, and her appropriately inappropriate response was “it was good, but I’m still a bit sore.” It’s safe to say that Jerome lost it…complete with hands slapping the table and boisterous laugher. Don was a bit shocked that she would say that. Amanda and I obviously laughed and made the simple statement of “that’s why we are friends.” Jerome’s retort was “I love when they play along.” Phew, Courtney had passed the test.
As we were about to make our way down the meet and greet table, I should note that the order in which we descended was a bit out of the ordinary. First down the line was Amanda, followed by Courtney, than me, then my mom. Needless to say, our conversations were a bit jumbled at times. Don asked me how I was and then we began discussing the spinning stage. He informed me that whenever he saw us (me and Amanda…our lights were helpful), he knew where he was. I told him about how at intermission I wasn’t sure if I was moving or them, and likened it to a Disney ride. He laughed and said that all of the guys still felt like they were moving when they went backstage. I wasn’t so sure he enjoyed the sensation very much. Jerome then held my hand and kissed my check. He asked me if I was okay…which in that moment I obviously was…and then he asked us if we had made it home safely from Biloxi (I sure hope so, seeing as we’re here). We laughed about seeing each other in the airport and talked about how great the summer had been so far.
The guys in our general vicinity then began to ask my mom about her black eye and stiches. The guys consisted of Jerome, Mike, and Walt. They asked her what happened and she, surprisingly, told them the truth. We had been joking around earlier about the various scenarios she could tell them when the time came, but she ultimately decided that the truth was the best option despite the embarrassment that went along with it. She had fainted in the bathroom earlier in the week and hit her head on the vanity. She’s doing much better now…thanks for asking. Walt asked me if she was serious, and I confirmed the story. However, I couldn’t move along without telling him that she was going to tell them that I had actually punched her in the face. They all thought that was hysterical. I guess me becoming a violent person isn’t a believable story. Once Walt contained his laughter, he asked me how I liked that they were in our backyard. He told me that they had decided to travel to see us because we had traveled so much to see them like Biloxi and other place. (insert collective awww) I’m not sure there is any truth behind this, but it was still super sweet that he would even say it. We LOVE traveling to see SNC and there are always unforgettable adventures that go along with our travels, but we can honestly say that some of our favorite memories have happened when SNC was in Massachusetts.
I was a little shocked by this comment from Walt as I made my way down to Ryan. He grasped my hand and asked me how I was. At first I thought this was a little unusual for Ryan (the touching, not the questioning), but later discussion with Amanda revealed that he had been concerned about my whereabouts. Apparently when she had approached Ryan, he just looked at her and exclaimed, “WHERE IS MEGAN?!” She calmly reassured him that I was a little farther down the line, and she even pointed in my direction. Putting Courtney between the two of us had put him into a state of sheer panic. As Ryan held my hand, he told me that he like my glow bracelets and lights. He then told me that every Party America was going to be sold out of glowing apparel because of the two of us. I laughed and told him about our earlier escapades to Christmas Tree Shop and iParty. He didn’t know what I was talking about, but he was glad that glow sticks had been found and purchased. Ryan then told me that when the guys know that we will be attending a show, they like to discuss where we will be and how fast they can find us. This sounds like a great game, except I don’t think we make it too hard for them to find us. Maybe we should make it a bit more challenging next time.
My conversation with Ryan led to more conversations about our glowy garb with Randy and Charlie. Randy told me that we should give up the glow and switch to pyrotechnics. Charlie said that that would be dangerous. Randy decided to amended his proposition by saying we should use sparklers. Either way, I’m not so sure venues would like that all that much. Lights are a much safer option. Charlie than asked me how I like the show. I told him that I had really enjoyed the fans (the ones on the stage, circulating the air, not the people in the crowd…although they had added some entertainment as well). They had added a dramatic effect. He said he really liked the fans too because they cooled him off. I made my way down to DR where we greeted each other, but then I got distracted because Amanda was talking to Tyler about Hyannis Sound. I of course had to jump in and tell him their show on Sunday was from 5-7. I had moved in front of Seggie at this point and he questioned what I was referring to. I said, “Oh nothing, I wasn’t talking to you.” He changed the subject and said, “Are you coming to the show tomorrow?” I (in a completely serious manner) said, “NO!” He was legitimately concerned. I was surprised he didn’t understand my sarcasm and reassured him that we were staying in Hyannis tonight so I guess we’d be there, but I wouldn’t be seeing him. Sorry, Seggie, I don’t know what came over me. Although, he had had apparently had a similar encounter with Amanda moments before. Amanda had commented on their summer wardrobes and how she liked them much better than their spring tour outfits. Their shoes thankfully matched this time around. Charlie had told her to…and I quote, “talk to Seggie about that.” She countered with “what if I don’t want to talk to Seggie?” This led to a tirade of witty banter between the two of them and ended with Seggie calling Amanda a brat. That poor guy just couldn’t catch a break that night.
I officially made my way down to Tyler who was still talking with Amanda about Hyannis Sound. I joined this conversation, insisting that he find a way to check this summer’s group out. We then transitioned to my car situation. Once Tyler became aware of the fact that I had jumper cables in my car, he assured us that one of the guys would probably be willing to help if we ran into any more troubles. Awww, what a swell group of guys.
As the meet and greet line came to an end, people began to congregate in hopes of pictures, while others began getting ready to leave. Amanda and I decided to walk over and talk to Ryan who didn’t seem to be doing anything. Amanda gladly told him about my car situation and he was genuinely concerned, telling me to get it checked out. No worries, Ryan, the car situation is now under control. Don hopped in on the conversation and we started talking about Hyannis. We asked him if he would be going to Hyannis tonight and he seemed unsure of why that would happen. His response sounded something like, “TONIGHT?!” We were equally as confused as to why this was confusing. Ryan had literally asked us the same question moments before, and we were in fact staying in Hyannis for the night. It was only an hour away from Cohasset and didn’t seem like that outrageous of an option.
It was then time for group pictures. Richard decided that we (as in me and Amanda) had to go first. We never really like when this happens because we don’t have time to fully prepare for the situation. He told us that our picture was the best yet, which seems like his standard answer after all of our group pictures, although they do keep getting better and better. We told him this, and he said, “Well this time all of your smiles are bigger and you look happier.” We blamed the guys who had obviously had been yelling things in a Boston accent at us. This never fails to make us laugh.
We waited for the other Chasers to be done with their pictures. This left ample time for us to act crazy with Jenn. I’m pretty sure at some point we decided to pretend Jenn was in the middle of a rotary (or traffic circle for those not from Massachusetts) and we drove around her a few times. At this point I’m pretty sure everyone was convinced we had lost our minds, and Richard was regretting having us go first. My mom departed to go check on the car (which was thankfully okay), we said our goodbyes, and dispersed. We were literally on Cloud Nine as we drove back to Hyannis (sans traffic). We couldn’t wait for what the next night would have in store for us…