Hanson shows musical maturity at Melody Tent

By | July 24, 2010

Cape Cod Melody Tent

HYANNIS – More than a decade ago, the golden-haired hunks of Hanson made one of the most perfect pop songs of the 1990s.

The trio – Taylor, Issac and Zac – is still just as much of a not-so-guilty pleasure, spinning guitar riffs and gorgeously harmonized voiced vocals into the perfect cotton candy music for a Cape Cod summer night.

Performing at the Cape Cod Melody Tent last night, the Oklahoma brothers were all grown up but just as adorable. This time around, though, they’ve got the musical chops – a combination of a decade of touring and pure-as-the-driven-snow talent – to overcome their pop past.

The towheaded trio began their set with a few new songs – they do have albums other than 1997’s “Middle of Nowhere” – and a few old favorites. The performance mixed the band’s goody-two-shoes pop with the more mature stylings of a band that wants to make it happen for a long time coming.

Don’t let Hanson’s fan base or their supposed pop mentality fool you: These guys know what they’re doing.
Taylor, on piano, wields a scythe-sharp voice, while Issac, on guitar, rips through musical genres like it’s nobody’s business.

And don’t forget drummer/vocalist Zac was one of the youngest people in Grammy history to be nominated for a songwriting award.

Taylor, too, knows how to rock. He was part of the supergroup Tinted Windows with members of Cheap Trick, the Smashing Pumpkins and Fountains of Wayne.

Whether performing the still-catchy “MMMBop” or slowing it down to an acoustic, bongo-enhanced jam, the boys of Hanson deserve the opportunity to be taken seriously.

Opening band Rooney, a Los Angeles-based pop-punk outfit, warrant a second look, too.
Clear-voiced and ample-guitared, the Rooney guys could pass for a brunette version of Hanson. Sweet but a little sour, Rooney was an opening band with the potential for more.

Overall, last night’s Melody Tent offering was a show that wasn’t dampened by the torrential rain, even if the screaming fans were more than a little bit soggy.

Hanson has added a few more complicated guitar riffs and several kids, but the members of the band are still cute, still blond and still amazing harmonizers.

And honestly, that’s all that matters.