Live Review: Hanson at Bamboozle Roadshow, Merriweather Post Pavillion, 21 May 2010

By on Thursday, 3rd June 2010 at 2:00 pm

As hard as I may try, objectivity is never really going to be possible for me when it comes to Hanson. I’ve been a fan for about 13 years now, and when you’ve loved a band for more than half of your life, you do crazy things like drive an hour in each direction just to watch them play for a half hour. Their short set came late in the day of the Bamboozle Roadshow, a travelling version of the Bamboozle Festival, which also featured bands like Boys Like Girls, Good Charlotte and Forever the Sickest Kids.

I was a bit worried about the reception that they’d get, because even if they were a band that wasn’t perpetually pre-judged, their music didn’t exactly fit the mold of the other bands who were playing. In fact, I’d say that during their set, only about half of the pit was their fans, and the rest were waiting for the bands that were playing later. There were large pockets of Hanson fans present, though, and I got into a discussion with a few of them about the likelihood of them playing ‘Mmmbop’. I thought they wouldn’t, and turned out to be right. My reasoning was this: ‘Mmmbop’ is a great song, and their most famous, but it is nowhere near their best. They always play it during headlining gigs, where it takes on a special very special meaning: most Hanson fans have grown up with the band, so going to a Hanson gig can feel a bit like going to a family reunion, and ‘Mmmbop’ was the song that started it all and brought us all together. But in a relatively “hostile” environment with such a short amount of time to play, they focused primarily on music from their new album, ‘Shout it Out,’ which will be released next week.

With the exception  of ‘A Minute Without You’ and ‘Penny and Me,’ everything that they played was new. Fans sang along to their new single ‘Thinkin’ Bout Somethin” and free download ‘Waiting for This,’ but even the relatively unknown songs had everyone grooving. As brothers who’ve been performing together for about 15 years now, they played with a confidence that was mesmerizing and their voices and instruments complimented each other perfectly. And though they’re music “veterans” at such a young age (Zac, Taylor and Isaac are 24, 27 and 29, respectively), they still put the same irresistible energy and passion into their performances as they always have. Rather than the serious social commentary of their last album, ‘The Walk'(2007), their new songs channel the 1950s and 1960s rock ‘n’ roll that they listened to growing up, and are as irresistibly catchy as the infamous ‘Mmmbop.’ Hear ‘Give a Little’ live, and by the second time the chorus comes around, I defy you not to sing along with Taylor:   “Give a little heart and soul / Let your body lose control / Give a little oh, oh, oh / Give a little! / Wrap your arms around her / Give a little!”

I’d recommend a Hanson show to anyone, even if it is painfully short and book-ended by bands you don’t care for, but if you get the chance to see them headline, then make sure to go — it’s an experience you’ll never forget.


Set List Behind the Cut!

Set List

Waiting for This
Thinkin’ ‘Bout Somethin’
And I Waited
A Minute Without You
Give A Little
Penny & Me
Voice In The Chorus

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3 Responses

5:21 pm
3rd June 2010

Fantastic! I’m so glad that your experience was a good one! I agree so much with your idea that Hanson concerts are like a family reunion, and I love how it is so true. Glad you had fun!

[…] It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of this band of brothers, especially if you read the live review that was posted yesterday, so you can imagine how excited I was to hear this album. As I listened […]

2:45 am
26th June 2010

I am a 48 y/o mother of 2 boys, Hanson’s ages and never thought I would go crazy over a band my kids age but WOW, they’re fantastic, so talented. The way they sound together and the lyrics and melodies of there songs, well, they have got me feeling like a teenager again (as well as some of the gals in my office). I hope they are recognized in the larger music industry someday for their talent.

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