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=atlanta review=

              Hanson MMMBops Lakewood

              By Russ DeVault, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

      Beer and wine sales may have been flat Sunday night at Lakewood Amphitheatre, but the level of enthusiasm had a stratospheric peak. It was focused on Hanson, the trio of brothers from Tulsa, Okla., best known for the hit "MMMBop" and their loving legion of preteen and teen females.

What was surprising -- even to some fans -- was the quality of the music Hanson delivered live, although it was best appreciated during an acoustic interlude. "I was expecting something stupid," said Allison Gillogly, 10, of Atlanta. "They're really cool,'' brother Bennett Gillogly, 7, agreed, saying that his first  concert experience was a good one and that he liked "the music'' best of all.

   The Hansons -- guitarist Isaac, keyboardist Taylor and drummer Zac opened with "Gimme Some Lovin'," a well-traveled Spencer Davis Group hit from the 1960s, but it was purely a rhetorical request. By then, the young fans in the capacity crowd of 19,000 had been sending screams of adoration toward the stage every time a stagehand appeared or a curtain billowed. (Don't even try to imagine the nerve it took for Zac to leave the stage and run through the crowd midway through the show, a move that so surprised fans he returned safely.)

It was hardly surprising and a reason so many of the adults were sporting earplugs. "I don't mind the girls and I don't mind the music,'' said Alan Walker, a golf club pro from Alpharetta. "It's the screaming.''

Like other parents, Walker made the best of the situation, saying, "It's my daughter and it's what she wants.'' In addition to daughter Melissa Walker, 9, the senior Walker brought along Megan Ulatowski, 8, and Blair Leach, 10, all from the same neighborhood. Blair had seen the Pretenders on the Fourth of July at Lakewood, but seeing Hanson was the first concert for Melissa and Megan, who bombarded their escort with questions about seat location, when the show would start and were they missing anything by eating hotdogs and having drinks in the plaza area.

But the youngsters were certain of one thing -- the reason they like Hanson. "They're cute,'' Melissa Walker said, while her friends grinned and nodded their agrement. Clay Schell, Lakewood general manager, noted that the level of excitement overshadowed that generated by fans of the Spice Girls, who were at the amphitheater June 18. "It was up-and-down for the Spice Girls,'' Schell said. "With this crowd, the hysteria has been full time.''

(We got this review from Hansonline.)

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