Hanson Tour Kicks Off at Cain’s Ballroom

 altA Hanson show in Tulsa is kind of like a rite of passage for many. 

If you’ve yet to see them here in their home city, you owe it to yourself. The power trio first burst onto the music scene back in 1997 and have had a steady and stellar career since.  Back then, who could forget those three kids with their ever cheesy song and video “MMMBop?” 

Well those days have long since past, but these men still have enough up their musical sleeves to put on a heck of an entertaining show.

 Wednesday’s show at Cain’s featured four bands and had a very interesting feel to it, from pop-punk to “nerd pop” to pop rock.  Some shined, and some  had me scratching my head wondering how these guys got into a band, much less on the bill.

 The crowd was much what you would expect, lots of young ladies and those that were young when Hanson started.  They have managed to keep a very strong and loyal following. 

 Sherwood, a pop-punk band from California, opened the show with energy and catchy songs.  The eager crowd ate them up.  Next was Steel Train, a five piece Indie/Folk rock band out of New Jersey. These guys played a fun and lively set.

 Hellogoodbye, it is your turn at the mic.  What do you have to offer?  Based on what I saw, a nerdy good time.  It was almost like Weezer and Barenaked Ladies met and had a kid.  I seriously had to stop myself from laughing at times. 

altTake lead singer, Forrest Kline, dressed in a short sleeve dress shirt, circa 1968 NASA engineer collection, cut off khaki shorts that hit him about six inches above the knee and horn rim glasses.  The illegitimate son of Buddy Holly?  The band came off like that kid that shouldn’t be handed a microphone, because all he wants to do is talk into it.  These guys, for whatever reason, felt the need to carry on meaningless conversations with each other over the mic.  Don’t get me wrong, they played well together and had some stand out moments, but overall it left me wondering what they were all about.  Eccentric for attention sake.

As you can probably tell, this is not my normal forte of musical choice.  I am a little older than the target audience of all of these bands.  I still have reminders of my days in youth ministry, when the young ladies in the group were Hanson freaks and went to their shows as part of the fan club.  I could never really understand the draw.  I mean I could tell there was talent, but I didn’t know to what extent. 

After a lengthy intermission that had it’s share of technical issues, the lights go out and the brothers Hanson slowly come onto the stage.  Little voices begin to scream from the packed house and my baptism into the world of bubblegum pop beings.  But much to my surprise, this is a polished and mature group that has paid its dues and come into its own.  alt

From the opener “Worlds on Fire” to the encore of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” Hanson had the crowd eating out of their hands.  Taylor Hanson’s vocals are very strong and like I said before, mature.  Gone are the little boys who took the world and MTV (when they played music) by storm.  In their place are complete musicians. 

Set list standouts included: “Where’s The Love” opened a cappella, very cool twist, “Something Going Round” and “MMMBop.”  They also did a spot-on version of Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle” that served as a segue into the band’s introduction.

“Don’t Stop Believing” was actually added to the set through fan vote on their website.  A nice little way of getting fan participation in the show. 

Overall the kick off show to their Use Your Sole tour was very solid.  It did have a few hiccups as you would expect.  Some awkward moments aside, it was a good way to spend a Wednesday evening and provided unexpected entertainment.


About the writer:
Ernie Osborn is a California transplant that has been around the music business much of his life. He has been in bands and currently plays guitar and sings when called upon to do so.