Playing with Fire
As the first round of Anthem promotion takes a short rest, the eyes of Hanson fans move to Tulsa where the MOE event will be held next weekend. Some will meet up with friends that they have known for 16 years or even longer and some will be meeting new friends for the first time. Talk will be of the music, a 21st birthday celebration and the events of the world tour.
Whilst in Tulsa, fans have a chance to develop a broader understanding of what makes the band tick, what their everyday life looks like and what defines them as Tulsans and Oklahomans.
Most people, who follow the band, know that for Isaac at least, basketball is one of those defining things. And whilst over the years, Hanson have sung their National Anthem at many major events, some, like the one linked below, may have special significance.
May 2012, Hanson sings the National Anthem at the OKC Thunder vs. San Antonia Spurs game http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya6TCeonQ3I
So the news last week that Fox Sports was using songs from Anthem – Fired up and You Can’t Stop Us Now, for its coverage of OKC Thunder games, came as an acknowledgment of the devotion of Hanson and the gutsy attitude of their new music.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8pNYzj4gik Fired Up video and song for OKC Thunder Fox Sports
The more the music is heard – the gutsier it seems.
Just as a National Anthem defines or expresses something particular to a country, so this Anthem of Hanson’s must surely add more clarity to understanding this band.
Although this side of the album release much is still speculation and conjecture, some people may turn to sources of possible inspiration for Hanson, especially as aspects of the music and the art work tease and mystify just a little.
To review a previous suggestion, Ayn Rand’s book “Anthem” could hold a clue for the curious.
The book is set in a future world, where the needs of the individual are subjugated to the needs of the community. No one is valued as themselves and the committee rules.
The protagonist is 21 years old and through a sequence of events he discovers electricity and makes light, he plays with fire and appreciates the effect of lightning in a new way. He falls in love and realises that human passion has beauty. He challenges the status quo and decides to leave behind a system that is decrepit and without compassion. He names himself Prometheus, and his lover calls him The Unconquered. Ultimately the story is about finding freedom as an individual in a collective world, where originality is perceived as dangerous. It is about discovery, the nature and power of self belief and commitment to a different sort of future.
While waiting for Anthem to be released and with just a few teasers to entice, there can’t be any harm in looking for connections. If Hanson’s music echoes any of these themes it will continue to define the band as bold, imaginative, rooted in values that last, eager to grow and change and dedicated to giving their all and their best.
There will be plenty to sing and even more to sing about.