Hanson Kicks off Free Entertainment

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July 17, 2013
By James Reaney, The London Free Press

It’s official — the Western Fair is sticking with its free music approach for 2013 and Hanson is ready to play the starting role.

1297442924838_ORIGINALBuzz about the Oklahoma-raised pop rock trio running through Ontario in the fall was confirmed Tuesday when the London fall classic announced this year’s headliners at its free stage.

The three brothers — Zac, Taylor and Isaac Hanson — are touring in “reboot” mode with a new album, Anthem, to support. The tour brings Hanson to the fair on Sept. 6, opening night for the 2013 edition of the fair and its run of music.

Florida-tied country band The Mavericks have the music lineup’s closing spot. Canadians fill the rest of the fair’s 2013 bill ranging from pop’s Victoria Duffield and Fefe Dobson to country’s Doc Walker and classic rock’s Stampeders and Loverboy.

In a recent QMI Agency interview, Isaac Hanson said Anthem has a lot of fight in it from the lead single Get the Girl Back to the brassy 1970s feel of I’ve Got Soul.

“It just kind of sounded like a show band, you know,” the musician said of I’ve Got Soul. “Somewhere between James Brown and some rhythms from Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough. It’s a really, really fun song to play. It’s actually kind of exhausting. There’s a lot of stuff in that song, you got to be on your toes. There’s a lot of opportunities to screw up.”

The band is celebrating 21 years together despite drummer Zac Hanson being just 27 years old. Like his brothers, he knows what it’s like to deal with the “boy band” label.

“We were actually boys in a band when we started. (But) by definition I think ‘boy band’ had a negative connotation. When you actively call yourself a boy band you’re also sort of limiting your music to just a group of people — it’s only for young girls,” Zac Hanson told QMI in an earlier interview.

Looking back, Isaac Hanson isn’t sure if their 1997 breakthrough single MMMBop would be a massive hit in 2013.

“I have no idea,” he told QMI. “I think part of having a hit is timing and part of having a hit is the song and the combination of things around pop culture. I’d like to think it would be a hit today the way it was 16 years ago.”

For decades, the fair staged its music events at the grandstand. Separate admission was often charged. That changed for the 2012 fair with a free approach. The grandstand continues to be used for such events as the Warriors’ Day parade.

In 2012, such headliners as The Arkells, Trooper and Faber Drive headlined at a new free stage near the fair’s Rectory St. entrance.

A new, larger stage is to replace last year’s 1,500-fan capacity venue.

More music announcements, including details about local acts, are still to be announced.

— with files from Jason MacNeil and Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency

Source: London Free Press

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