Hanson: Tulsa's Seven-Song Wonders
By Thomas Conner
© Tulsa World
The pages of a thesaurus easily could be worn thin trying to
find the appropriate words to describe Saturday night's Hanson
concert at Frontier City in Oklahoma City, but none would better
sum up the show's madness and frustration than these two: seven
The No. 1 musical sensation in the country finally returned to
its home state in a swath of glory, they packed thousands upon
thousands of ecstatic young girls and their dumbstruck parents into
a venue meant to hold hundreds, they stayed cloistered in their bus
before showtime listening to the crowd chant, “Hanson! Hanson! We
want Hanson!'' — and they graced us with only seven songs.
That's a pile of gall for three kids who were begging for a
public gig this time last year. Other bands in their position (with
older, stronger audiences) would have been dragged back to the
stage — particularly by the sizeable Tulsa contingent
that traveled 200 miles round-trip for the Big Event, not to
mention paying up to $20 a head to get into the park. Heck, the
Mellowdramatic Wallflowers — another Tulsa band more seasoned and
deserving of the rocket to superstardom than our young heroes --
opened the show with maybe twice that number of songs.
How quickly they forget.
They were certainly seven fantastic songs, though, and during
that fleeting half hour, the crowd of sardined fans adored their
triumvirate of pubescent blonde ambition with the kind of
power-drill-in-the-ear screaming that hasn't been heard since the
You Know Whos came ashore. The crowd was so huge and so eager to
get a decent vantage point on the stage that they were squeezing
into the tiny field and crushing the front lines of girls against
the barricades. Ten minutes before Hanson took the stage, extra
manpower was called in from across the park to reinforce that line
of defense and keep the hysterical young'uns from rushing the
stage. More than a few were led away for heat exhaustion, despite
the afterthought of park officials throwing handfuls of ice into
When the Fab Three finally jogged onto the stage, they started
off with a couple of songs by themselves, letting their a capella
foundations show a bit. For “Madeline'' and “Man From
Milwaukee,'' Isaac strummed a guitar, Taylor slapped a tambourine
and Zac shook a shaker. The harmonies were sweet as ever and
further testament to the boys' whopping vocal and performance
For the remaining five numbers, the boys went electric along
with several other musicians, each of whom lurked discreetly on the
back of the stage. For the legions of cynics who wonder, the boys
actually do play their instruments, even if they're not always
playing the most significant parts of the songs. Every song was
hard-hitting and tight, more than thrilling the crowd.
The bulk of the signs held up in the crowd were announcing
various carnal desires for Taylor, but interest in the young Hanson
singer and keyboard player runs far deeper than mere teen-age lust.
This boy has soul, and it's evident from the first instant he
slouches into a microphone and beats a tambourine. If the boys'
career outlives the here-today-gone-tomorrow projections prone to
such young acts, Taylor Hanson looks like he's equipped to lead
dedicated fans through a lifetime of great and possibly
forward-thinking music. It's been a long time since rock 'n' roll
had a great white soul man, and I'm sure Tulsa would be proud to
say they knew him when.
Before any of that happens, though, the kids have got to hook
themselves up with a decent tour manager. They played this Oklahoma
City gig for free, meaning that each $20 admission from the several
thousand fans didn't go to the artists who deserved it. But then
again, for seven songs, maybe they didn't deserve a penny. If they
are indeed headed straight for Madison Square Garden, they'd better
work up a set that offers our money's worth — no matter how
adorable they may be.
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These online "clips" reproduce a self-selection of my journalism (music etc) during the last 20+ years. It's a lotta stuff, but it only scratches the surface. I do not currently possess the time or resources to digitize the whole body of work. These posts are simply a bunch of pretty great days at the office.