As the boy grew to a man,
He built tall ladders to ascend
And those around him said with spite,
Risk of failure isn’t worth the fight,
But he never gave up power to the sound of fear or twist of fate,
He didn’t care how long it took,
I’ll still be reaching on my dying day.
Cause I can’t tell my heart don’t try,
I’ll keep reaching for the sky,
The second part of Reaching For The Sky from Hanson’s String Theory, draws on the band’s memories of the advice, curiosity and cynicism of others as well as their experiences of disappointment and discouragement. The young boys who swapped playing with friends for band practice and wrote MMMBop in light of early lost relationships; the boys who cut their teeth at Tulsa’s Mayfest and went on to root their independence in the wilderness of the vacant downtown, see people travel from across the planet this week, to celebrate it all. From the first moments of reaching, to the present day living In Real Life and on to whatever is higher up that ladder, this year’s Hanson Day will somehow capture it all.
For a few years Hanson have spoken cryptically about ends and beginnings of chapters, changes in the way they deliver their music and the pull of their passion to move forward to new things. It feels that with Tulsa joining together to hear String Theory on Friday, there is a coming full circle for Hanson and those who have been company on their journey to this point. The Hop Jam, which features Hanson, their friends and family, will reverberate with echoes from their past while looking ahead to new chapters in careers. For Phantom Planet it is an end to the hiatus and for Joshua and the Holy Rollers, it will be the climax of their first tour and a celebration of brotherly love. Those who know the stories will see beyond the lines and those who just love good music under Tulsa County stars, will be rewarded with one of the best line ups to date
This year, the Hanson day schedule is full to bursting and the possibilities of what a trip to Tulsa can offer are richer than ever. Since Hanson began inviting their fans to Tulsa, this celebration of the Hanson community has grown from a single free concert, to three full days of activities plus Hop Jam related events. And this year, Mayfest activities are sited just a block away from the events happening on North Main St.
The second Firkin Feast will bring food and local craft beers together in an intimate dining experience and fans of Hanson who will have just danced their way through a free concert will race across the city to be part of the band’s foray into the world of selective food and drink.
Developments in Tulsa’s downtown continue apace. Within a few years the Oklahoma Pop museum should be opening its door across from Cain’s Ballroom. Hanson will have new premises at the end of the block and new living developments will turn empty plots into swanky accommodation. The street where Hanson sited 3CG Records will be unrecognisable from the vacant, dust blown space it was a decade ago. The creative bustle that thrives between Archer and Easton and that has Hanson at its heart, will continue to send ladders reaching up into the realms of possibility and out into the community.
This years Tulsa Hanson celebrations will be very special. They will never be repeated. They will mark a specific moment in Hanson’s Real Life. A life that has embraced risk, adventure, hard work and imagination. It is a life that has its share of the mundane and the crazy. It is a mix of the dreaming and the reality, the drive and the exhaustion, the determination and the being overwhelmed.
Hanson will share their interpretation of In Real Life this coming weekend and Tulsa, along with a thousand fans will feel it. Look carefully, observe and take it in, for this is nothing mediocre. It isn’t fearful and it isn’t defeated. Hanson’s Real Life is expansive, and it makes a difference.
Have fun Hanson fans. Have fun Tulsa.