When you mention Hanson to someone they just roll their eyes because all they remember are three mop-headed, precocious home-schooled over-achievers with high-pitched girly voices. The brothers have come a long way since 1997’s “Mmmbop.” They’re road warriors now with over 15 years of experience under their belts and their professionalism was apparent at the first of a two-night stand at the House of Blues.
Sure, the exuberant choruses, shimmering harmonies and the all-too-earnest lyrics that girls can fervently pin their romantic expectations on will always thrust the band into the bubblegum pop category, but as a mature unit, Hanson incorporates elements of Led Zepplin, The Cars and Motown’s roster of hit makers into its sound. Taylor’s always been the star, it’s those prominent cheekbones, but eldest brother Isaac is the heavyweight, anchoring the set with his showy, yet impressive guitar licks.
Per an online fan vote, Hanson played 2000’s “This Time Around” in its entirety with a flamenco-tinged “Can’t Stop” and a 60’s soul-influenced “You Never Know” as standouts. A stripped-down, acoustic “Penny and Me” showed off Hanson’s enviable songwriting skills while you couldn’t help but do The Swim to an “American Bandstand”-ready “Give a Little.” “Mmmbop” lost its hyperactive sugar high, but kept its irresistible bounce.
A fan accidently falling from the upper balcony robbed us of an encore, but fortunately he limped away from the mishap. You can still get tickets for tonight’s show at livenation.com. They’ll run you 45 bucks.