The rain and dark clouds outside Vulkan Arena have not affected the mood, as hundreds of eager fans wait patiently for Hanson to take the stage in Oslo, Norway on June 12th. Despite having been a band for 30 years, this is the Oklahoma-band’s first concert in the city. The venue is packed, and at precisely 8 pm the lights go off and squeals erupt as the brothers take the stage and “Where’s The Love” starts playing.
With the amount of screams and squeals as the concert-goers dance and sing along to the lyrics, you wouldn’t think that it’s been 25 years since the song was released. A good chunk of the setlist consists of songs from their debut album Middle Of Nowhere, which was released in 1997. Being born in 1999 myself, the thought of watching 40-somethings sing songs they wrote when they were teenagers was kind of odd to me, but the songs are so relatable that they become timeless. And being in the crowd, you’re just watching great musicians perform songs that they’re both proud to have created and excited to share with their fans.
Photo: Emmi Sollie
The screams and loud singing continued as the concert went along, with the band playing a good mixture of both old hits, and newer songs from albums such as Against The World (2021) and Red Green Blue (2022). Watching Hanson on stage, it’s fun to see the three of them all excel both vocally and with their respective instruments. At one point, Taylor was even doing a harmonica-solo, which I have to admit was easily in my top 3 favorite moments of the show. It’s easy to see that they’re passionate about the creative aspects, and they’re clearly enjoying themselves very much as the audience screams out the lyrics of their biggest hits. Eventually they slowed it down with “Save Me”, and there were refreshingly few phones in the air, as the audience quieted down to enjoy the acoustic set that was up next.
The three brothers are all great performers individually, which the show also highlighted by having them each perform a solo song. Zac was the first one up, as he did a piano rendition of “Juliet” from their 2010-album Anthem. Isaac had the audience choose between three song options for his bit, and also played the piano while he sung “More Than Anything” from their 1998-live album Live From Albertane. Taylor, on the other hand, did a song from their newest album, “Rambling Heart”, which they’d never played live before.
Photo: Emmi Sollie
Hanson continued to go back and forth between songs from their different albums, and the crowd was just as ecstatic for every song. The interactions between the band and the fans were something else, with the concert-goers eagerly jumping, screaming and pumping their fists as the band hyped them up. “This Time Around” was a real highlight, as was “I Will Come To You” which also appeared to be a crowd-favorite. Soon after they played their inevitably most famous song, “MMMBop”. Unsurprisingly, the crowd went wild and it’s been a while since I’ve heard an audience scream and sing that loudly. People knew every single word (if “mmmbop ba du bop dop ba du” counts as words?), but I was surprised that they didn’t finish off the show with the 1997-hit single. They did however manage to keep up the good vibes and high energy levels through the final songs, and I don’t think the crowd slowed down even in the short break before the encore. And after a two-and-a-half-hour show, Hanson finished off with “Get Up & Go” and “Man From Milwaukee”.
The concert definitely felt like a celebration of their 30 years of being a band. This is also in line with their new album, Red Green Blue, which pays homage to just that. Being 22 years old, I found myself enjoying myself more than I thought I would, considering I haven’t grown up with the songs the same way others in the crowd has. Still, I’m a sucker for guitar-solos and harmonies, and if you are too, you would absolutely enjoy going to a Hanson-show. Also, I still can’t get over the harmonica-solo (which was just fantastic). The brothers proved that they are nowhere near done being a band, and it’s always special watching someone perform when you can see how much they truly enjoy it.
Check out our photo gallery to see more photo from the concert!
Photo: Emmi Sollie