REVIEW: Hanson bops through all the colors at the Fillmore

By | September 1, 2022

RIFF Magazine 

Hanson, Isaac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, Zac Hanson

Hanson performs at the Fillmore in San Francisco on Aug. 30, 2022. Aparna Choudhury/STAFF.

SAN FRANCISCO – Brother trio Hanson took the stage at the Fillmore on Tuesday in support of their new album.

While Taylor, Isaac and Zac Hanson recorded Red Green Blue separately, with each brother in charge of one of the three colors, the brothers performed the songs together seamlessly in San Francisco, backed by a couple of other musicians.

Hanson opened with “Waiting for This,” an uptempo, high-energy track that immediately riled up fans, and “Where’s the Love,” a funkier number from their debut album, Middle of Nowhere. Next was the vulnerable “Against the World,” about persevering through adversity, and “Thinking of You.” During “If Only,” Taylor Hanson played the harmonica while he and Isaac jumped around, as if they were in their teens, rather than their 30s and 40s.

“This year, we’ve been playing together for 30 years,” Isaac Hanson quipped before they launched into the rhythmic “Been There Before,” while calling on the “Fillmore Choir” as Isaac referred to the audience, to help.

Taylor Hanson sang “Child at Heart,” from Red Green Blue album, initially showcasing his vocals. But the song later exploded into an anthemic and harmonized folky rock. He lingered on each note in a way that was both vulnerable and uplifting. Later, Isaac and Zac left the stage and Taylor performed “Rambling Heart,” a soaring, twangy song that he said was “dedicated to the dreamers.” He changed the lyrics from the band’s “Oklahoma” to “San Francisco.”

The other brothers returned for “Weird,” before Zac took center stage for the acoustic “Go” and “Wake Up,” a completely stripped-down solo ballad for which Isaac and Taylor departed the stage.

Isaac’s mini-set had a smoother and more intimate feel. He sang “For Your Love” with deep, strong vocals, gathering the audience to sing backup, and “Write You a Song,” an upbeat and bouncier ballad he wrote for his young daughter.

Hanson, Isaac Hanson, Taylor Hanson, Zac Hanson

Hanson performs at the Fillmore in San Francisco on Aug. 30, 2022.

“What’s cooler than being cool?” he demanded to know later, which led into not a cover of Outkast’s “Hey Ya!” but the soulful and funky “Cold as Ice,” which showcased the skill of the backing musicians.

The rest of the show was buoyant, with a fair amount of fist-pumping, starting with “Penny & Me,” a dancey jam that the band said “makes you want to roll your windows down and turn the music up,” and “This Time Around,” another invigorating track. Other lively foot-stompers included “Give a Little,” “I Will Come to You,” “Only Love” and the inspirational “I Was Born,” about having your own purpose in life.

Hanson ended the main set with “MMMBop” (of course) and “Get the Girl Back.” The encore contained a couple of rowdy numbers, including “Don’t Let Me Down,” which Zac Hanson paired with jumping jacks and high-kicks.

Los Angeles rock duo The Grand Southern opened the show with a smooth island song with the message to let go of love. Dash Hutton and Jesse Tyre offered a wide range of sound, from pop-country and rock to songs with funkier vibes, which the band paired with deep, throaty vocals and copious amounts of foot-stomping.

The performance included bluesy and twangy “An Afterthought,” from Don’t Say Anything, and the rhythmic and groovy “Fucked up Over You,” which ended in a crescendo and drum solo. Another highlight was harmonious cover of Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69.”

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