It was a beautiful day for a Hanson concert.
Hanson played their first Albuquerque show ever at the Sunshine Theater last night, and the band’s loyal fans were ecstatic to finally see the guys perform live here. In fact, I couldn’t find a single fan in the place who didn’t feel—with 100% conviction—that they were there to see the most amazing band in the world. And they were excited to tell me why.
A group of fans who secured a front-row-center spot at the general admission show were the perfect example of the adoration and unwavering loyalty that most Hanson fans feel toward the three brothers, Zac, Taylor, and Isaac.
Erin Slauson and friends met at a Hanson concert many years ago, and are now “lifelong friends.” The group of friends came all the way from Indiana, Utah, and Massachusetts to see the Albuquerque show, and are following the band around to venues throughout the country. Slauson told me why she thinks Hanson is the most amazing band in the word. “Besides being incredibly talented musicians, they understand who their fans are and what they want, and they’re very connected. Just the relationship, communication. They're always getting our input and giving us special events, special music releases, and really making us the happiest fans. They are the best."
Taylor McKinnon added, “They reunited me with my old best friends from 1997, and they introduced me to my new best friends from now and forever. They introduced me to the Blues Brothers, and they made me appreciate music more. That’s probably the biggest one for me. I’ve always loved music, but I never really listened to it until I started listening to Hanson. And now I want to get a musicology degree, I’ve started learning piano and guitar, I just have a whole new appreciation for how music works and what makes it so beautiful, and it’s because of Hanson.”
Albuquerque local Kelsey Lawrence has been a fan of the band for about 15 years. “I think Hanson is the most amazing band ever because they write incredible songs, they’re totally easy to sing along to, easy to drive in the car to, and for me, it’s something that I’ve grown up with,” said Lawrence. “I’ve been in love with them since sixth grade. I’m 26 now, and I’ve just always really connected with them.”
At an age when some musicians are just getting recognized in the music industry, Hanson has already achieved worldwide success. Only 25, 28, and 30, Zac, Taylor, and Isaac already have nearly 20 years of experience making music. They survived a steep rise to fame early in their career followed by a tumultuous period with their record label, which led them to start their own label and break from industry norms. In spite of some trying times, the band always found a way to pick themselves up and continue creating their unique brand of soulful pop. Perhaps their most brilliant move of all was creating a rich, rewarding fan experience through their fan club, which has kept their fans engaged, and devoted through it all.
While the deep connection may be what keeps Hanson fans forever devoted to the band, it’s the music that is at the core of the Hanson experience. And Hanson did not disappoint their fans last night (as if they could!). The band’s performance was full of energy, passion, and the signature harmonizing that the brothers seem to pull off so effortlessly. Hanson performed the album This Time Around, “basically in it’s entirety,” according to Taylor (a few tracks were left out). Fans voted for the album in an online poll designed to give fans the chance to pick the setlist for the show.
Adding a few selections from their discography, including Man From Milwaukee, performed as a tribute to Albuquerque where the song was written, the band performed songs that spanned their musical career. Hits such as Mmm Bop, Shout it Out, and Where’s the Love were obvious choices, and other songs not on the chosen This Time Around album included Penny and Me, Look at You, A Minute Without You, Give a Little, Thinking of You, and Georgia.
The Hanson Musical Ride Tour was a fun ride for the fans from Albuquerque and those who came from cities across the US. Hopefully it won’t be another 20 years before the band visits Albuquerque again.