Hanson lets us decide what they’ll play

By | October 20, 2011

Hampton Roads

Hanson burst onto the music scene as teens with the album “Middle of Nowhere.” The debut peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s 200 chart in 1997.

The group’s sunny pop and youth were reminiscent of The Jackson 5 of the ’70s. Today, the three brothers, now in their 20s and 30s, have put a more mature spin on hit songs such as “MMMBop.” Hanson will play Sunday at The NorVa in Norfolk.

Isaac, Taylor and Zac listened to ’50s and ’60s rock ‘n’ roll during their childhood in Tulsa, Okla., but it was Motown artists that influenced their soulful brand of pop music. “We listened to Chuck Berry, Otis Redding and anything rooted in R&B,” said Isaac, the oldest of the brothers, from a tour stop in Chicago.

The 55-city Musical Ride Tour allows fans to vote for the album they would like to hear the group play in its entirety at the show, choosing from three of Hanson’s five studio albums. For The NorVa show, fans will choose from last year’s “Shout It Out,” 1997’s “Middle of Nowhere” or “This Time Around” from 2000. The group’s other albums are 2004’s “Underneath” and 2007’s “The Walk,” and will rotate into the fan voting.

The fan-choice tour was inspired by Hanson’s “5 of 5” five-night concert series that was released as a DVD box set.

“When we released ‘Shout It Out’ we debuted the music to the fans literally around the world both through a concert series, but also through streaming online,” Isaac said. “We did five concerts in New York City, in which we did an album a night.” Hanson repeated the “5 of 5” series in London earlier this year.

“By rotating out the albums, every single record has an even opportunity to win, and fans love the experience. We’re still hitting the highlights of our career no matter which album is featured.”

To cast your vote for The NorVa show, visit www.hanson.net. Voting ends 24 hours before the show.

“Playing a lot of the music has been a really cool experience for not only us, but for our fans,” Isaac added. “We all have a personal connection to the songs, which adds a sentimental value.”