Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hanson Shout’s It Out in Chicago

Written by JON POWELL / Photos by AMANDA SPATARO
Monday, 13 September 2010

As I approached the House of Blues and saw the large crowd of giddy women from all age ranges anxiously awaiting the entrance, I knew it could only mean one thing…Hanson had returned to Chicago. Everyone’s favorite “from boys to men” band was back in the windy city to share songs off of their latest album, Shout It Out.

With the vast amounts of love and adoration being directed from the crowd to the stage, the intimate setting of the House of Blues could not have been a more perfect venue for the brothers to give back some love to their fans. The main floor was a vast sea of fans, both old and new, and majority female; all waiting with anticipation for their first glimpse of their favorite brotherly trio from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Before the main event, there were to minor procedural technicalities otherwise known as opening acts. The first of which was a local band handpicked by Hanson themselves through a series of regional auditions. The group consisted of two guys, both singing with one playing an acoustic guitar and the other playing utilizing and interesting instrument simply known as “The Box.”

The funny thing about this unknown duo is that this was a shot for them to be seen in the limelight, yet they failed to mention their names during their stage show, and the show billing listed them as “contest winners.” According to the Hanson site the band was happygolovely but I can’t say for sure. They did have a nice, earthy sound, and did a good job of keeping the crowd pacified before they got to sink their teeth into the main course.

Next up to bat was the more moderately known Los Angeles based Rooney, who are on tour to promote their latest release Eureka. The crowd was excited to see them on stage, and it could even be said that a percentage of the younger portion of the crowd might have come to see them over Hanson. Rooney did a superb job of getting the crowd’s excitement levels through the roof. Cell phone cameras were in full effect.

These west coast rockers had great crowd interaction; at one point the lead singer even accepted an empty bag of Jack Link beef jerky from a lucky audience member. Rooney was able to sustain and even raise a high energy level throughout their whole set. It was electric performance.

Now it was almost time for the men of the hour. After Rooney concluded their set, the curtains closed for set preparation, yet the crowd’s attention never swayed from the front of the stage. The only movement came from young girls trying to jockey for position to get a closer vantage point of Zack, Isaac, and Taylor. I wasn’t 6’4” and 220 pounds I would have been swallowed by the crowd. The few guys that were in attendance were mentally preparing to be ignored and pushed aside by their girlfriends, because for the next 90 minutes they would not be looked at as boyfriends but as Hanson viewing obstacles.

The time was finally upon us. The curtain only cracked open a slight bit before the crowd went wild with yells, screams, jumping, and picture taking. The ground immediately felt like I was standing on a trampoline from all the bouncing around. The boys opened up with track one off their album, “Waiting For This” and the show immediately became a sing-a-long.

They moved into “Make It Out Alive” and the crowd stayed at the same frenzied pace. The guys played “And I Waited” next, and it came off so infectious that even the neglected boyfriends in the crowd couldn’t help but nod their heads. The Tulsa trio played some their early hits and then softened it up a little bit with “Carry You There” before taking a brief intermission.

Just when you thought it was impossible for Hanson to connect anymore with their audience, they came back after the break sitting in stools at the front edge of the stage and performed as if they were holding a one-on-one conversation with each member of the audience. It added an even more personal touch to an already intimate show.

The Hanson brothers activated a complete crowd meltdown as soon as they laid down the first chord of their current hit “Thinking ‘Bout Something,” once again proving why it was the perfect choice for a lead single. Even one of the few males in attendance broke free of his “closet Hanson fan” status and excitedly sang along with the group.

Hanson played a few more songs off of Shout It Out before closing the show with the hit that made them stars 13 years ago, “Mmm Bop.” Before the first note was even complete, the crowd went bananas. I thought the floor of the House of Blues was on the verge of collapsing.

Hanson put on a fantastic stage show. They knew their audience very well and kept them involved in every aspect of the show. They took the crowd on a journey of their past, present, and future. By closing the show with “Mmm Bop,” Hanson let us know that they do not shun their youthful beginnings like so many artists who start off as youngsters often do, rather they embrace it.

There is no way you are getting Justin Timberlake to publicly perform any song he uttered during his early days on “The Mickey Mouse Club,” yet Hanson is always happy to oblige and accept what they were and are. Hanson beautifully displayed their vast growth as musical artists, and gave me a feeling that the best from them has yet to come.

House of Blues
Chicago, IL
August 13, 2010

0 People talked to us:

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg