Written by Poppy Reid on Jun 23, 2017
Hanson’s live show has ushered in a multi-million-dollar business for the band. With 16 million records sold, they’ve been able to remain wholly independent, launch their own label (3CG), a beer company, a festival, and support the 13 children they have between them.
Of course, none of this was relevant at their Sydney concert as Taylor Hanson tipped his hat to the absent, the uninitiated, and thanked the lifers.
“We know you guys have taken some shit,” he said to 1,600 fans at the Enmore Theatre on Wednesday. “It’s not about the battles, it’s about the war.”
It’s been 20 years since Hanson released their rarefied pop spectacular Middle Of Nowhere, and 25 years since they started making music together at ages six (Zac), nine (Taylor) and 11 (Isaac).
But time has been kind to the brothers three, with any suggestion their spark may be dulled quickly dismissed from the opening notes of ‘Already Home’, taken from 2013’s Anthem.
It might age you to think that Hanson have been regularly releasing albums since before The Spice Girls went number one with ‘Wannabe’ – but if the thought of eight packed theatres across Australia confuses you, then you haven’t seen them live.
Across tracks like ‘Look At You’, ‘Weird’ and ‘Where’s The Love’ from Middle Of Nowhere, through to ‘This Time Around’, ‘Penny And Me’ and ‘Get The Girl Back’ from confessional records Underneath, The Walk and This Time Around, Hanson’s pondering of fragility and painfully wise life lessons were nowhere to be seen. In their place were three pop icons (with two largely ignored onstage guitarists) delivering two hours of rapturous escapism.
The concert, part of Hanson’s global Middle Of Everywhere tour, also marks the 20-year anniversary of their first Australian visit – back when they were deemed Aussie anyway because of their long blonde tresses and the fact they surfed in the ‘MMMBop’ video clip.
Those of you who remember Hanson’s maiden Australian voyage will also remember the pandemonium of truanting schoolgirls who went to see them – their faces red from screaming and streaked with black ink as the letters in “I <3 Hanson” were sliced with tears.
Hanson’s first of two sold-out Sydney shows may have been a little more subdued, but when one woman interjected Taylor’s heart-breaking (and morbid) ballad ‘With You In Your Dreams’ by screaming “Zac is fucking hot!” it wasn’t deemed rude. We all got it.
The fans weren’t just hanging out for the radio hits or the hair on this 25-year milestone – although there were plenty of both. When Hanson performed brand new single ‘I Was Born’ – the only song they’ve put out this year – they crowd sang along verbatim.
Hanson were reviewed at the Enmore Theatre on Wednesday June 21. Photos by Ashley Mar