Happiness Begins Tour: Rosemont Recap

Because I clearly cannot get enough of the Jonas Brothers, I got a ticket to their show at the Allstate Arena as a birthday present to myself. Having already attended the show in Grand Rapids, where I had what were far and away the best seats of my life, I knew that if I were to go to another show, I wanted to be close to the action. Because of that, I opted to buy a B Stage VIP Bar GA ticket through LaneOne. I had never dealt with LaneOne in any capacity before, but the chatter on Twitter made it seem like you’d get a good experience, so I went for it. After all, I had already seen the show from the front of an arena. I couldn’t see much of what happened on the B Stage in Grand Rapids, so this seemed like the most logical choice (for going to the show a second time, that is).

LaneOne sold two types of B Stage tickets: general admission and seated tables. I figured the only way I could improved upon my Grand Rapids experience would be to be right up against the B Stage, since there was no real barricade separating you from the B Stage like there was from the main stage. In order to have a chance at that happening, I needed a general admission ticket. That being said, the area was pretty small, so it’s not like having a table would have prevented you from having a good view.

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Doors opened for the show at 6:30, but because I wanted to be up against the stage and had PTO to burn, I got to Allstate at 4 p.m. Thankfully it wasn’t oppressively cold the day of the show! I came prepared, though, wearing my parka, a sweatshirt, my warmest glittens, a hat, and Cuddlduds. I also had hand warmers, but I never used those. I bought food at Starbucks ahead of time so I could eat “dinner” while waiting in line (to avoid having to leave the B Stage once I got there) and put all my valuables (wallet, keys, etc.) in my SPIbelt to avoid having to deal with a purse. I’m not gonna lie: I was pretty proud of my preparation, haha.

When I arrived at Allstate, there were only seven other people in the B Stage line, which made me feel pretty good about my chances of getting a spot up against the stage. From my extensive Twitter research, I knew that there was only space for four people on each side, and since I was the eighth person, I felt like I had a solid chance. As the afternoon wore on, we all started chatting, and it turned out that only three girls in front of me had B Side B Stage tickets: everyone else had A Side. With only three others in front of me, I knew I would get up against the stage.

I wasn’t particularly looking forward to waiting in line for two and a half hours, especially since I expected most/all of it to be outside (though they did let us into a vestibule 30-45 minutes before doors opened, which I appreciated), but I ended up really enjoying myself! I talked with the two girls behind me for a good hour or so, comparing Jonas stories and talking about life in general, and it was so much fun! I never got their names, believe it or not, but I still felt like we were great friends by the time we were able to go into the actual arena.

The girls behind me in line were on the A Side of the B Stage, so I latched onto the three ladies in front of me who had B Side tickets and chased after them once the doors opened. Since there were no other people immediately behind us with B Side tickets, the four of us had no problem securing stage-side spots.

Photos really don’t do it justice. It was truly insane how close we were to the stage. There was literally nothing but a thin plastic “wall,” about three or four inches tall, separating me from the actual stage. I had emotionally prepared myself to not be that close, so for it to happen was nuts.

The four of us along the stage spent the next hour freaking out over how amazing our spots were. Two of them were actually a mother/daughter pair! Let me tell you, my mother would not be caught dead at a Jonas Brothers concert, never mind up against the B Stage, haha. In fact, I didn’t even tell my parents I was going to the show, for fear of how much they’d judge me for going to another Jonas Brothers concert when I had already been to one in September 😛 The daughter in the mother/daughter pair stood next to me. She had woken up at 2 a.m., flown into Midway from Nashville, taken a bus from Midway to O’Hare, got picked up at O’Hare by her mom, and then got to Allstate – I don’t even know when. Before noon, I believe. To top it all off, she’s a college student, and had a final paper due the next day. I felt moderately dedicated to the Jonas Brothers for taking a half day at work, but I had nothing on her!

Jordan McGraw and Bebe Rexha opened again, and then it was time for the main event! Since I had already been to the show and knew any pictures I got from the B Stage could never compare to the pictures I got in Grand Rapids (at least while the Jonas Brothers were on the main stage, that is), I kept my phone away for the majority of the concert.

Prior to Thanksgiving, the show started with the Jonas Brothers up on the main stage, had them coming to the B Stage during Used to Be, had them sing Hesitate, a fan request song, Gotta Find You, and start Jealous on the B Stage, return to the main stage for awhile, then come back to the B Stage for the first half of the Mandy Megamix (a mashup of old Jonas Brothers songs) before finishing on the main stage. However, in the first two shows after Thanksgiving, the Jonas Brothers started performing their new Christmas song, Like It’s Christmas, on the main stage in lieu of the fan request. When my show rolled around (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving), I was pretty sure they had dropped the fan request, but came prepared anyway.

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Alas, they did drop the fan request 😦 I was a bit bummed, not only because I would have DIED if they picked my request, but because that meant they were on the B Stage for less time. Lame. However, I did get to experience Hesitate, a song Joe wrote for Sophie Turner, with none other than the Queen in the North herself (and her parents!) all of like 15 feet away from me. I. KNOW.

When we were all waiting in line, there were rumblings that family was coming to the Rosemont show, because some people who had bought B Stage B Side (my side) tables had their tickets taken away due to VIPs planning to attend the show and needing those tables instead (I assume they got refunds? I wasn’t impacted, so I have no idea what happened to them). Turns out that was correct! Right before the Jonas Brothers came on, Sophie Turner and her parents showed up and claimed their spots at the tables on the other end of the bar area from the stage. It was WILD. I mean, yes, obviously the Jonas Brothers are famous, but I’d be willing to bet that there are a lot more Game of Thrones fans out there than Jonas Brothers fans. I mean, I never took any interest in Game of Thrones, and even I was agog at being that close to one of the stars of the show. I was pretty invested in the show, but I couldn’t help but look over from time to time and be like, “I CANNOT believe that Sophie Turner and I are in the same bar area of this show. Also, holy cow, she is STUNNINGLY beautiful.”

Speaking of beautiful people in my area.

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I don’t know if I can really convey to you how close I was to them. These pictures aren’t zoomed in at all. Like they were RIGHT. THERE. It was insane. When I watch the videos I took while they were on the B Stage, I can literally hear Nick and Kevin’s guitar strings as they strum them. Not the sound the guitar makes: the sounds the strings themselves make when they’re hit. Like I said, insane.

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When the Jonas Brothers come back to the B Stage the second time, Joe goes into a speech about the OG Jonas fans to introduce the Mandy Megamix. As I was proudly rocking my 07-08 tour t-shirt, purchased with, like, half of my monthly allowance at the Best of Both Worlds Tour in Grand Rapids in December 2007, I tried very hard to get them to notice that I had clear proof I was one of those OG fans (you know when an athlete does something impressive and then pinches the top corners of their jersey and shakes it to show off their team name? That’s what I was doing.) Joe was too busy giving his speech to acknowledge me (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself), but Kevin wasn’t! He saw me, smiled, and pointed, and I was so thankful that my seventeen-year-old self had the foresight to buy a t-shirt for…I don’t even know. Somewhere between $35 and $45, I’m sure…that was one size too big (and is STILL one size too big) so that my twenty-nine-year-old self could be recognized for my dedication to the band by Kevin Jonas. While it was no finger graze from Joe like I got in Grand Rapids, it was still EASILY the highlight of my entire night.

Now, the biggest advantage of being stage-side at the B Stage in my eyes (and, I’m sure, the eyes of most other B Stage ticketholders) is that you are one of very few people in the running for Joe’s tambourine. You see, during the Mandy Megamix, Joe plays the tambourine during the Mandy snippet, which is the opening song of the mix. However, when they transition into Paranoid, Joe doesn’t need the tambourine anymore, and for most of (all of?) the tour, has been handing it off to one lucky fan at the B Stage, who then gets to keep it for all eternity. I KNOW, RIGHT. Needless to say, I came prepared for this as well.

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Frankly, I was so proud of my sign that I kind of just wanted to show it off, regardless of whether or not I got the tambourine as a result, haha.

Anyway, Joe finished the Mandy snipped of the megamix on the A Side of the stage, then wandered over in our direction to hand out the tambourine. For a second, I thought I was going to get it and panicked (“what am I going to do when Joe Jonas acknowledges my existence?!?!?”), but he ended up giving it to the girl next to me. I was SO genuinely happy for her! It was a weird feeling, to be honest. I really expected to be jealous and bitter over not getting the tambourine, but I truly think I was happier that the girl next to me got it than I would have been if I had gotten it. Plus, she let me take a picture with it after the show ended!

Soon after that, the Jonas Brothers left the B Stage and spent the rest of the show up front. I must confess that overall, I enjoyed the show less in Rosemont than I did in Grand Rapids. While I was closer to the action in Rosemont than in Grand Rapids, “the action” was by me for such a short time that it was a little bit of a letdown. In fact, I almost felt like I was too close to the stage – like the Jonas Brothers didn’t notice me because I was literally at their feet. That being said, B Stage was a really special experience. Even if the concert itself wasn’t as much fun, I very much enjoyed hanging out with other people who love the Jonas Brothers as much as I do. While I’ll always remember the Grand Rapids show for the concert, I’ll always remember the Rosemont show for the experience.

Now, if anyone would like to make a contribution to Bethany’s Future Jonas Brothers Tours Fund, I’m happy to accept cash and checks 😛

Thursday Things

1. Greetings! You don’t need me to tell you (though I’m obviously going to anyway) that I’ve started to take a more laissez-faire approach to blogging, where I blog when I have the time and desire to do so rather than sticking to a rigid twice-weekly schedule for the sake of consistency and building my readership, which, let’s be honest, has been a losing battle for the past three or four years anyway, once influencing moved into the Instagram sphere and away from being the exclusive territory of blogging. Of course, I was never an influencer of any sort to begin with, and have never made a penny off this blog, so it’s not like maintaining readership has ever been vital to the health of my blog.

Anyway, the point of that rambling introduction was to say that I have been busy, because I’m a human and it’s the end of the year, and who isn’t? I’m busier than normal, thanks to a gigantic event I have coming up in January. I’ve approximately 12384379347 decisions to make when it comes to that event, ranging from big ones (who’s invited?) to stupid ones (what color should the napkins be?), and even the vendor meetings I thought I’d enjoy have by and large turned out to be enormous headaches. Somewhere between attending these meetings and making these decisions, I’m also supposed to deal with all my normal end-of-the-year stuff, like wrapping up my work goals and having to help everyone whose work intersects with mine wrap up their goals as well, and coordinating where I’ll be when for holidays, and realizing a late Thanksgiving is going to mean very limited Christmas shopping time if I insist on waiting until after Thanksgiving to get started.

2. Conveniently, in the midst of all of this stress/anxiety/misery, the good folks at Disney released Disney+, and I have taken full advantage of its offerings.

So far, I’ve started rewatching Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens, began the new Pixar and Real Life and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series shows, watched the new live-action Lady and the Tramp, and am slowly working my way through Jonas Brothers: The Concert Experience, as that movie came out while I was in college and thus tragically fell into the Disney Dead Zone of my life, where I erroneously thought I was too old to watch Disney-related things and was shamefully shy about my love for the Jonas Brothers for fear of judgment from my peers. You are never to old for Disney-related things, as Disney+ has shown me, and I have absolutely outgrown any shame I ever felt about loving the Jonas Brothers, so bring on 10-year-old concert movies!

As I’m sure you’re very curious as to my opinions on the new content I’ve watched, I have to say that I was genuinely shocked at the quality of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. Sure, it’s a little corny, and I find it much more difficult to relate to the drama of high school romance these days, but I honestly had very low expectations for the show and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it isn’t awful. Pixar in Real Life has been an absolute delight thus far (all of one episode into it), and I thought Lady and the Tramp was well done (though that has never been one of my go-to Disney movies, so I didn’t know the storyline of it as well as I know the storyline of, say, Mulan).

Literally two days before Disney+ came out, I got an email from Apple letting me know I have a free year of Apple TV because my parents got new iPhones this fall (shoutout to family plans), and I honestly have next to no interest in signing up. Why on earth would I watch grown-up Apple TV when I have a treasure trove of Disney content available at my fingertips? (Although there is a Snoopy series on Apple TV that piqued my interest.) While I enjoy grown-up sitcoms (Friends, Parks & Recreation, etc.), honestly, give me Disney over grown-up entertainment any day. My life has enough stress in it to begin with (see item 1). I don’t need entertainment that adds to my stress. I want lighthearted, enjoyable, wholesome content that by, and as far as I’m concerned, Disney has the corner on that market.

Thursday Things

1. NO.

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NO. NO. NO.

I knew snow was in the forecast for this week, but the last time I watched a weather report (Monday morning), Andy Avalos of NBC 5 specifically said it would not accumulate. This is accumulation, Andy Avalos!!!

To be fair, he didn’t call for snow until Thursday afternoon/evening, and this fell Tuesday night into Wednesday morning (?!?!?!). BUT STILL. I didn’t even have a snow brush for my car yet 😦 Thankfully, I was able to borrow one, because I never would have been able to drive to work Wednesday morning otherwise. My car had a solid inch of super heavy, wet snow on it, and there’s no chance I would’ve been able to get it all off without a brush.

2. I have gotten sick way too many times this year, and I am OVER IT.

I woke up around 3 a.m. on Saturday with a sore throat, which was but a harbinger for the misery the rest of the day would hold for me. By the time I went to bed Saturday night, I had a low-grade fever, sinus pressure so ridiculous I thought my cheeks would explode, and such swollen and tender lymph nodes that I could feel them protesting being squished when I would look down. Fortunately, my fever was gone by Sunday afternoon, and I felt more or less like myself by Monday evening. Of course, I had family in town to see me specifically on Saturday, so the timing of the whole situation was a bit of a bummer.

But the bigger bummer is that this is the third time this year this has happened to me: once in March, once in July, and now this. What am I, a kindergartner? I should not get three upper respiratory infections in the space of one calendar year! PLUS, I was similarly sick last December! What gives?? My immune system needs to get itself in shape, because I am not here for this quarterly nonsense.

Oh, and just to add some irony to the whole situation: I had scheduled my flu shot for Sunday, but then I couldn’t get my flu shot on Sunday, because I was too sick to get a flu shot. Figures.

2. While I’m complaining about my health, I’d also like to file a complaint against my stupid teeth. I went to the dentist a couple of weeks ago for my second cleaning of 2019, and it was finally decided that the time has come for me to get a crown. Boo.

This wasn’t an enormous surprise. I made an effort to find a dentist all the way back in 2014 because I had noticed a suspicious black spot on one of my molars and was concerned it was a cavity. Turns out it wasn’t a cavity: it was (at the time) a craze line, a result of me apparently grinding my teeth at night. I didn’t believe I actually ground my teeth while sleeping, but after switching dentists in 2017 and being told by my new dentist, unprompted, that I grind my teeth, I decided these dental experts apparently knew more about me than I knew and agreed to get a night guard. Multiple trips to the dentist and like $300 later, I was the proud owner of my very own, custom-fit night guard, which I’ve worn faithfully (ish) since November or December of 2017. That night guard was supposed to keep my craze line from progressing to a crack. As you might have guessed, it didn’t, and the crack is now big enough for the scrapey hook tool they use at the dentist to catch on it. That means it’s big enough to be a problem, so by this time next week, I’ll have 27 real teeth tops, and one porcelain one. Boo.

I’m told that I should be grateful all I need is a crown, because if I let this go on too much longer, I’d need a root canal. While I suppose I am grateful that I don’t need a root canal (yet), I’m mostly annoyed that I spent $300 to postpone the problem rather than avoiding the problem. I’m also not looking forward to the procedure at. all. I mean, I suppose no one looks forward to dental work, but this is the first time I’ve needed any dental work (other than having my wisdom teeth extracted, that is), so I’m extra nervous about it. The dentist claims it will be fine, but the dentist also claimed that my night guard would keep this from happening, so what does he know?