Hanson kicked off the night at the Uptown Theatre. Admittedly, before the show, Sutton and I had a few jokes about 1997′s MMMbop, and weren’t expecting much more from Hanson. Nonetheless, I should have realized that any act successfully merging from the 1.0 internet days when AOL was the internet, to the 2.0 social networking media frenzy that the internet is today, certainly knows a thing or two about music, how to survive and how their audience has grown up since 1997. And grown up – to the point that I was pretty impressed with their show – is exactly what Hanson has done.
As the house lights dimmed, the three brothers energetically took the stage huddling over a single spot-lit microphone, center stage, instruments set aside. Even before MMMbop, the brothers were inspired to sing by listening to genuinely talented harmonies out of the late fifties and early sixties. Thus, even without any instruments or computer enhancement, Hanson had no trouble quickly silencing the audience with their gospel acapella. Their set was impressively diverse spanning from Give A Little, their latest single where all proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund for April to help victim’s of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan, to a couple handpicked classics from “Middle of Nowhere” like Where’s The Love. I have respect for the fact that, much to the crowd’s pleasure, Hanson also isn’t so focused on proving that they have grown up and have a lot of good new materials, that they weren’t afraid to play the song that jump-started their career in the first place – MMMbop.
As it turns out, present-day Hanson is the same band they were over fifteen years ago, but a lot more talented and increasingly and impressively worldly-conscious. The confirmation came backstage when I had a chance to meet with them and discuss their ongoing efforts to continue making good music. When interview questions quickly turned into laughter and friendly conversation, I also saw that this group isn’t one to be labeled a “one-hit wonder” and isn’t going away anytime soon. Ultimately, their talent and actions speak for themselves and I’d suggest anyone give some of their new materials a listen.
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