Oh, yes– you read right. I went to see Hanson (and Hellogoodbye) on Tuesday. Confession time: I liked it. A lot. I mean, my music taste has come a long way in 11 years, but you never forget your first love. And man, that Taylor Hanson… sweet Tiger Beat, he’s still got it.
The boys of Hanson– Taylor, Isaac, and Zac– may all be all grown up (plus married and with kids, no less), but their music retains the same sweetness and light that made them famous back in the late ’90s. Just about every song featured their signature three-part harmony, and most of their lyrics are about pure, unadulterated love.
Most of their show consisted of post-Middle of Nowhere material, but then, they’ve put out a fair amount of albums since their preteen years. Highlights of the night were “If Only,” “Where’s the Love,” “This Time Around,” “Penny and Me,” and of course, “MMMBop”, which was the second-to-last song of their set. Taylor introduced it by saying, “Thanks for singing along for more than a decade.” Not sure how I felt about that, as it made me feel kind of old, but then again, he’s the one who has to sing about daisies and roses and whatever else that song is about for like 12 years.
By far the best moment of their show was when Taylor announced after some acoustic numbers that they were handing the stage over to Zac (He’s the youngest, normally the drummer, and formally “the wild one”) for a song off their upcoming album. I have to say, Zac banging away at that piano and wailing “Use me up/Use me up/Because no one does” was the most honest I’ve heard any of the Hanson brothers sound, ever.
The crowd at the 9:30 Club that night was, not surprisingly, overwhelmingly female. They also seemed to be mostly over 21, judging from the lack of hand stamps and the one drunken skank who kept bumping into me as she danced and screamed. I thought many of them would be like me, going to see them for nostalgia’s sake, but that didn’t really seem to be the case. Hanson has a pretty hardcore group of rabid passionate fans who know all the words to every single song and get really enthusiastic at their live shows. The Washington Examiner reported that 14 girls camped out the night before just to make sure they were first in line to see them. Yeah.
I mean, I get it. I won’t even get into some of the reactions I got from my friends when I told them I was going to see Hanson. They weren’t just a band, they were an obsession. I’m not sure they will ever quite reach those MMMBop heights again, but they are trying to keep the flame going with plenty of touring and some new music in the meantime. And now, for your viewing pleasure, another picture of Taylor. Because he’s dreamy.