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Hanson and an Mmmboperific Night at Webster Theatre

In 1997 a song hit the airwaves that was unlike any other at the time. It was before the boy band craze, and even before Britney Spears was sexually active (I know there once was a time) that a song dominated every walkman, stereo and car cassette player. This song title was not made up of words, there were no words to describe it. The album was ‘Middle of Nowhere,’ and the song of course was Mmmbop, a song that helped this little known band go to the top of the music world, selling ten million copies world wide.

Little did anyone know that over ten years later this band would still be around, touring and making new records. Going into a Hanson concert I really had no idea what to expect. I kept telling people I was really excited for this concert, not to see them, but see what the buzz was like inside the venue. It was what I thought, a crowd that consisted of mostly girls and woman in the 16-30 range. Of course it wasn’t only Hanson on this night, so lets go back to the beginning.

The first band of the night was a California group named Everybody Else. They caught my eye immediately because of their unique stage setup. Their drummer was set on the very edge of the stage, all the way on the right side (if you were facing the stage) and was a centerpiece to the band. He not only sang, but he played tambourine and synthesizer while keeping a solid beat on the drums. Nothing taken away from the other two members of this trio, who all harmonize just as well as Hanson, or any other group with above average harmonizing skills. The sound of all three of their voices is pretty magical live and my ears were sold on them.

Among my favorite songs were ‘In Memoriam’ (just named song of the week) and ‘Rich Girls, Poor Girls.’ Interestingly enough at the end of their set, the drummer knocked over his drum set and starting giving pieces of it to the crowd. He then looked toward the back of the club and seemed to say some words not worth repeating while throwing his middle finger up. He was clearly pissed off at something, as he stormed off stage, returning moments later to take his drums off stage. This was weird to me but it seemed after the show that all was well in the world of Everybody Else because they were all outside meeting fans.

Next up on stage was a singer songwriter named Dave Barnes. I always go into performances with an open mind, but certain performers just don’t cut it for me. He was a good example of that. Both me and crowd seemed very unimpressed when he took the stage with a collection of songs most people had never heard of. He was an average singer/songwriter, and did nothing to blow me away. So no more time wasted here, on to the main attraction (at least according to the screaming girls).

Hanson, scheduled to go onstage at 9:30 pm took the stage closer to 10:00 pm leaving everyone in attendance in suspense. While awaiting their arrival onstage I made my way into the photo pit to take some pictures and started chatting with some girls who were up at the front, dead center on the stage. They said they had been to a lot of Hanson shows and I had to pry. I said how many was a lot and after thinking about it for a few seconds told me that next week they would attend their 100th Hanson show. I’ve heard of seeing your favorite band a lot, but that just blew me away.

Apparently this is a big thing for Hanson and their fans. I knew then that this was no typical band. A lot of their fans go out of their way to see them as much and as often as possible. Upon further discussion, it turns out that these ladies were from Toronto and had just come down to see a few concerts on the east coast. Once again I was stunned. The farthest I had ever travelled to see a band was three hours to see Reel Big Fish (my favorite band) at Binghamton University.

Finally Hanson did take the stage and the crowd erupted into high pitched screams and singing as they opened with ‘Something Going Round.’ They continued to play a mix of new and old songs, some coming from their newest album ‘The Walk.’ They also played really good covers of ‘Oh Darling,’ and ‘Lets Get it On,’ which was mixed in with the Hanson song ‘If Only.’

To me, the most interesting part was when I went to the back and just listened. They didn’t sound like Mmmbop, they just sounded like a tight rock band. I feel that for the fans that have been there from the beginning the grew up with that in mind. To those of us that were hearing them for the first time, it just sounded like good music. You wouldn’t know these were the kids who sang the infamous song unless they actually had played it.

Of course they did oblige late in the show, giving a cool rock version of the classic song. They introduced it saying “We’re going to play the song that introduced you to us.” The crowd loved it, with everyone in attendance singing (including but not limited to: Webster Theatre Security, Bartenders and Me). Rarely does a band come through that play a song that every single person, young and old, knows. Weird how I can’t remember simple facts for a test but I can recall lyrics from a song that first premiered over ten years ago.

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2 Legacy Comments

  • Comment by Melanie posted October 30, 2008 at 21:20

    Does Mmmbop even have lyrics?? Oh ya it does, I just looked it up. Haha, I think I was the only girl in my elementary school that didn’t like that song. Their new stuff is good. I probably would have enjoyed that concert too. Can’t wait for Sara Bareilles!! I need to get tickets from you.. Logan and I are going.

  • Comment by hansonrock posted August 03, 2011 at 02:19

    Hanson are awesome and passionate musicians. Their 2004 Underneath album is just a masterpiece- good songs from first track to the last.

    Also noteworthy is the song “Been There Before” by them from The Walk. It’s a tribute to their musical influences, the original rock and roll. That song is just incredible and Hanson’s signature is just in it.

    Just sharing–
    Been There Before-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMk7oXWR_U0