Hanson Takes String Theory to Australia (and Blows the Roof off The Sydney Opera House) Part 1
Over time Hanson have proved that they can pull the white rabbit from a hat and take us all by surprise. The Australia String Theory Tour was always going to be a big deal. Australia loves Hanson and both the media and the fans make the very most of opportunities to enjoy the full range of Hanson talents. Among those talents is the capacity to up the ante and give from deep down, after weeks on the road, when ordinary humans might be tempted just to sleep.
However, the sunshine, light hearted radio banter and an exceptionally excited and supportive fan base brought out the best in the band, in performances of String Theory from Melbourne to Sydney.
When Hanson first devised plans for String Theory, they expressed an ambition to play at The Sydney Opera House.
As City Opera/Symphony Halls go it has a reputation that goes way before it. Its position on the harbour makes it a visitor’s dream and inside the layout and acoustic are unique, although some of the seating is questionable. But if the purpose is to hear the sounds that move through the space it is extremely special.
It is little wonder that here, tickets for String Theory sold out and that Hanson pushed for a second night, making the most of this opportunity. Their fans too were well aware of the significance of this moment and many travelled far from homes around the world to touch the “rings of Saturn” of this tour.
For some, these shows awakened deeply treasured memories or created opportunities to meet with close friends. For others, it was a once in a life time, seize the day experience, possibly inspired by Hanson’s Do. Go. Be. mantra of the last two years.
Thanks to some of those fans we are able to share a little of the first-hand excitement, curtesy of their stories shared with us.
Anna plays violin and was part of the orchestra playing String Theory at Sydney Opera House.
I am an award winning musician, with a PhD in violin. I have studied and performed in Brazil, Europe, the USA, and now in Australia, where I call home. Some of my recent concerts include performances with Eminem, Michael Buble and Calum Scott, among others.
Two performances with Hanson at the Opera House – what a thrill.
These past two days were filled with incredible music and musicians. The musical maturity of Isaac, Taylor, and Zac is astounding. They sing perfectly in tune and their harmonies are so luscious and idiosyncratic.
I was deeply impressed by how well they each could play different instruments. As a violinist, I know how difficult is to master even one instrument. Can you believe they sing, play the piano, guitar, drums, and percussion? All at a very high level?!
One thing I really appreciate when playing with other artists is how well they treat people around them. All three of them were so lovely with everyone, it was impossible not to become an instant fan. Even when dealing with small contretemps, they made sure to put everyone at ease and we all felt very comfortable to do what we do best – great music!
Marica is a long time Hanson fan, living in Sydney
The Sydney Opera House is the most famous and distinctive concert venue in the world, hands down.
Ever since I saw Hanson sing totally awestruck a little piece of MMMBop acapella in the Concert Hall of the SOH (TT&MON), I wanted to see them perform there. A year ago, I learned about String Theory project and I said to myself: “They HAVE to perform this in the Sydney Opera House!”
Little did I know then that Hanson felt the same (as we all learned later)
The Australian dates were announced six months later with a show in the Sydney Opera House. Talk about being in Hanson heaven on a Taylor cloud. The presale came and went, always a most stressful event for me, and I had the precious ticket in my hot little hand, well, a confirmation email in my in box, if you want me to be precise.
I thought that there is nothing that can surpass this, but I was wrong.
A second SOH show was announced with another pre-sale and I had another ticket for the SOH in my hot little …ok, another confirmation email in my inbox. All I could think of was, “My goodness – this is too much”
You can read about the venue and see pictures, but you must experience it. The acoustics of the Concert Hall have been a subject of controversy since the day it opened. But from where I was sitting, they were phenomenal. I believe the beginning of “You Can’t Stop Us” must have been heard in space. Zac’s voice sounded twice as powerful as it already is. I was pinching myself – I am watching and listening my favourite musicians playing in this iconic venue.
Mrs and Mr Hanson in attended the 2 Sydney shows. Social media went into overdrive last week when Diana Hanson posted a picture of the Sydney Opera House taken from her hotel room window. To me and to many others it seemed obvious that the two Sydney performances were so important for the guys that they flew in their parents! I felt proud of my hometown and the place it holds in Hanson hearts.
And then this happened.
That’s yours truly sitting right behind Mrs & Mr Hanson. Actually, I could see them and Hanson on stage at the same time! Absolutely extraordinary, unique experience. I was living vicariously through them during the show. They were watching intently, always turning their heads toward the son who was singing lead at the time (Taylor was on the far left from us, so I could tell). They were bopping their heads and clapping. They stood up with the rest of us and rocked out during the show finale.
During the intermission and at the end of the show they chatted their heads off with everyone who approached them. They were very friendly, smiling all the time. They put everyone at ease. Even yours truly managed to string a couple of semi-decent sentences together while talking to them. I could feel that they were both proud as punch of their sons. I have a 36-year-old, beautiful, brilliant daughter and a lovely 28-year-old autistic son and I love them to death. I hope they forgive me for wishing (even for a split second) that I was Mama Hanson then and there.
Some personal Highlights from the tour were,
Too Much Heaven acapella after the Sydney 2 show:
There are numerous videos out there so you can see that. I believe Hanson gave themselves as musicians a treat with this one and to their parents in the audience. I simply have no words to describe how I felt but let’s try:
Elated: I heard the word “encore”
Elated to the square power: It was going to be “acapella without mics”
Apprehensive: We all know how some in the audience behave during these (cat calls and what not)
Awestruck: by Taylor Hanson and his crowd control skills.
Mesmerised: during the two and a half minutes while the guys performed in perfect three-part harmony with two perfect key changes. There was a 3 second silence after the song finished and before the crowd erupted in cheers. It shows to me that everyone else was mesmerised too.
Blown away: after that performance which will go in Hanson history books.
Proud: we, the Sydney Hanson fans, pulled off what has rarely been pulled off in Hanson history before and that is to listen, quiet as mice, hardly breathing for the entire 2.5 minutes while Hanson performed vocal magic on stage. You could hear a pin drop.
Sitting 5 metres from Taylor Hanson during two shows:
No mincing words here. He is the main reason that I am a fan. I am deeply convinced that he’s the driving force in this band and without him there would be no Hanson as we know them. To watch his every move while performing during the Sydney 2 show was fascinating. Sorry Ike and Zac, you had all my attention during Sydney 1. Taylor was on my far side so I could only see the top of his head when he was on the piano.
And… everything else during the three shows I attended.
Thanks to Anna and Marica for sharing their experiences of String Theory Australia.