Grown-up Hanson rely on great music for superb live show

By | November 8, 2010


Gone are the long blonde locks and the bubblegum pop – they’ve been replaced by three grown men with a catchy indie sound.

Hanson, a trio of brothers who got their start as teen pop stars in the late ‘90s, played Revolution in Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday night to a very enthusiastic crowd.

Hanson took the stage and opened with “Can’t Stop,” off their This Time Around album released in 2000.

With Taylor on piano and keyboards, Isaac on guitar and Zac on drums, they played songs from all their albums with what seemed like such effortless musical prowess.

This was one of the few shows I’d been to recently that was really all about the music – no pyrotechnics, no flashy lights, no costume changes.

One of the highlights for me was the sort of acoustic break in the middle of the show. Taylor and Isaac played acoustic guitars and Zac played a box drum. This was especially great during the song “Go,” in which Zac provides the only vocals. It’s such an emotional song and Zac performed it with such power. Just another testament to Hanson’s true musicality.

Of course they played the songs that introduced them to the mainstream: “MMMBop,” and “Where’s the Love.” These songs still made me as happy now as when I first heard them in ’97.

The brothers also talked a little about the walk they organize in every city they play in. Partnering with TOMS Shoes, the brothers – and their fans – walk a mile barefoot before every concert to raise money and represent the struggles of poverty African children face on a daily basis.

Taylor thanked fans for helping them to “raise money to fight poverty in Africa in a very tangible way.”

The thing that I notice a lot of people don’t realize about Hanson is, not only the difference they work to make in the world around them, but the sheer musical ability they possess. They each play multiple instruments, write their own songs and are pretty astounding vocally.

I think a lot of people still see them as three kids singing a song with incomprehensible lyrics, but they are so much more than that. I would really encourage all those people still stuck on hating the 1997 version of Hanson to really give them a listen. “The Walk” is my favorite of their albums. I guarantee it will make you think twice about them.

Opening for Hanson was Jarrod Gorbel, lead singer of indie band The Honorary Title. Gorbel, armed with an acoustic guitar and backup singer and vioinist Dré, had the whole room swaying.

Gorbel has a great sound and he and Dré played seamlessly together. Their set was very mellow and relaxing – like a musical version of a bubble bath.