October 14, 2009
House of Blues
With the last notes of hellogoodbye‘s final song “Here (In Your Arms)” still ringing my ears, I made my way through the crowd to claim my position in the photo pit. The three levels at The House of Blues in Boston were buzzing with anticipation. When the familiar chant of “Hanson! Hanson! Hanson!” began, I scanned the sea of people and realized that this was a different kind of Hanson crowd. It felt more like an indie rock show, partly due to the fact that along with hellogoodbye, Sherwood and Steel Train are also on the road with the trio.
When the lights went back down, Hanson took the stage and the crowd erupted. The sounds of their new tune, “World On Fire”, which is available on the acoustic EP Stand Up Stand UP, served as a preview of what’s to come for the band.
The song “Great Divide” really had great live energy and got the crowd on their feet. When the old favorite “Where’s The Love” faded out, my time viewing the show through my camera lens had come to an end and I took my place in the crowd
While taking another look around the House of Blues, not only was I digging the art hanging high on the walls, but I was also really impressed with the venue’s acoustics. It made the three part harmonies that Hanson is known for really stand out.
After a short break, the band returned to the stage for a more intimate acoustic set. The audience was treated with solo performances from Zac and Isaac. Zac performed another new song from the Stand Up Stand Up EP named “Use Me Up.” His soulful vocals were only accompanied by his piano. The stripped down performance was a great lead into Ike’s more upbeat rendition of their old classic “River”. Isaac had the entire crowd clapping and singing along.
The word among the crowd was that Taylor was battling the flu that day, which actually lead him to miss the one-mile walk they do with fans to raise AIDS awareness in Africa at each venue they play. Honestly, if we hadn’t known about it, we would have never noticed. His voice was strong and clear during “Blues Sky”, and another new song, “Waiting For This.” His vocals were just as powerful as every other time I’ve seen these guys play. As if to give Taylor’s voice a break, the audience was more then happy to sing most of the song “Crazy Beautiful” back to the band. A fun moment for the fans, almost as if to say ‘we’ll take it from here Taylor.’
Hanson closed the main set with a rocking performance of the Isaac fronted song “Watch Over Me”. The eldest brother got the crowd waving their arms back and forth by doing a similar motion with his guitar held high over his head.
When they came back for the encore, I was pleased to learn that the Cheap Trick classic “ I Want You To Want Me” won the online poll they have on the their Web site. The poll allows fans to pick songs they’d like to hear during the band’s set… in this case, during our retro encore. It was fun watching Zac practically jump into the first row of the crowd. Lucky fans got high fives on his way back up to rejoin the rest of the band on stage. This show was fun, full of energy, and guaranteed to bring Hanson more than a few new fans.