The life of a Hanson superfan (and my chance to interview them!)

By | November 16, 2015

Orlando Sentinel

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/travel/os-caitlin-dineen-talks-about-her-hanson-superfan-experience-20151113-premiumvideo.html

^Link to video

I wish I had a time machine.

Or, at the very least, the ability to tell my 11-year-old self that one day my cell phone would ring and on the other end would be Taylor Hanson.

Yes, younger version of me trapped in 1997 with unfortunate Bugle Boy glasses and unruly curly hair, Taylor Hanson is calling you for an interview. (More on that later…)

And for anyone who doesn’t know exactly who I’m talking about, let me give you a one-word refresher: Mmmbop.

Hanson, a trio of brothers from Tulsa, Okla., first burst into the musical scene nearly two decades ago with that infectious hit song. It didn’t take me long to fall into the ranks of little girls screaming their little heads off for their music.

The boys men, Isaac, Taylor and Zac, now ages 34, 32 and 30, were able to reduce me to my prepubescent self last week as they took the stage at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival for three nights. Judging from the hordes of adult women who stood in line for each show, I wasn’t alone.

I guess it’s time I admit I’m a Hanson superfan. A die-hard, no-shame-about-it, listen-to-them-on-the-regular fan girl.

I mean, c’mon, I had Hanson birthday parties when I was little. And I’m not saying my birthdays were themed around them. I’m talking the fact I celebrated theirbirthdays with individual parties in March, October and November for more years than I can recall.

I’d decorate my house, invite friends over and force my mom to make cupcakes with me.

That was one “weird” part about my Hanson obsession, according to my mother, Geri Dineen.

“The music was terrific,” said Dineen. “It was fun music which meant I, as your mom, could encourage you as a pre-teen to think the boys were cute.”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I interviewed my own mother for this article. I thought I knew what kind of Hanson fan I was growing up, but I wanted my mom’s opinion since she was the one who purchased every T-shirt, cassette tape, pillow case, poster, concert ticket, etc.

That list, if you’re curious, barely scratches the surface.

“Everything that was Hanson that came out you wanted to have,” my mother said.

And, let’s be honest, not much has changed in the last 20 years for me in that respect.

The group has released nearly 10 albums in that time and I’m the proud owner of all of them. I have favorite songs I listen to on repeat. I have songs I can’t go a day without listening to.

Fast forward to 2015 and thanks to the group coming to Orlando last week, my coworkers have been learning these little tidbits about me since last month or so.

I was able to see six of the nine concerts at Epcot and met fellow superfans, a massive group of people who dance and sing along to each song without an ounce of worry. I even met a fantastic couple the first night (hi Mary and Charlie!) who I think will be friends for many years to come.

This, folks, is the power of Hanson.

I interviewed Taylor Hanson Nov. 6. I wanted the scoop on what kind of shows they had planned for us. I wanted to know what it felt like to play at Walt Disney World. Let’s face it, I wanted to know whatever he would tell me.

We talked a little bit about everything, but one thing really stuck with me. The band likes having grown up with their fans.

“It’s just really thrilling to realize we have shared our lives and our music with people for such a long time,” said Taylor Hanson. “And, thankfully, there’s so many people that have positive association that talk about ‘Gosh, this was meaningful to me when I was 16’ and ‘it was meaningful to me when I was 25’ and ‘I had this thing going on and I met this great friend because I was a fan’.”

Knowing their music might have defined various parts of our lives, as fans, isn’t lost on them at all.

“And all those things together, I think, really just add up to the journey of what you want as an artist,” the 32-year-old said. “Which is to do what you love and feel like you’re part of something that is kind of bigger than you.”

Well, Taylor, I’d say mission accomplished.