Hanson Fans to have their say in Philly

By | October 14, 2011


Hanson fans can have their say in what the three brothers sing at their concert on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the TLA in Philadelphia.
They can go online and vote for the album they want to hear the band play. Fans get three choices: “The Walk,” Shout It Out” and “Middle of Nowhere.”
“It’s making it be a bit of a challenge for us. We’ve changed the set list before, but to change the list this much and to not be in control at all is very challenging,” said Zac Hanson, the youngest brother in the band.
In the music business for nearly two decades now, the trio — Zac, Isaac and Talyor — who came on the scene with the huge teen hit, “MMMBop” in 1997, took up this new concert challenge with tons of enthusiasm. In fact, Zac was thrilled to put the fans first.
“It’s a show for the fans. They’re having a lot of sway over what we’re doing,” he said.
The tour follows their 5of5, five-night concert series. The band played each of their five albums in their entirety in five consecutive nights which led to a five-disc DVD box set.
“Most of the people that came out, came to all five shows,” Zac said. “So we thought, ‘how do we share this with a bigger fan base?’ So we came up with this concept of letting people vote.”
So far, different albums are taking top honors each night, but that’s OK with Zac, too.
“It’s been great to engage the fans,” he said. “It doesn’t matter to me which album ultimately wins.”
And it’s not just about the fans. It’s also about the three brothers. They’ve been working together for a long time, but they still enjoy it.
“It’s a relationship you have to work at,” he said. “I’ve been married for five years and it’s similar to that … to keep a band together, to be happy together, it takes work.”
It’s the music that keeps them together, he said. It’s a bond that began when the threesome lived overseas for about a year and listened to a very limited amount of music.
“We only listened to rock from the ’50s and ’60s at the time,” Zac said.
From listening to these songs, the boys started singing and recording rock-and-roll classics such as “Rockin’ Robin,” “Splish Splash” and “Johnny B. Goode.”
“We started listening to that stuff and it just clicked. We sang a cappella for years … we were like a barbershop trio,” Zac said.
Their first performance on stage as a group took place in 1992 when Zac was just 6 years old.
“Next year, it will be 20 years we’ve been performing together,” he said.
Their most recent album, “Shout It Out,” released last year, was a tribute to the music they started singing together all those years ago.
Right now, the band’s focus is on this tour.
“We’re not afraid to do things differently. You’ve got to find ways to appeal to people these days. You’ve got to find a way to make the music an immersive experience for fans,” Zac said.
But fans can expect another album from the brothers soon, Zac said.
“Next year, we’ll be working on more new music.”
If you go: Hanson will perform at Theatre of Living Arts, 334 South St., Philadelphia, Thursday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 and $35. For tickets visit, livenation.com or call, 800-745-3000.