Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hanson gives hometown crowd night of glee at Cain's


Before fans lined up outside Cain's Ballroom for the Hanson concert on Tuesday evening, they went to the band's official website to vote for their favorite album.

In an unusual step for any touring act, the crowd was able to choose the longtime Tulsa band's setlist.

Mere notes into the first song of Hanson's set, Taylor Hanson yelled, "How you doing, Tulsa?" and the crowd erupted in high-pitched glee. Fans waved and jumped and hugged one another as the "Musical Ride Tour" revved up.

"It's good to be home," Isaac Hanson said as he and his brothers launched into "Waiting for This," "Where's The Love" and "Thinkin' 'Bout Somethin'."

Taylor Hanson told the crowd: "You helped us pick our setlist tonight, so we're taking you back to the year 2000." The crowd erupted as Hanson launched into their second studio album, "This Time Around," including the title track and tunes "You Never Know," "If Only," "Can't Stop," "Runaway Run" and "Love Song."

Tuesday night was definitely a family affair. Young girls twirled on their tip-toes, summer skirts flared out. Moms joined in, holding their arms out toward their daughters.

Brave boyfriends wove their way through the crowd to the front of the stage, girlfriends in tow.

Fatherly figures gravitated to the rear of the standing-room-only crowd. One daughter laced her fingers in her father's as he laughed and smiled. The pair faced each other and danced.

The band performed for nearly two hours.

After touring the world, a hometown show is always welcome, brothers Zac, Taylor and Isaac said.

Like anyone needs to remind anyone, these guys aren't teens anymore. They haven't been for a long time, and Tuesday night's show was a far cry from the preteen bop of three blond boys in leather jackets huddled around a microphone during Mayfest in 1992.

Their Motown-esque soul roots are still there, as are their perfect-pitch three-part harmonies. But, now, these men write the songs. They control their paths, with the unwavering support of an ever-expanding fanbase with an always-growing age range.

They're well into their 20s (OK, Isaac's 30 now) and own and run their own mini-empire from right here in Tulsa. The Hanson brothers are about as "indie" as can be.

Opening act Meiko was soulful in her solo acoustic set, her smoky voice captivating the crowd. She soon had the audience clapping along with her, keeping time to her beat.

"I like you!" she crooned to the fans. She sweetly thanked Hanson for taking her on tour, saying, "I'm so grateful. They're great and just so ... good looking," then cleared her throat.

The crowd sighed with her in a bonding moment. From then on out, the place was hers.

Original Print Headline: Hanson inspires glee in hometown crowd

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