MmmBop with Hanson

By | October 10, 2020

Fairfax Times

The popular ’90s brother-based trio will offer a series of livestream concerts

The coronavirus has effectively cancelled most live performances around our area, and even though places like Jammin Java, The State Theatre and the Birchmere have all successfully held limited socially-distance-style concerts, a lot of the bigger acts who were planning large U.S. tours have been silenced.

One of those bands is ’90s pop stars, Hanson. Comprised of brothers Zac. Isaac and Taylor, Hanson rose to fame in 1997, selling 10 million copies of their debut album, “Middle of Nowhere,” which included the chart-topping single, “MmmBop.”

Over a 28-year-career, the siblings have continued to record and tour, releasing six studio albums and selling more than 16 million albums. Hanson’s most recent album found them playing alongside symphony orchestras in some of the world’s premiere concert halls.

“Our breakout was a combination of hard work and luck, with the stars aligning with the right sound when the world was ready,” Isaac Hanson said. “When I look back now, I am more appreciative than ever that we had the opportunity we had. We are always grateful to every fan that shows us and always pride ourselves with hard work.”

The three brothers were on total lockdown during the pandemic but have been working together in the studio writing this summer.

“Half of what we do is going out and being in front of crowds, so we had to think about what the next three projects we wanted to do are, and used our time to begin writing and recording and planning for the upcoming year,” said Isaac Hanson. “We’ve always been metaphorical in our writing and write what means something to us, but the environment absolutely impacts us. We are looking at the challenges and the need for hope.”

Wanting to give their fans a chance to see them “live,” the band will be live streaming a series of concerts from the landmark Cain’s Ballroom in their hometown of Tulsa, Okla.

“All of us across the country have had our challenges, and we’re starting to see some positives as we try to do the most positive things we can do amidst a really difficult environment,” Isaac Hanson said. “We wanted to find a way to do a limited, safe, audience-participation show and cater to our most engaged fans.”

The first shows will take place Oct. 9-11 and three more shows will follow each month through January with dates of Nov. 5-7, Dec. 4-6 and Jan. 8-10.

“Several things about our fan community and career path play into what makes these concerts really work,” Isaac Hanson said. “All of us are trying to be respectful of people’s comfort and safety. We knew we wanted to find a way to share music with fans, but we also wanted to bring attention to the important live music venues which are facing economic hardship without fans.”

Hanson has worked hard over their career to build a large fan base and keep them engaged through social media and special content posted just for them.

“We wanted to make sure we did something for fans across the world, who hopefully come see us when we go to London or Brazil, or anywhere across the concert, but also wanted to make sure that those who have been the most connected in our community would get a chance to possibly be in the room with us,” Isaac Hanson said. “What’s happening with these shows is the space allows us just enough to have some fans there, spread out at tables with people they know, so they can feel the energy of a live show in a safe way.”

That energy will also be felt by those watching the live stream online and he promises that it will feel almost like being there in person and not just a taped recording.

“Every set of shows will be different, so each month will have a different theme,” Isaac Hanson said. “The October shows will be based on our live album, Live Electric, which we did in Australia 15 years ago and really is a sort of best-of, so we will feature that collection. That has a lot of fan favorites and really unique covers, like Radiohead and U2, and songs that resonated with us during that tour.”

In 2021, Hanson will release a new album and hopefully embark on a live world tour.

“We are really excited our brand new music,” Isaac Hanson said. “Before the pandemic took hold, we had planned to put that out this year. So, we had a chance to polish some things and envision the project a little bit more. Our hope is as we come to a new year, we will all have a safe path forward.”

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