In early 2003 after two years of making Underneath and setting up 3CG Records, Hanson booked into The Church Studio, just east of downtown Tulsa and with a group of fan club members as audience; they played and recorded underneath acoustic.
Fans traveled from all over, to show their unconditional support and affection for Hanson. The room was decorated with lights and the atmosphere was one of reunion and celebration.
8 songs were recorded and Hanson’s first independent album (Boomerang and MMMBop excepted) was born.
The EP was dedicated to “all our fans, who make it possible for us to do what we do” and signed with “many thanks – Isaac, Taylor and Zac”.
After all that the underneath period had been, this was a moment of relief and joy for those involved, as the Hanson show was back on the road and the relationship between band and fans was re-ignited.
This was also the first Hanson.net members event and on that day, few would have thought to look ahead 10 years and visualise what Hanson, Tulsa, new music, fans, passion, creativity, and entrepreneurship can make possible.
Ever since that day, the vision that characterises Hanson’s business, has generated a series of increasingly sophisticated MOE events.
From the making of Middle of Nowhere Acoustic, via The Blank Page and the 20TH, Hanson have used these celebrations in Tulsa to gather the most committed fans together and say thank you. They have always said thank you and from the tone of their voices and the hard work exerted this past weekend, it would be difficult for even the hardest cynic, to think that they mean anything else.
This year’s celebrations which mark 21 years since the band began to perform, were a triumph.
Hanson had been promising “even better” for some months, but on the back of such a busy time finishing up “Anthem”, promoting the single, the tour and writing songs for the members kit, it is almost impossible to fathom how they pulled this one together.
They produced an experience from the Gallery to the merchandise that had style and class in both the design and presentation.
They imagined scenarios and delivered surprises, from possibly the most beautiful bowling ball ever designed, to a Walk through their renovated downtown turf to Guthrie Green.
They played their hearts and lives out in the music performed twice on Sunday at the Cain’s ballroom and thrilled the audience with bold, driving percussion, gentle strings, sensitive harmony and intimate lyrics.
And through it all they remained the same grateful individuals who went 10 years earlier to The Church Studios, slightly unsure if anyone would turn up.
Whether you were lucky enough to be there on May 5th 2013 or simply watching via the web, it was both moving and profound.
And at last there was a glint of insight into the meaning of the symbols of Anthem.
It seems that they represent the spark, the energy of the moment, a meeting or an encounter which sets something alight – which has immediacy, truth and momentum and which is undeniable.
The relationship that Hanson has with their music, their fans, their home town and with each other demonstrates the potency of that reality – for indeed it is a reality, and one which is set to combust as Anthem takes to the road in June.
On Sunday,Taylor Hanson spoke of The Moment – The Spark – The Charge.
What fans know is that this is an Awakening – it may be about a moment – but it is certainly not momentary.
It is set to go on and on and on.
Tonight – Tomorrow – Forever.