Fall In Love
The Fall is a beautiful season. It is full of scent and atmosphere, changing temperature and colour.
Some may say that it is the perfect time for Hanson to tour with their RNR extravaganza.
This tour which has drawn its content from way down inside the veins of Hanson blood and history, has revealed more of their inspirations, shown just how clever and considered they can be on stage and it has thrown at its audience the widest sweep of all that is true about Rock and Roll.
The softest love song, the wildest ode to sexuality, the bravest commentary on life in the public eye, the sharpest analysis of all that is reckless, and the most classic of classic rock lyrics and riffs, have all had their moment on this tour and the audiences have loved it.
I say this boldly, on the basis of my experience as an audience member and an observer.
Just like the fall, this tour has conjured with the senses, played with the imagination and reminded people that whilst things come full circle, each time around is fresh and exciting.
The Fall is also a great time to be in love.
The temperature is just right for drawing closer to a lover and the fading light makes everything much more tenuous and precious.
I make no apology for saying that this tour has demonstrated the love that Hanson have for their craft and deepened the love that their audience has for the band and the music.
It has been palpable, like the damp air and visible like the leaves falling from the trees and it has been present all along the tour so far.
The tour bus has rolled on through the changing season and bare feet have walked in all conditions, across a continent with more than one kind of great divide.
The music has changed as the season has hastened on, with appropriate covers appearing at different times, while the main backbone of the set list has stayed fixed.
The mix of songs possibly chosen for the lyrics, and the songs chosen for their credentials, has convinced me that Hanson thought long and hard about what music to include, where to play it and how to deliver it and I think that they have been extraordinarily clever.
There is a theme and connection, an essence that runs through the RNR shows and it is as well choreographed as any romance ever written about.
Whether playing from the catalogue of classic singer songwriters Paul Simon or Billy Joel, or citing the extraordinary talent from home soil that is Leon Russell; making an Aretha Franklin song their own or playing The Jackson 5, it feels as though Hanson are celebrating a very great love of their own, the trysts of which the audience will never know in detail but may glimpse in the performance.
Hanson perform with such style that it is not always possible to see the emotion on the face, but the expression in the music, the touch of the keys or the passion in the vocal, show the love that may be in there hiding.
In an interview in 2005, Isaac and Taylor revealed that Aretha Franklin and U2 were artists who moved them emotionally and their choices of Chain of Fools, Desire and In A Little While, gave them the chance to let their feelings reign on stage.
So it seems that the love song of Hanson and their music and the love story of the fans and their band, is played out in the theatre as intensely and surely as the sun is fading, and the nights drawing in, as fall comes and the tour completes its route.
In 97 Hanson asked Where’s The Love and on this tour they have shown that it is in their performance and music at least.
They have sung the words of Ed Sheeran and proclaimed that, “People fall in love in mysterious ways” …. and every Hanson fan will tell a story of how this music has touched them or happened in their life at a crucial moment.
I suspect that Hanson themselves would be able to tell stories of how songs, lyrics, sounds and concepts have dropped mysteriously or unexpectedly into their in-tray and shaped a development on their journey
I attended 4 shows on this tour. I was in Chicago and NYC.
I didn’t take photographs or videos and I threw myself into the experience so fully that I lived each moment and at the end of the show could hardly remember what had happened.
I wondered what I would be able to recall to write this piece.
Listening to the RNR EP today sealed it for me and it was in the words of Thinking Out Loud and it was to do with love.
There is a very great love on show at a Hanson concert and it goes way beyond the sum of the parts that are brought together in the venue.
From the first beats to the last chord and through every vocal, glance, meeting of eyes, smile, guitar riff, chorus, wave of arms and pause, it has its way, it pays tribute and it says life is exceedingly good.
As Taylor sings, “We’ve found love right where we are”, a truth is told.
Whatever love is, it is in this moment if it is anywhere.
And if there is an act that Hanson have performed more than any other over the years, that captures the moment, it is the final bow, the gesture when four hands join and the mutual thank you’s are said.
There is something special about that moment. The end of the giving for this time, the signature, the mark of respect from stage to auditorium and back again.
Right here, right now, right where we are.
Thanks to Lars Hansen and Yahoo for the images used.