The longevity of teenage bands on the whole is not promising. Often they are famous for being a one or two-hit-wonder, marketed by some conglomerate mega-company like Disney. They tour for a couple of years if that and then just fade away. This is not the case with Hanson, who after ten years still has it together now even more than ever and has not succumbed to the transient pop boy band.
This is the first time I saw Hanson. I took my daughter who is a huge Jonas Brothers fan and really was not familiar with these pop icons of the late 1990’s but wanted to go and check it out. We got to the venue called Showcase Live located next to Gillette Stadium and did not realize what a great show this would be. Two opening acts preceded Hanson: Everybody Else, a pop trio from LA who had made me envious of their endless energy on stage. Lead singer Garrick Moore Gerety along with drummer Mickey McCormack and bass player Austin James Williams took a fresh and honest approach to their music, incorporating some of their numerous musical influences like Nirvana, the Clash, and a Boston favorite, the Cars and gelled it all together in one unique style. Their new song Meat Market (I’ve been playing it constantly while writing this review-check it out on YouTube) is very catchy, addicting, and a feel good danceable number with amazing vocals. Trust me, this song will be huge. The next performer, Dave Barnes, with his band, stepped up and played some great Rhythm and Blues, getting the crowd going and laughing too. Barnes has a great sense of humor and actually has done stand up comedy in the past and after his set was meeting and greeting his new and old fans and signing his new CD.
After a short break, Hanson appeared, all grown up. But although the band was older, they are certainly wiser and never lost their sense of individuality. In terms of musical advancements they have matured and seemed to be at ease on stage as their dedicated fans cheered, chanted, smiled, and seemed to have given them the euphoric rock star high that they are so deserving of. Isaac on guitar, Zac on drums, and Taylor on keyboards along with two additional musicians took us on a musical history of what this band came from, where it is now and where it is going. Having experienced bad luck with major record labels for a number of years, they finally turned things around by starting their own indie label 3CG Records, allowing them to have the creative freedom they were starving for which was imminent in their newly released album The Walk. In the 20 plus song set, they managed a well-distributed variety of their music from past and present that included songs from Middle of Nowhere, their first commercial album, as well as including cuts from This Time Around and Underneath. Also included in the set was a great cover version of Hole in my Life, by The Police and I Want to Take You Higher, the 1969 funky, blues song by Sly and the Family Stone. I have always been leery of bands doing covers but these songs were executed perfectly. In addition to being great musicians, these brothers have an incredible range of vocals that compliments each other to a tee.
The energy remained high but Hanson brought it down just a bit in the middle, performing acoustic arrangements by Zac and Isaac. Here they talked about their charitable contributions for the people of South Africa. Their plea for help is in their music and explained to the crowd without being too preachy about their one mile barefoot walks before the show that raise money to help this needy country.
Then after the talk about the walk, Hanson broke out into eleven more songs continuing to span their ten-year history including the electric and magical MMMBop, which the fans came for-it was well worth the wait. Isaac played his guitar with a commercial yet very personal style while Zac on the drums played with a vengeance and Taylor on keyboards played his heart out.
Ending the show was a phenomenal encore that brought all three bands on stage with AC/DC’s
Long Way to the Top. The crowd went wild and the room became electric and I think after seeing this show we will be seeing more of all of these bands that combined enough energy and talent to electrify and attract many new fans and to hopefully keep us following their music for years to come.