Talk about going to a Hanson show and you might well end up in a conversation about what it is that makes people admire and love this band so much.
If you were wondering what it is before the show, you won’t be by the end.
There are few performers who can bring together the mix of ingredients that make the Hanson experience so compelling and intoxicating.
In Boston just a few days ago, Taylor Hanson paid respect to his younger brother, who has been making music and performing since he was 6 years old, by saying:
“He’s the only drummer that I’ve ever seen on the planet who can play a badass groove, sing harmony, walk out and play the keyboard, play the guitar and make it all happen …. That guy who just played that song for you, was the guy that was 11 years old playing on stage the drums at the Grammys… he’s also the youngest Grammy nominated songwriter ever .“
In this unapologetic moment of praise, Taylor declared what it is that makes Hanson stand out from the crowd.
Not only do Hanson have a wide range of musical talents, they have a history which underpins their confidence, and ambition which pushes each to extend their skills further and further.
Add to this a raw and untainted passion in the performance and an audacious determination not to be misjudged and Hanson leave no room for indifference.
However, for many in the crowd, the generous humility and respect of three people for each other and their audience, is what stays after the show is over and the working week has been resumed.
This respect, expressed in Taylor’s comment above, is also a reminder that Isaac, Taylor and Zac do not take each other or their combined talents for granted.
Most fans can only guess at the stories which fill Hanson’s history as they have grown together as a band, carved out their separate identities and developed their business.
Anthem is testament to the resilience, courage and sheer love of the craft, that have always driven this band and suggest that Hanson still have a long way to go.
So, as the US Tour gets underway, this very short homage to Hanson is an invitation to recollection.
Whether it was the first time “MMMBop” was heard on the radio or watching the smile of Taylor Hanson in the “If Only” Video, hearing Isaac’s soulful voice on “Deeper” or the conscience of “Great Divide”, most fans will have an abiding memory of a moment when they caught a glimpse of a rare thing – unashamed and authentic love of music making.
This tour will add memory upon memory for fans across North America and Europe, and the music of Anthem will give a new energy to the process.
New songs, which are still finding their place among fan favourites, interviews with people more or less up to date with Hanson’s career and many barefoot walks will all play a part in the defining moments of the Anthem Tour.
However, whatever it is that happens when Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson take to the stage and the first notes are played, is also beyond definition … the components act together and there is a chemistry.
So sing it if you know it and scream it if you feel it, but don’t pick it apart with words.
Just like gold, it is made in the heat and fire of something rare.
Something worth embracing once found.
Talent, respect, humility and love.