It’s hard to believe that this successful band that has sold millions of records, received multiple GRAMMY nominations, and played everywhere from Berlin to Kuala Lampur, has never played in Albuquerque; but all of that will change this Sunday as Hanson performs at the Sunshine Theater on Sunday at 8:00 pm. Tickets are still available.
If all you know of Hanson is their explosive pop hit Mmm Bop in the ‘90s, you may be surprised to hear how their sound has developed. The boys have all grown up, and while they haven’t lost their ability to write melodic pop songs with catchy hooks, their music has matured over the years. Their fifth studio album, Shout it Out, offers a seasoned sound that incorporates R&B influences from musicians such as Chuck Berry and Otis Redding, artists who inspired the band at the beginning of their career.
“The anatomy of our band is similar to a ‘70s rock band – white guys from the Midwest who grew up listening to ‘50s and ‘60s soul, who are mixing guitars, with vintage keys and melodic songs,” Taylor Hanson says. Adds Isaac, “We’ll always be a bit rootsy ‘cause it’s in the Oklahoma soil (the state is also home to artists like Bob Wills, Woody Guthrie and the versatile Leon Russell), but what we’ve never stopped aspiring to is the great songwriters and performers who struck a chord with us first, that early rock ‘n’ rock roll and soul music from Chuck Berry to Otis Redding. We’ve rediscovered that aspiration on this record. There’s a little more swing and a little more air.”
While Hanson may have never headlined a show in Albuquerque before Sunday’s scheduled tour stop, the city did play an interesting part in the band’s history. According to Hanson’s website, the song Man From Milwaukee was inspired by an unexpected stop in Albuquerque while working on the album Middle of Nowhere. When asked about the origin of the song, Zac said, "That's a really fun one. Pretty simply, it's about an alien encounter. I don't really believe in aliens, but it was just a funny idea that came along. We got stuck in Albuquerque, New Mexico - we drove out from Oklahoma to make our first album…The car broke down in Albuquerque. I was sitting on the side of the road, and I started coming up with the chorus part. I brought the other guys in and said, 'I've got this stupid song, what do you think?' They said, 'Hey, it's goofy, but it's fun, and sometimes you need that.' It's just about a guy's slow turn to finally going kind of crazy."
Now it’s Albuquerque’s turn to go a little crazy when Hanson makes its first ever appearance at the Sunshine Theater this Sunday. At each stop on the Musical Ride Tour, fans will determine the set list by voting on three different albums. Whichever album wins will be played in its entirety as part of the set. Each concert will also include musical highlights from Hanson'S career and more. The three albums to choose from for the Albuquerque show are Middle of Nowhere, This Time Around, and Underneath. As of today, it’s a close race between Middle of Nowhere and This Time Around, with the latter ahead by a few percentage points. Fans can weigh in by voting here.
Have you ever seen Hanson live? Will you be at the Sunshine Theater this Sunday for the show? Share your thoughts about Hanson!