Despite the news of Hanson Day, The Hop Jam and another Back To The Island, there are still echoes of Hanson’s String Theory tour ringing in our ears. It will take some time for memories of extra special venues, unusual travel plans and tale telling music to fade for both the band and their fans.
Hanson speak of String Theory as a project that has a life span and momentum of its own and the promise of more shows to come, maybe in other iconic settings, ensures a sweet taste to savour while memories dwell.
To keep us in the mood, we share three more experiences of String Theory in Australia, with thanks to Nicole, Erin and Selene.
I consider myself lucky to have seen four shows during the Australian leg of the tour: String Theory at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne, the first Zoo Twilights gig, and both String Theory shows at the Sydney Opera House.
As I’d hoped each delivered a uniquely special experience.
While I was pining see my band in this triumphant symphonic format, I’m so glad they did Zoo Twilights. Not just because I welcome any chance to see them in their reliably excellent rock ‘n’ roll form, but because the zoo was a fantastic open air ‘festival’ like setting I’d never seen them in and because of the diverse audience it awarded them; I loved seeing the variety of old and new fans that came along and had a great time.
String Theory was everything I wanted it to be and more and each show delivered a uniquely special experience. The 34 year old auto-immune diseased part of me was actually chuffed to sit in the gallery at a Hanson show for once! To start the tour relaxed in a comfortable front row seat with a panoramic view of the stage, theatre and crowd was a rare treat.
I cherish the video I captured there, as did the cellist that had me email ‘Tragic Symphony’ to her because she too loved every minute of her Hanson experience. And that’s one of the beauties of this tour, the wealth of accomplished musicians connecting with our band for the first time and recognising their uncommon greatness.
In spite of attending the Palais show first, nothing prepared me for the overwhelming emotion I’d feel when the guys appeared for their first night in the inimitable Sydney Opera House Concert Hall. I don’t lament our seats being halfway up the stalls due to my larger group, it too was a vantage point that allowed me to take in the electric atmosphere at this milestone moment in Hanson’s career. I’m sure the guys felt it too. A surge of energy passed through the room that was different from any other tour and not felt at the Palais; an indescribable mutual energy that said ‘this is a big deal and we all know it.’ But it was the second Sydney show that delivered over and above. I’d looked forward to finishing my tour fourth row centre, but since the announcement of this milestone event we all hoped they’d re-enact their famous 1997 a cappella performance of ‘MMMBop’ under the acoustics of the Opera House architecture. But I wasn’t disappointed that for this exclusive encore they performed my favourite cover tribute ever, ‘Too Much Heaven’. I’ve envied their microphone-free a cappella performances of other songs on YouTube, so to hear this song at this venue on this tour with my own ears in the most prime seats I could’ve asked for, it’s no exaggeration to say that this is now my most treasured memory.
Too Much Heaven
I refrained from most String Theory spoilers prior to this tour in the hope that it would make the first experience that much more special and I am so glad that I did. Piano ballads hold a special place in my heart and so hearing “Reaching For The Sky” for the first time was simply breathtaking and a little magical. The addition of the orchestra into songs we have all known and loved for so long has transformed them in such a way that makes listening to them a whole new experience. For me the spine-tingling strings in the middle of “You Can’t Stop Us Now” were incredible as it builds into the heavy drum beat. Long time favourite of mine – “Me, Myself and I” brought me to tears more than once, as the symphony added an extra element of sadness to the song’s heartbreaking beauty. And although not accompanied by the orchestra, the boys surprise final song acapella performance of “Change In My Life” was the perfect way to finish the tour.
I feel so lucky to have many memorable moments at the Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast and Brisbane shows. Many of the venues were absolutely beautiful and attending the first show at the Sydney Opera House was something I never dreamed of doing. But Hanson did it! They finally played at the Sydney Opera House and it was spectacular! There were also two extra non-String Theory shows played at the Melbourne Zoo which were equally as amazing in their own ways. It was a refreshing change to attend a Hanson show at an outdoor venue and the guys seemed to really let their hair down and performed with a fierceness on stage that made the shows feel electrifying. Some great song choices plus an awesome atmosphere was the perfect combination for an amazing couple of nights. Hanson tours are always about more than just the incredible music. They are also an opportunity to bring our friends together to enjoy these special moments and create amazing memories that leave us wanting more, and the Australian String Theory Tour has achieved that on all levels.
I was fortunate to be able to attend three string theory shows during the Australian tour, it was amazing to see Hanson in this environment, performing with an orchestra and hearing the songs I love performed in this way. The first show I saw was at the Palais in Melbourne which blew me away, hearing the harmonies sore and the pure talent of each orchestra member was an experience that I will treasure. I also attended the Sydney opera house show, how often do you get to see your favourite band at such an iconic location. String theory was incredible here, especially the second night when the boys did a spontaneous encore of the Bee Gees ‘Too Much Heaven’ to which the entire audience was silent and received the biggest applause and screams afterwards. I am so grateful that the string theory tour was bought to Australia and that it allowed us to see this remarkable show and allowed us to connect with these songs in a different way.
With many thanks to Nicole, Erin and Selene.