Sometimes the universe conspires against you and you must arrive 1 hour and 20 minutes late for a show. You will wonder if it will really be worth a 40 minute drive just to catch the final three or four songs.
Well, if you spent some part of your teen years in the 1990s, and if you’ve ever had any love in your heart for the band Hanson, then the answer is Yes, Totally Worth It!
The Mystic Showroom was sold out, filled with an effusive crowd of mostly women in their 30s and 40s. A few male companions could be spotted here and there, sporting attitudes ranging from near equal enthusiasm, to ambivalence, to (the more rare) abject indifference.
But walking in just as the 1997 hit, “Mmmbop” began to play, realizing you’re surrounded by 2,000+ other humans who all share some kind of connection to this song, all bubbling with joy, it was kind of…magical! Nostalgia filled the air. But the fans weren’t there just to relive a little of their youth. Everyone was on their feet and most seemed to know all the words to newer songs, too.
Hanson played out the rest of the show with “[a fun song that this writer has not been able to identify]” and “In the City” from This Time Around (2000). The brothers returned without their three-man backup-band for a brief encore of “A Song to Sing” (also from This Time Around) accompanied only by Taylor on baby grand piano. It was a strong finish for what seems to have been a crowd-pleasing event. Hanson has a large back catalog of upbeat and uplifting rock tracks, and they put on a solid live show.
Zac was stationed up front and off drum-set due to a recent motorcycle accident, but he played hand-held percussion (think cowbell and tambourine). After the encore, Isaac teased of new music coming in 2020 and then they called the band back out on stage for thanks and hugs before making a quick and clean exit. Clearly this is a team that enjoys playing together.
Fans left happy, smiling, and wistfully sighing. As folks filed out of the venue and into the casino, making their way towards their cars, snippets of conversations floated around:
“Such a fun band!”
“If they were playing back-to-back shows, I would go again! Here, take my money!”
and even, “[Explicit tour bus fantasy that should not be repeated.]”
Hanson is still beloved, and -22 years after “Mmmbop”- they still have the charisma to make fangirl hearts flutter.