Thoughts From Places/Nerdy Review: Tour Because Awesome 2

Thursday, May 28, 2015

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Tour Because Awesome 2 

April 26th at Gramercy Theatre, NYC

 In my last blog post I wrote about the first two missions I had when I went to NYC by myself last month. This blog post is about that third mission I promised to tell you about.

Eilidh Reid's Poster!
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? The real reason I took a nine hour bus ride by myself across the State of New York was to see Hank Green in concert at the Gramercy Theatre. I’ve been a Nerdfighter for about 5 years now and I had yet to go to a gathering, or to an event in which John or Hank would be in attendance. (For those of you who do not know what a Nerdfighter is please refer to this video.) When Hank announced that he was going on a North Eastern tour in April I knew I had to go. I looked up the tour dates, decided to go to the last show in NYC, bought my ticket immediately, and then booked a seat on the Megabus. Simple, right? Wrong. It was only after I did all that that I realized that while I had a ticket to the show and a ride to New York I had no place to stay while I was in the City. That’s when the idea hit me. Who are the people who would even go to see Hank Green in concert? Well, fellow Nerdfighters of course! And where are Nerdfighters found? The internet. And so I joined the Nerdfighters of NY group on Facebook and asked if anyone had a couch for me to crash on after the show. Ultimately, I ended up staying in a hotel instead, but just the knowledge that there would be several hundred fellow nerds at that concert made me feel 100% more confident about going.

Misson Three: Go to the Tour Because Awesome.

After leaving the Library I made my way to the hotel I was staying at a few blocks away from the theatre. Some of the Nerdfighters in my group were planning to meet up in front of the theatre at 5 to go get something to eat before the show started. When I got to my hotel it was about 4 o’clock and I was exhausted. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go an extra two hours early to the theatre to meet people I didn’t know or if I just wanted to take a nap. I was seriously considering the nap, when I thought about how the whole point of me coming to NYC at all was to go to the concert and meet fellow Nerdfighters, so I dragged my butt out of bed and walked to Gramercy Theatre. In hindsight that was the best move of my life thus far. If I hadn’t gone to the theatre when I did I would not have met the man I was there to see, Hank Green.

Me and Craig!
I approached the theatre and took a picture of the marquee sign. At first I didn’t even notice that there was already a line forming from the theatre to the end of the block. As soon as I did I went to get in line, but there was a guy standing outside the line talking to the people in line. That guy was Craig Benzine (WheezyWaiter on Youtube and lead singer of Driftless Pony Club) and I was startled! I waited until he was done talking and then asked him if I could take a picture with him! Then I turned around and WHAM! Who was standing behind me? HANK GREEN!  He was standing in the middle of the line making his way through, signing things and taking pictures and being a genuinely awesome person. So once my brain started functioning again I speed walked to the end of the line. And after about ten minutes I met Hank. I asked him to sign my copy of 13 Little Blue Envelopes (he crossed out Maureen Johnson’s name to put his own and then hanklerfished it), talked a little about how I was from Buffalo, and then I asked if I could take my picture with him. I took out my camera and turned it around so I could take the photo myself and Hank got so excited that I was using an ACTUAL camera for a selfie instead of a phone that he HUGGED me and did a really happy squishy smile. Hank Green is an amazing person.

Me and Hank!!

He wasn’t the only amazing person I met that night though. I met a ton of amazing Nerdfighters. I met some from my facebook group, I met a group of teens from New Jersey, and I met two awesome girls, M. and B. who I hung out with during and after the show. We made a group standing on the corner of 23rd and Lexington, we made a circle and just sat down. We talked about how we found out about John and Hank, where we were from, whether we were still in school or not, and which Hogwarts house we would be in. As we sat there, the line got longer and Hank eventually went back inside (with his dad! Who we surprised by one) knowing who he was and two) making a point of saying hello to him).
Me and Sam!
A little while later, Sam from DPC came out to take pictures of the crowd and somehow I was the only one who knew he was and asked for a picture with him as well. People kept walking by and asking us who we were waiting in line for and every time we said “Hank Green” we would get a blank stare and then an “oh,” which made me sad. Hank should be just as famous as other artists who have played the Gramercy, but at the same time I am glad he isn’t. He has a loyal, nerdy following that truly care about him and people in general. For example only at a concert as nerdy as this one would there be people kind enough that if someone from the very front of the crowd needed to go to the bathroom there was no hesitation that of course your spot would be saved. When the actual concert began there wasn’t that huge push of people from behind trying to get closer that usually happens at rock shows. This turned out to be a very good thing for a couple reasons. One was that it's always really annoying and the second is that standing right in front of my group was a little boy and his mom who no one wanted to squish against the gate. That little boy was Hank's nephew, his mom was the Katherine's sister in law. There was a lot of family love going on in that audience and I loved it! The Tour Because Awesome crowd was honesty the best crowd of people I have ever encountered.

As for the concert itself, it was the greatest show I have ever been to. The lineup was incredible. First there was Rob Scallion and his wicked guitar skills, then Andrew Huang with his infectious energy. After them it was Harry and the Potters, a band that both wizards and muggles alike cannot help but love and Driftless Pony Club who I absolutely adore. And finally Hank Green and the Perfect Strangers the band we were all there to see. They were all exhausted but every single one of them gave their all during that last show. Being there felt like I was a part of one giant inside joke. From the surprise visit from famous Youtubers like Hannah Hart, Grace Helbig, Tyler Oakley and one of the Gregory Brothers to Hank throwing a giant stuffed snake into the audience during Harry and the Potters’ “Save Ginny Weasley,” and from the chants of DFTBA to Hank’s encores of the theme from Ghostbusters and the Batpeople song. 

Thank you to everyone I met that night for making Tour Because Awesome truly magical and of course awesome!