I grew up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, and loved the music of the time. To this day I still listen to the same book of CD’s that I own. When the nostalgia hits, there is a bright orange album I always grab. Hanson’s album Middle of Nowhere will always be a go to.
I never got to see them in the early days, but that didn’t stop me from loving every second of the music. This year, however, I was determined to see them. I flew from Nashville, TN to New Hampshire to join other friends who are huge fans too and catch the show at the Hampton Beach Casino at the end of July. It was a whirlwind trip, and worth every exhausting second.
The energy of the crowd was infectious. A few hundred people all screaming and singing along with every word. There were new songs from the Red Green Blue album and throwbacks from almost every other one. We were all teenagers again watching our favorite band on stage for the first time. Some songs were not a surprise. Classic songs like “Mmmbop” and “Where’s The Love” were mixed in with newer ones like “I Was Born” and “Write You A Song”.
I thought I knew what to expect going into this show. Boy was I wrong. We had looked up set lists from this tour and thought we knew what we would hear, but no. The boys keep changing up their set list as the tour continues which gives the audience some surprises. They pulled out songs from their first album, like “With You In Your Dreams” and “Weird”, that had the crowd screaming. For that added excitement, Zac took the lead and gave us “Man From Milwaukee”; down to the conversation with the mothership.
During the set, they took turns leaving the stage so each of them could have a solo up there to themselves. That was unexpected and such a treat. Together they compliment each other and blend their harmonies seamlessly. Very seldom do members of a group get to have much time in the spotlight to themselves. Zac’s was the biggest shock to me. He took to the piano and played one of my favorite songs, “Broken Angel”. Next came Isaac’s solo, an acoustic version of “Hand In Hand”. Taylor actually had to tell the audience to shhhh during the start of his solo song. “Save Me” started out completely a cappella with audience participation before he took it back to the piano.
When people think about Hanson and instruments, the same thing always comes to mind. Isaac is on guitar, Taylor on keys (and sometimes congas) and Zac on drums. This time, though, they shook it up. Zac stayed on percussion for the most part by playing a version of the cajon for a more acoustic sound, while Taylor Picked up an acoustic guitar. After so many years of playing music, they’re bound to learn new skills.
One of the last songs of the night was “I Was Born”. They drove home the fact we are all individuals and we should carve our own paths. They are such a beacon of light and love in a world full of hate and darkness. I know we left the venue with such happiness and lightness in our souls.
Photo/video/writing credit: Amanda Epstein