((We were there! Box Seats! Go here to view the pictures.))
Beyond hype, Hansons can play
By Monica Eng Tribune Staff Writer
Thousands of Hanson lookalikes descended upon the New World Music Theatre Friday night. A few of them were even boys. But all jokes about the Hansons' girlish looks aside, the talented trio of Oklahoma brothers proved Friday that they are more than just another formula pop band with teeny ages (12 to 17), familial bonds and great hair. When you get beyond all that, you find a troika of poised showmen with plenty of stage presence and at least one terrific voice. Sure they tote their share of hype, but at the band's core is an earthy roots/pop sound, well-crafted songs, solid musicianship and some fine if loose three-part harmonies led by Taylor's passionate lead vocals.
In what seemed like a Hanson brothers tribute to the "Blues Brothers" movie, the boys kicked off their Tinley Park gig with soul faves "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "Shake a Tail Feather." While scores of pre-teen girls weren't quite sure if they liked the "twist dances" their parents were doing, they would have been happy to hear the towheaded trio sing "The Beer Barrel Polka" if that's what they chose.
But soon it was on to more familiar territory as Zachary, Isaac and Tay (to his fans) launched into the power pop of their own "Thinking of You" and the galloping rhythms of "Where's the Love." While the sound was fine on uptempo songs, extended shrieking almost ruined "Weird," Taylor's touching piano-accompanied ballad of alienation.
It was only when the crowd joined for a group therapy sing-along of "We all feel a little weird sometimes" that the song because somewhat audible.
A short acoustic set exposed a folkier side of the band who dedicated "With You in Your Dreams" to their late grandmother and finished the set with a cover of "Money (That's What I Want)." Zach and Tay then turned it over to elder brother/guitarist Isaac, who showcased his piano talents and vocals on "More Than Anything" -- a ballad that would be right at home in Elton John's repertoire. When the boys -- and their three-man backup musicians -- returned, they rocked out on "Surely as the Sun," ((note: Mistake was made in the right-up. They sang "Sometimes," not "Surely as the Sun")) inspired paint-peeling squeals on the moving "I Will Come to You," and, of course, brought down the house with closers "MMMBop" and "Man From Milwaukee." Now if only they would cut their hair.
We got this review from the Post Tribune.
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