Cain’s Ballroom was hopping last Wednesday night as people gathered for Hanson’s “Use Your Sole” tour, sponsored by TOMS Shoes and featuring Sherwood, Steeltrain and Hellogoodbye.
Sherwood opened the show around 6:30 p.m., and the alternative band was followed by New Jersey-based ska band Steeltrain. Although both bands gave solid performances, it was evident that the throngs of screaming fans were more interested in Hellogoodbye.
The electro-pop phenoms took the stage in clothes that complimented their nerdy-punk image. The band’s use of syncopated rhythms, smooth pop and alternative rock demonstrated a diverse musical range.
In a single song, a trombone, a ukulele, miniscule maracas and a tambourine were all used in addition to the band’s staples: the guitar, bass, piano, keyboard and drums. Hello, talent; goodbye, mundane.
The only not-so-pleasant features of the performance were the long pauses between some of the songs. Front man Forrest Kline took note of the awkward silences and attempted to fill the void with simple chatter. However, he seemed to find this unsatisfactory and offered a full explanation and apology, stating that the large number of guitars used during the performance was throwing their timing off.
“Here we are manually tuning [the guitars],” Kline said. “We usually have around 16 guitars, all tuned differently for these shows. You guys deserve better and I’m sorry.”
After the apology and a superb closing song, Hellogoodbye took their leave. Screams erupted when the brothers finally took up their instruments: Isaac on guitar, Zac on drums and Taylor on piano/keyboard. Many of the songs played were as yet unreleased to the public, but the cheering audience received them with enthusiasm.
Some songs were familiar favorites, such as “Where’s the Love” from the 1997 album “Middle of Nowhere.” Once during the performance, the elder two brothers gave Zac the piano and microphone for a solo. Zac admitted he was nervous but carried off his performance gracefully.
Toward the end of the set the brothers played their classic, “MMMBop,” much to the joy of the fans. Eventually, though, the fun had to end and Hanson closed with a cover of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey.
After the final ovations and encores, the brothers came back to the stage to thank fans for supporting their mission to combat poverty and AIDS in Africa. Each night of their tour opens with a mile-long walk, part of Hanson’s “Take the Walk” campaign, which benefits multiple charitable causes.