Hanson bops into WorkPlay with avid fans in tow
Posted by Mary Colurso October 22, 2007 11:45 PM
Categories: Music, Reviews, Scene
Review rating: Three out of five stars

Who: Hanson, the peppy pop phenom that made a splash in 1997 with "MMMBop" and has been forced to endure its reputation as a boy band ever since.

Members: Guitarist Isaac Hanson, 26; keyboard player Taylor Hanson, 24; drummer Zachary Hanson, 22. (Zac was celebrating his birthday on Monday). The trio performed with a bassist and a second guitarist.

When: 9:25 p.m. Monday, after opening act Locksley.

Where: WorkPlay's theater. Tables and chairs removed from the floor so the place could hold about 400 people. Most of the crowd was tightly packed on the floor, holding up camera phones, singing along and cheering.

Ticket status: Sold out by Friday afternoon.

Audience: Mostly composed of female super-fans who appeared to be in the 21-30 age bracket. Several had camped out in sleeping bags at the venue and created a waiting line on Monday morning. As is typical for those who follow Hanson on tour, they wrote numbers on their hands to indicate places in line and policed each other until show time.

Guys: A surprising number of men were in attendance -- perhaps 20 percent of the crowd -- and many of them were vocal in their support of the band.

Set list: Included "MMMBop," "Strong Enough to Break," "Great Divide," "Georgia," "A Minute Without You" and more. The group played for about 35 minutes, left the stage briefly and returned for a 20-minute acoustic set. They took another tiny break and began to perform again.

Sound: Bright and blaring, as if Hanson's technical crew wanted to turn the theater into a mini-arena. Not the worst thing in the world, but it lacked WorkPlay's usual warmth.

Overall: It's hard to get past Hanson's bubblegum image, but if you listened closely and tossed away preconceived notions, you'd find there wasn't an overabundance of sugar. Sure, the band members are cute, especially apple-cheeked drummer Zac. But Hanson played well-crafted, toe-tapping pop songs in an upbeat, professonal manner. Some of the tunes even had a hint of world music. What's not to like about that?