Standing outside of The Depot last night I was feeling a mixture of embarrassment and excitement over being in line for the Hanson concert.
The excitement mostly stemmed from the fact that Kelly, my best friend from high school flew in from Northern Virginia to go to the concert with me. It should be noted that she is a flight attendant, so she flies all over the world for free. Flying out to Salt Lake for Hanson was definitely for nostalgic purposes and for the simple fact that we wanted to see each other.
The nostalgia that comes into play regarding Hanson is based on the fact that Kelly and I used to tease each other on a constant basis over Hanson. We knew one song by the then pre-pubescent teens, and that song was “MMMBop”. That song alone was reason enough to not take them seriously. And we didn’t. But we loved being complete dorks and making each other birthday cards covered in Hanson pictures taken from magazines like “Teen Beat”.
Thirteen years later, I get the opportunity to interview Isaac Hanson, the oldest brother in the group and the one that Kelly had deemed as my “lover” when I was 16. I was pretty excited about the interview but mostly because I wanted to know if people really took them seriously. They are all adults now and each brother is married with children. In fact, between the three brothers, there are 7 kids. They have continued to make music for the past 13 years and have taken part in various charitable acts. Though they have been active for so long, I had no idea that they were even a band anymore.
My interview with Isaac went surprisingly well. I was impressed with his ability to catch up on the past 13 years and answer questions about whether or not people do in fact take Hanson seriously without sounding offended or pissed off. He was kind, humorous, and maintained a strong conviction that Hanson is a group of musically talented brothers who if given the chance, will impress even the most doubting of critics.
After my interview with Isaac, I was actually excited to see them perform. But still a little embarrassed. The threesome took the stage at 9:50 p.m. They started out with the title song from their latest record, “Shout It Out”. Though The Depot was not as packed as I have seen it before, it was still pretty full, and as soon as the group started singing, the floor became a movement of jumping bodies and flailing arms. Kelly and I looked at each other and laughed at the reality of where we were. Rather than be snobby about it, we just let ourselves go and enjoyed the show.
The set went on for two hours without much of a break. The drummer Zac looked a little bored while he was playing, but that could just be what he looks like in general and not a reflection of how he felt about being in Salt Lake. Taylor, the former and I should say current heartthrob of the band rocked the keyboards like a pro. His set up was pretty cool because it was a double-layered keyboard (I am sure that there is some technical term for this) and he rocked the shit out of it. Isaac too was impressive on the guitar. Though I wouldn’t expect him to become a guitar legend any time soon, he rocked a few chords and riffs that garnered plenty of appreciative claps and yells.
My favorite aspect of the show was that the boys can definitely harmonize. They have wonderful voices and that cannot be denied. I loved it when they sat at the front of the stage together and harmonized an acoustic set. My favorite song was the one that Isaac performed alone in dedication to his wife since last night was their four year anniversary. I am not sure what the song was called, I think it was called “Everyday”, but it was really beautiful.
Overall, I would say that the Hanson show was a good experience. Kelly and I were both impressed with the performance. They are definitely talented musicians and put on a great show. There was even a group of guys behind me jumping and singing along to a degree of annoyance but at the same time, it was so unexpected at a show like that that I couldn’t help but laugh.
Kelly and I bought “I heart Hanson” shirts to add to the nostalgia of the night. I can promise that anyone reading this article will most likely never see me wearing the shirt. Do I actually “heart” Hanson? I don’t think so. I enjoyed their performance and would maybe even see them again. But, their stuff is still a bit too poppy for me. Isaac’s promise was fulfilled though, I did have a really good time overall. And I can say without hesitation that the boys are good. It just may take me a little longer yet to get over the memory of them being 11, 14 and 16, and singing “MMMBop” on MTV like it was something that actually made sense.