Last week Hanson travelled from Tulsa to Dallas and onto Buenos Aires, Rio and Sao Paolo, as the Anthem Tour began in earnest in South America.
According to Hanson themselves, the excitement of the fans at shows, the airport, their hotel and the TV studios, was much appreciated – causing them to smile, knowing that they had made a real “connection with someone, something that has lasted more than a decade and that connection continues”.
With decades in mind, we look back to September 2000, when the North American leg of the This Time Around tour was coming to an end and Taylor Hanson said enthusiastically,
“Music is about hooks and melodies and people looking back on a time in their life based on the music they heard. Music is about life and emotions and I want people to really, really feel that. I’ll be satisfied when I feel like I know I’ve affected somebody, changed somebody, and they walk out going, “Damn, that was good!”
During this tour, Hanson were dealing with a record label that was showing signs of disarray, suggestions that they should embark on solo projects, the premature fall from the charts of the album and the realities of following up a mega successful first album and tour.
Not that any of these seemed to phase the band, who throughout the interviews at this time, talk of natural evolutions in their music, the commitment of their fans, the unpredictability of the music industry and being driven by their musical passions and influences.
And the interviews from this tour are mostly highly complimentary of the band noting their “prodigious talent”, “accomplishment”, “maturity”, “discernment” and “authenticity”.
Hanson have said publicly, that the art of their show, as it has evolved to this day, with varied sets lists and energetic connection with the crowd, was honed during this tour and certainly they began to cement the long term relationships with places and people that have enabled them to continue doing “this”.
So, perhaps the start of a tour is a good time to celebrate the art of making connections and what better place to celebrate than in the heat, passion and history of Latin America.
Videos from the shows that have surfaced on you tube are testament to the connection Hanson have with their fans; with the band often smiling warmly and knowingly, picking faces out in the crowd and the audience singing so loudly that at times the band are inaudible.
The Sao Paolo show, featuring puppets in the audience wearing bow ties and sporting mops of blonde hair, stands out as an example of the audacious familiarity and affection that exemplify that connection – one that on this occasion was loved by the band.
On TV Hanson continued to talk about connections – about having the best job in the world, sharing music with others, the relationship between success, humility and gratitude and the creative dynamic of letting their combined passions lead the song writing.
And when looking ahead, they spoke of being able to make the connections that feel right for them, as they enjoy the rewards of their courage and hard work as independent artists.
A slightly frivolous place to end this brief comment is the tongue in cheek confession made during the same TV interview, that prior to their marriages, Taylor led the most girls on, Isaac dated the most girls and Zac spent the most time with his life long love – the Xbox.
Maybe it will always be true that while Hanson put the connection to their music first, the media will often be looking for something more personal to catch a moment of sensation.
On a completely different note, Hanson’s appearance on Much Music’s Top 10 Video countdown with Phoebe Dykstra is now up on You Tube and what a sensation that is!
If you are interested in the dynamic between the members of the band or the dynamic between Hanson and their hosts, this is a “one to watch”.
Phoebe who is herself a sensation at Much Music, and friends with many music celebrities, is superbly confident and at ease with her audience and guests.
Obviously a fan of Hanson, she drew them in to a warm, relaxed and at times slightly flirtatious conversation about their video preferences, while news about the tour and beer crept in from the sides.
But even here, it was a game of connections as Phoebe tweeted Ed Sheeran, a fan of Penny and Me, on behalf of Hanson, and they contemplated making musical babies with him.
The most interesting things however are the observations to be made about Hanson’s choice of videos.
While they joked that they tossed out suggestions hastily while in a van, several of these choices,
Monsters and Men, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghb6eDopW8I
and Calvin Harris in particular, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17ozSeGw-fY
show a less predictable side to their music preferences. Hanson are beguiled by the melody and rhythm of the music but the eclectic tone of the videos, while appealing to the courage of their creative mind, might equally perplex the senses of the less open minded onlooker.
So linking back to connections – what else can be said ?
That the coming tour will deepen the connection between Hanson and their fans is in no doubt.
That Hanson will continue in interviews to speak about the connections between their past, present and future is a given.
That they will continue to entice and bemuse their audience with the unexpected is a reason to be cheerful.
And Taylor can be more than satisfied that just over 10 years on, Hanson deeply affect their audience and hosts.. who leave the scene saying “Damn, That WAS good”!