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Friday, October 31, 2008
Hanson delivers a new sound with a good cause to VA

By Angelyn Thornton

It may have been a cold night outside but things were heating up at the State Theater in Falls Church, VA on October 28th. Braving the freezing winds, a line of excited fans wrapped around the side of the building with an hour still to go before the doors were set to open.

After much anticipation, the anxious crowd quickly filled the roomy venue. First on stage was Everybody Else, a 3-man band out of Los Angeles, who brought a simple and uncluttered brand of alternative pop-rock to the venue. With catchy songs and impressive dance moves (courtesy of the lead singer), the joy was contagious.

Despite having no prior familiarity with Everybody Else, Hanson fans gave into the urge to dance and sing along. These three guys interacted with the audience and seemed to be friendly, down-to-earth folks who one could easily spend a mellow Saturday night with. This band was just plain fun. No “ifs”, “ands” or “buts” about it. With more energy and enthusiasm than you could conceive to be possible on one stage, Everybody Else gave a great jumpstart to the night.

Next up was Dave Barnes, a singer/songwriter straight out of the Nashville scene. For this set, Barnes brought a light-hearted and laid-back mood to the theater. Accompanied by a drummer and a bassist, the trio delivered a set full of mellow rhythms worthy of the most delicate toe-tapping and head-bobbing. With album number four now under his belt, Barnes gave the crowd a generous mix of old and new songs.

Never being one to leave an audience un-entertained, he consistently kept the fans laughing with his goofy charm. Barnes and his bandmates also made sure to spread the word about an organization they are involved with called Mocha Club which, with $7 monthly donations from each supporter, provides communities in Africa with food, clean water and education. Check it out at www.mochaclub.org

And finally came Hanson, the main act and the reason why the State Theater was packed with throngs of screaming fans. The boys of Hanson, whose faces were once plastered on every teen magazine in the supermarket, are all grown up and back with a new sound.
The trio of brothers took the stage to a theater brimming with loyal and die-hard fans both young and old. The very moment that the first of the Hanson men stepped on the stage, the sheer volume of the echoing screams was deafening. The boys’ set list included a mix of fan favorites from their previous records and from their most recent release, The Walk. About halfway through, Hanson switched it up with a changeover to an acoustic set.

The acoustic stylings were prefaced with a plug for The Walk Around The World, a campaign that the boys started to raise money to fight poverty and AIDS in Africa. During the day, Hanson hosts a barefoot walk around the town or city that they are performing in that night and donates $1 for every mile counted. The goal is to reach 24,902 miles, the distance around the world. You can learn more at www.hanson.net or at www.takethewalk.net