When Hanson appeared on stage the shrieking screams were deafening. If you’ve seen them before, you know that is a normal welcoming from their enthusiastic fans. The band ignited the crowd with “Fired Up”, the opening track on their new album Anthem. Not surprising, the die-hards knew every word. By the fourth song they were digging into their repertoire of pop-rock classics like “Where’s the Love” and “Crazy Beautiful.” As Taylor introduced “This Time Around” a Hanson favorite, he said “…with six albums under our belt it’s hard to choose which songs to select each night”.
They left the stage and returned with Zac joining his brother’s front and center playing a cajon drum box during an acoustic version of “Penny and Me.” Following this song, Isaac took a moment to thank everyone who participated in that afternoons walk. The mile long walk before each show is a Hanson tradition expressing support against poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Demonstrating the individual talents of the band, the middle of the show showcased each member singing a solo song. Isaac and Zac strummed acoustic guitars while Taylor remained behind the piano for his solo performance.
Hanson continued to churn one sing-along after another. Old and new, the crowd knew every lyric. My favorite was “And I Waited”, which featured Zac on lead vocals while playing drums. I’ve always been impressed with a drummer that can pull that off. After 16 years, Hanson still managed to put a new twist…or at least add some freshness to “MMM Bop”, the song that sky-rocketed them to fame via MTV. Unfortunately, some people think “MMM Bop” defined the band.
Hanson has depth. They continue to grow as musicians, writing pop songs infused with the groove of 60’s soul, layered with harmonies equal to classic acts like Crosby Stills and Nash. As always, another amazing performance by Hanson…a band that continues to redefine and remain relevant.