Hanson still causing hysterical screams

By | September 15, 2010

AZ Central

For anyone wondering what kind of crowd might show up at a Hanson show in 2010, especially on a night when the Jonas Brothers are playing across town, the answer is pretty simple: lots of screaming female fans.

When the Oklahoma band of brothers took to the stage of the Mesa Art Center Tuesday night, Sept. 14, they were greeted by the kind of hysterical screaming and manic crowd energy that have followed them throughout their 13-year career. Playing before a nearly full house, the boyish trio proved they can still get a crowd singing along, and even after an hour and a half, keep them screaming for more.

After opening sets by local band You Hang Up, featuring “Malcolm in the Middle” star Frankie Muniz on drums, and Massachusetts pop rockers A Rocket to the Moon, the crowd seemed to be bursting at the seams with anticipation. And once brothers Isaac, Taylor, and Zac Hanson ran on stage, all that energy was released in an overwhelming, collective scream.

Dressed in suspenders, tight jeans and a striped v-neck shirt, Taylor Hanson took charge of the show, pounding his keyboard and wailing out the lead vocals as the band launched into a high energy rendition of “Waiting for This,” a tune from their latest record, this year’s “Shout It Out.”

Backed by a bassist and extra guitarist/pianist, the brothers hit the stage with all the precision and confidence of a band that’s spent a lot of time onstage together. That’s not too surprising, considering that when they released their breakthrough album, 1997’s “Middle of Nowhere,” the oldest brother was 16 years old and the youngest was only 11. Yet, that record spawned their biggest hit, the No. 1 single “MMMBop,” and earned three Grammy nominations.

Hanson never matched that degree of commercial success again, but they managed to steadily earn themselves a devoted fan base with their brand of ultra-catchy, soul-inspired pop rock. “Shout It Out,” their eighth album, debuted at No. 30 on the Billboard charts, and they recently performed a five-night sold out run in New York City.

With Issac breaking into his best shredding guitar solo and Zac pounding away on the drums like Animal from the Muppets, Taylor spent the start of the show helping to loosen up the crowd, which seemed a little stifled by the Arts Center’s assigned seating.

“I don’t want to see any nerves out there tonight,” he said. “No one’s watching you, so dance and have a good time.

That seemed to soften up the somewhat stiff crowd, because by the time the band launched into “Make It Out Alive,” nearly everyone was on their feet. The audience featured a wide mix of fans, including a large percentage of people that looked too young to have gotten into the brothers because of “MMMBop.”

Hanson took songs from throughout their catalog, including the harmonica-driven “If Only,” the Zac-helmed “And I Waited” and “Where’s the Love” from “Middle of Nowhere.” And while most music snobs would certainly turn up their noses at their campy lyrics and innocent pop style, the energy of the show could not be denied.

After blasting out tunes such as “Runaway Run,” “Hey” and “Carry You There,” the band abruptly left the stage. The brothers then returned alone, with Taylor and Issac sitting down with their instruments, and Zac sitting center stage atop a drum box. After joking about the many shouts of “I Love You” issuing from the crowd, they performed “Kiss Me When You Come Home” and “Penny & Me,” two tracks that highlighted their effortless harmonies.

Following “A Song to Sing,” the rest of the band returned and the energy was back in the show as they performed “Been There Before.” By this time, the concert had been going on for over an hour, but neither Hanson nor the crowd showed any sign of slowing down. Audience members continued their screams, while straining against the stage and reaching out their hands whenever one of the brothers came within grabbing distance.

For their part, the Hanson boys seemed to be having as much fun as anyone, smiling as they delivered songs such as “This Time Around,” “Voice in the Chorus” and “Hand in Hand.”

While the crowd seemed to know the words to every tune, when Issac plucked out the opening guitar riff of “MMMBop,” the reaction was intense. As a room full of fans screamed, the guitarist shook his head and cracked a crooked smirk, as if he expected people to be tired of that silly song by now but was glad that they weren’t.

“Thanks for 13 years everybody,” said Taylor before they closed the night with the funk-inspired “Give a Little” and an encore performance of “Lost Without Each Other.”

“We promise to keep coming to see you, if you promise to keep coming to see us,” he added with a smile as Hanson took a group bow. And judging by the way the crowd pushed closer to grab the hands of Taylor and Issac as they ran offstage, Hanson has plenty of scream-filled shows yet to play.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/thingstodo/music/articles/2010/09/15/20100915hanson-mesa-concert-review.html#ixzz0zcywdFjK

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