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Denver- Red Rocks

Shrieking young fans greet Hanson's oldies rock

By Michael Mehle News Popular Music Writer

Marriage proposals for 12-year-old boys aren't usually socially acceptable, but parents indulged a lot of wishful thinking at Red Rocks on Saturday night.

It was teeny-bop heaven as Hanson came to town on its first tour. Where Is the Love?, the band asks on one of its biggest hits. Here's your love, 8,000 fans answered, shattering the muggy mountain air Saturday with shrieks of innocent adulation.

The blond mop-tops, Isaac, Taylor and Zac, returned the kindness with a solid 90-minute set of exuberant pop and rollicking soul as only a trio of Midwestern brothers could play it.

No surprise, the noisy Red Rocks throng was predominantly pre-teen females and the lucky parents who drove them and opened their purse strings for $25 T-shirts and $15 posters. The younger ones came with signs saying, "Zac, will you marry me?" and, "Blow me a kiss." Their older chauffeurs came with earplugs and patience. But those parents should be proud of the choices their offspring are making early in life:

Unlike other teeny-bop bands of today, Hanson is more than pop fluff and video magic. The boys' learned their craft from their parents' Time/Life oldies collection and learned their instruments in their garage. That oldies rock and soul vibe was evident Saturday as Hanson peppered its set with songs that parents could recognize, such as Good Lovin' and Money (That's What I Want). Indeed, the group opened with the Spencer Davis Group's Gimme Some Lovin', but the screaming reached new heights when the trio (with the help of three backing musicians) lit into their own songs with Thinking of You and the R&B rave-up Where's the Love?

Later, the band took a break to "get in touch with our quiet side," as 15-year-old Taylor put it, unplugging their instruments and settling into overstuffed easy chairs for a set of more mellow material. That part of the concert best showed the band's abilities on simple but affecting songs such as Stories, I'll Be With You in Your Dreams and Soldiers. In the quieter setting you could hear how the three blend vocal harmonies like old pros.

The stripped-down setting also showed that the three can handle their instruments better than their critics would care to admit. In particular, the elder Hanson brother, Isaac, 17, carried the load on acoustic guitar, and when he took over on keyboards to play More Than Anything he showed why he was the lead singer before Taylor's soulful pipes developed.

Even 12-year-old Zac, who did little more than add backup singing on the acoustic songs, got in some good drumrolls and fills on the neo-funk of Speechless.

July 19, 1998

E.W. Scripps

We got this review from Hansonline.

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