Richmond Dispatch Review
The Carpenter Centre
Sept 6 2000
Boys Will Be Boys And The Girls Responded.
The Hanson Hotties. Big, dreamy sigh.
Of course, Taylor, Zac and Isaac, are stocked to their blond roots with talent. But stick ’em in front of a couple of thousand squealing, clawing girls and it’s no wonder these guys are unfairly lumped in the boy- band bin.
“Clone Tay” and “Can I come backstage, I have Dr Pepper”, read some of the many signs pledging adoration and allegiance to the brothers H. The ear drilling shrieks that penetrated the Carpenter Centre last night, shot into the red zone of the squeal-o-meter every time the fey Tay tried to say “Hello” or “Thank you”, as the predominately female teen crowd swooned over his every muscle twitch.
But there is so much more to this band. And that is exactly what they are – a band. Not a group who sing and dance pretty like ‘Nsync or the Backstreet Boys, using pyrotechnics and acrobatic stage tricks to compensate for a lack of musical ability.
Hanson isn’t flashy, and for two solid hours the trio ( backed by a bassist, keyboardist and guitarist) proved its mettle with a string of meaty pop/rock songs, performed on a bare stage with only a brick wall façade behind it and the usual array of colored lights adding some spice.
“You Never Know” and a sizzling cover of Hendrix’s “Crosstown Traffic” launched the evening, which slowed a handful of times but usually kept pace with the high powered metabolisms of the sold –out crowd of about 2,000.
Drawing mostly from its new, grossly underrated second album, “This Time Around”, Hanson didn’t mind reaching way, way back to 1997’s “Middle Of Nowhere” for a perfectly harmonized “Where’s The Love” – still the perfect rollerblading jam.
Since walloping the pop world three long years ago, Hanson has seemingly lost the love of many fans, based on the weak sales of “This Time Around” and radios reluctance to play its new music.
No one knows the reason for this, but hey radio, get a clue.
“This Time Around” is stacked with hits, and last night, “Runaway Run’ soared with another delectable chorus, the lovely “Save Me”, simmered with some soulful-brushed vocals from Taylor and “A Song To Sing” performed acoustically, signalled these guys could be the next Crosby Stills and Nash.
Hanson hasn’t only developed musically (we love MMMBop but it sounded downright juvenile when places beside these new, robust tunes), but physically, they’ve morphed into the type of guys every father would hope to see on his doorstop to shuttle his daughter to the prom.
Zac’s Tarzac biceps pumped effortlessly as he swung at his drum kit while Isaac, in his red leather pants and shaggy dog do, cut quite the guitar god figure as the apple-cheeked Taylor crouched behind his keyboard unleashing one passionate whoooa-oooh after another.
At 14, 19 and 17, respectively, these almost men, have presence that belie their tender ages.
After sounding a wake up call with a pitch perfect “If Only”, (everybody pogo) and the war “like Do You Love Me” (In The City), the boys soon returned for a much desired encore. Staying true to their roots – early rock’n’roll- they ripped out a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode”, prompting Zac to let down his ponytail and thrash his head like any good drummer worth his sticks.
Even more impressive was when Taylor took over for Zac on drums during a surprise version of Cheap Trick’s, “I Want You To Want Me”.
As if this crowd needed the prodding.