June 20 2013 BY Shaina Moskowitz
A round of shots might have been the proper way to celebrate, but Hanson chose a two-night concert in New York to celebrate their 21 years together. The ’90s trio from Oklahoma sold-out two shows this week as the main (and only) act at New York’s IrvingPlaza. Packed with hundreds of screaming fans, the concert delivered nearly two hours of not only nostalgia for the mostly young female crowd, but a new found appreciation and respect for the underrated band.
On Tuesday evening, Hanson took fans on a journey throughout their two decade long career with dozens of songs from their first five albums in addition to hits from “Anthem,” their latest album, which was released this week. While the fans knew the lyrics to every single number, there were plenty of recognizable tunes (an undeniable staple of the late ’90s and early aughts). Taylor had fans screaming with his harmonica solo during “Penny and Me” while the cheers rose to an all-time high as soon as “If Only” began. The highlight of the night came when Taylor, Zac and Isaac took center stage to harmonize and perform an a cappella song together.
As the night winded down, the trio performed “MMMbop,” the song that put the band on the map way back in 1997. It was as if time had stood still for more than a decade as the crowd jumped and screamed as if they were 13 again. They also plugged their new beer MMMhops, a pale ale that will soon be sold on the band’s website (right now, you can pick up a t-shirt and shot glass). After just a few minutes offstage, all three guys returned for an epic encore.
Saying the band is all grown up would be an understatement. In truth, Hanson is a band that has just naturally stood the test of time through their lyrics, music and pure love of what they’re doing. It’s hard not to wonder why there hasn’t been more buzz about the threesome, but one can only surmise it’s due to their tabloid absence (all three are married and fathers).
It’s a shame that’s the case because their latest album is full of catchy hits that are just as strong on a lyrical level as they are on a musical one (listen to “Fired Up”).
If anything, “Anthem” will give the band a time to shine on a more mainstream stage. It’s been far too long since they were No. 1, and it’s about time they end up there.