When we got to talk with Hanson this week, the boys were in town for more than just fulfilling our every past/present/future dream, (although thanks for that too, guys!). The trio was also in New York for another stop on the Walk Around the World Tour. Hanson kicks off the afternoon before each show with a mile-long amble to raise money and awareness for AIDS and poverty in Africa. The ultimate goal is to collectively walk 24,902 miles — the earth’s circumference — and they donate $1 for everyone that participates. “I think the walk is a symbol in a lot of ways of a wave of action that have come, and will continue to come from our generation,” Taylor explained. “We don’t want to take on these issues the same way they’ve been taken on before, and we have a lot more tools to use.”
So besides that warm, fuzzy we’re-doing-a-good-thing feeling, here’s what we found on The Walk (after the jump):
Quality Time Fans of the band, rejoice! This is more than just a fleeting passion project, the brothers Hanson are serious and willing to do whatever it takes to spread the word. They walk with the fans swarming around them, barely breaking stride to smile for pictures or answer questions.
Naked Tootsies No, they’re REALLY serious about the cause. Dodging handsy Fansons is one thing, but the boys do it barefoot in every city. Only this time it was New York’s Times Square (a place that some people — cough, Slezak, cough — won’t even wear sandals in). “People are like, ‘Oh man, you’re going to walk barefoot…on THAT?'” Isaac laughed. Taylor spelled it out simply: “We’re trying to explain that we can accomplish great things, but what it all comes down to is that you have to do really small things.”
Mixed Motives Followers of Hanson have always been fanatic and devout in their belief in the band, so naturally they followed the brothers, shoes in hand. Some really got behind the boys’ cause: Tish Coleman, who had been on 22 walks, passed out fliers to confused onlookers that explained what the walk signified and encouraged them to join. And others just got behind the boys: “I just want to reach out and squeeze his butt!” whispered a female fan, as she eyed Zac’s skinny-jeaned-booty walking a foot in front of her.
Confused Onlookers The site of 100+ twenty-somethings following a trio of fraternal pied pipers with a megaphone perplexed even the weirdos in Times Square. Suits out for their smoke breaks thought it was a “class trip,” and street vendors yelled at the overgrown teenyboppers. Back at the concert venue, the boys agreed that this walk was “more aggressive” and “pushier” than the previous ones. “But that’s just New Yorkers!” Zac surmised. Hey…
Rock Band We’ve seen 14 Hanson shows between the two of us, but this was probably the best. The simple stage, adorned only with not much more than a handful of instruments for each brother to juggle, was illuminated with their boundless energy. Their crystal clear voices seem effortlessly in tune with each other, and their harmonies merely another instrument in their set. Hanson legitimately rocked, and their 94th mile of the tour seemed only to add to their spirit — on stage and off.
So take The Walk! Both the cause and the concert are worth it, so tag along with your friendly neighborhood Hanson fan (everyone has one) or read more about The Walk and what you can do to help on the official site.
Have any of our MMMBopping PopWatchers out there been to one of their concerts or walks yet? And what about your pre-concert rituals?
—Additional reporting by Jean Bentley