The first thing I thought when I walked through the doors of Sydney’s Enmore Theatre last night for a skip through nineties pop nostalgia was, ‘Well, you’ve gotta given these boys some serious credit for this”. The pop landscape is a ruthless one and it’s been more unforgiving to bands with a lot more commercial weight behind them than sibling trio Hanson. Yet, in a world where bands come and go and reality shows turn out stars so quickly, as if the world was about to come to a sudden halt, Hanson have matured gracefully into a powerful threesome that seem to have gained more credibility as the years have rolled by.
As far as success goes, the road has been very well travelled for the Oklahoma brothers. While success for Taylor, Isaac and Zac was at its peak in the nineties with hits like Where’s The Love and MMMBop, they have retained fans and industry respect as seasoned musicians, performers and songwriters over the past 22 years with early studio albums like Middle of Nowhere, mid-career highlights like This Time Around and more recent records like 2010’s Shout It Out. The lads have also dabbled in Motown/Soul recently with the release of new album Anthem, gaining a wider fan base as they take the new collection on the road to fans around the globe.
Having already blown away the crowds at Brisbane’s Tivoli Threate and the Gold Coast’s Coolangatta Hotel earlier this week, the wheels were well oiled by the time the trio took to the staged last night at The Enmore Threatre, a venue well experiences in hosting bands from the nineties over the years with Aqua, Vengaboys and most recently 5ive all setting up shop at the Newtown venue and drawing the masses. Last night was no different with the intimate venue overflowing with fans; crowds of teenage girls packing the venue all ready to take a selfie with the band and sing along to some of pops staple hits.
Without an inch of floors space spared by the time the band took to the stage at just after 9pm with the appropriate Fired Up which also serves the new album as its opening track before launching into I’ve Got Soul, a nod the predominant style heard on the latest studio collection, and the mammoth Where’s The Love which was, along with MMMBop, an unsurprising highlight of the night. The opening of the show successfully had the crowd worked into an early sweat as they danced and sang along with the band at a deafening volume.
There wasn’t much of the Hanson back catalogue left untouched last night as the band were on top form and delivered a strong 25-song set for the sold out crowd in Sydney, touching on early commercial songs right through to the band’s latest studio effort with tracks like the lead single Get the Girl Back, with its Motown-esque vibe filling up the venue, and Juliet which saw Taylor swap his usual piano embraced position on stage with brother Zac on drums for the memorable addition to the set. You also could not really ask much more from a band when it comes to stage time – performing non-stop for a solid 2 hours and while Taylor took the lead vocal lead for the majority of the set in his front-man role, Zac was given some time to shine on tracks like Scream and Be Free and his solo performance of the yet to be released track Get So Low. Isaac also delivered a memorable performance of the rollicking Hand In Hand during the solo centre of the night.
While new songs like You Can’t Stop Us Now with its We Will Rock You-esque drum beat and the summer road-trip feel of Penny & Me were welcomed by the crowd who lapped up every moment that they were in the presence of pop royalty, particularly as Taylor neared the front rows to gasping fans and when Zac released his flowing locks to the hollers and squeals from the over-excited teenage girls in the audience, the golden oldies were the key crowd-pleasers within the set. The cheers were almost unbearable as the band launched into early up-tempo highlight Where’s The Love and MMMBop which showed up further down the set with almost everyone in the venue raising their camera phones in the air to get a snapshot of the nights key moments. The audience gushed over the ballads just as much; Weird was an obvious scene stealer within the set, as was the mid-section of the set-list as each member took to the stage alone to perform a number for the crowd. We were also treated to a cover of the Bee Gees hit Too Much Heaven by the trio who stood centre stage around a microphone, delivering an acapella version of iconic ballad to their adoring fans.
Although the band started out in almost bubble-gum-pop territory in the early nineties, Taylor, Isaac and Zac have made the successful transition from teenybopper pop stars to fully-fledged musicians who have retained and gained a very loyal fan-base over these past 22 years in the business. The lads deliver a powerful set and have a sturdy catalogue to fuel a very memorable performance.
I’ve Got Soul
Where’s The Love
Scream And Be Free
Thinking Of You
You Can’t Stop Us Now
On And On
Too Much Heaven
Hand In Hand
Get So Low
A Song To Sing
You Never Know
Thinking ‘Bout Somethin’
Waiting For This
A Minute Without You
Penny & Me
Give A Little
Get The Girl Back
Something Going Round
This Time Around
In The City
::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
Interviewing and reviewing the best in new music and globally recognized artists is his passion.
Over the years he has been lucky enough to review thousands of music releases and concerts and interview artists ranging from top selling superstars like 27-time Grammy Award winner Alison Krauss, Boyz II Men, Roxette, Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Loeb and iconic Eagles front man/songwriter, Glenn Frey through to more recent successes including Newton Faulkner, Janelle Monae and Caro Emerald.
Brendon manages and coordinates the amazing team of writers on RenownedForSound.com who are based in the UK, the U.S and Australia.