Over the weekend Hanson once again hosted their ‘Back to the Island’ fanclub event. Once again it was held in Negril, Jamaica at the Grand Lido resort. (which had changed names and ownership since last years event)
While some fans arrived early, most came in on Friday, many having travel delays due to winter weather.
When fans arrived they checked in with Island Gigs and received their merch package – an embroidered towel, a t-shirt, a canvas bag, and a temporary tattoo. Lanyards stating whether you were in the green or red group were distributed as well. 2nd year attendees received (or will receive as they ran out) a pin.
Hanson was set to kick off the weekend with a show on the main beach at 10pm. The theme for the evening was ANTHEM, their 6th studio album from start to finish. They talked a bit about the songs and Zac had messed up and started playing You Can’t Stop Us a song too early. Once they were finished playing through the album, they decided that was not a long enough set, so they continued playing some favorites from other albums as well.
Day 2 kicked off early for green passes who had tie die with Zac at 11. Red passes had the hanlopedia trivia contest with Isaac at 3pm.
As a red pass, I attended trivia. We were given answer cards and were asked 10 multiple choice questions that were quite difficult! There were also 3 head to head questions where Isaac faced off against a fan.
At 530 it was time for the first solo set from Taylor. It was drizzling a bit so lyrics in ‘make it out alive’ were changed to ‘we may not make it out all dry’! He did a 7 song set.
At 10 it was once again time for a full band Hanson show. The theme was fanclub ep songs, or as Hanson said, “deep cuts”. They did a 20+ song set with a couple songs they had yet to perform live. Zac said he was amazed at how much guitar he was being allowed to play.
Day 3 was an early day for red passes with Zacs tie dye session. He taught 3 techniques – a cinnamon roll, a heart in the middle and a traditional circle pattern. He then went around to chat and help fans get theirs figured out. Everyone’s designs seemed to come out really nice! And many had dyed fingers after as well (Zac included!)
Green passes enjoyed Isaacs trivia contest which was co hosted by Matt Wertz. There were all new questions and Isaac actually read off the answers for this bunch and the previous sessions answers as well. The questions seemed to be a bit easier in session 2.
At 530 we once again went to the main beach for a solo show, this time Zac’s. He did a 9 song set of mostly B sides. When his set ended he made a dramatic exit by dropping the guitar by the amp.
The 10 pm beach show kicked off with Matt Wertz who did a 14 song set and seemed to be quite well received. Following Matt was Paul McDonald who did an 11 song set along with an encore medley including some Bob Marley, MMMBop and Penny and Me. He joked he had 25 lbs of cds to sell so his bag would be lighter the way back home.
Day 4 had no event until photos with the band. Lining up began at 230 and while it was supposed to start at 3, Hanson arrived a bit later than that. Photos were taken in the lobby / atrium and fans received a signed 8×10 at this time as well.
Isaacs solo set was supposed to start at 530 but was delayed due to the photos going long. Fans were instead treated to watching the stages roof being raised. Isaac did a mix of songs and gave us our first repeat of the event when he did best of times. (they had said they would try to not repeat anything through all the shows)
After Isaacs set was the grand banquet on the beach complete with a steel drum band that were covering P!nk, fun., the wanted, among other songs.
Fans prepared that at 10pm we would see the last set of the trip, the fan voted setlist. The set was made up of mainly album songs (I wouldn’t be surprised if the higher voted fanclub songs were worked in to the earlier set) but it did include rare songs Ever Lonely and Cried. They seemed a bit nervous before doing Cried, Isaac even did the sign of the cross before they started, but it went well and after it was over they gave each other high fives. We had a couple more repeats with Every Word I Say and Thinking Bout Somethin.
For the encore they were joined by Paul and Matt and sang Back to the Island. Then they decided to do one more repeat song since the weekend was unofficially dubbed ‘The Best Of Times’ and sang, of course, Best Of Times still joined by Matt, Paul and JP.
After the show was Taylor’s DJ after party. Zac joined him on stage while Isaac hung in the back taking photos with fans. Zac and Taylor were also joined throughout the DJ set by Paul, Matt, Andrew and Demetrius to dance and get the crowd hyped up. The after party was a lot of fun, and went until 2am.
Shuttles began departing the resort at 6am on Tuesday. Fans said sad goodbyes to their friends new and old. We do not yet have details on when the next event will be. Taylor had said at the last show that there would be another event in the future, but it may not be next year. Details will be coming.