HANSON back in Minneapolis! October 3rd! With Hellogoodbye!
First Avenue!
By: Andrea Johnson
Posted: 9/1/09

The only pop group of the 1990's that could be legitimately called a "boy band" is as strong as ever. In the time since you last gave Hanson a second thought, they have been toiling away making emotion laced music with instrumentation that shifts between delicate, tenuous and uninhibited depending on the theme of each song which adds up to music that captures the sincerity of human emotion. Hanson weaves that innate knowledge of human emotion together with eloquence and grace, wrapping the whole thing up with incontestable talent.

If you want to see a show that is guaranteed to make you feel, move and feel empowered to change the world, Hanson is the band to see. A Hanson show is empowerment and incredible music all wrapped up into one experience.

While Hanson has been making their evocative music, they have also been changing the world for the better. Shortly after they split from Island Def Jam to forge their own way in the music universe they released a documentary called Strong Enough to Break. Strong Enough to Break documents Hanson's struggle to make music in the world of corporate red tape that was suffocating their artistic process and putting a severe impediment on making music.

Strong Enough to Break (named for one of their songs) lets the world outside the music industry know what the reality of making an album means in today's world of corporatized music. It illustrates its startling reality and pain, and enlightens the layperson as to why we only hear ten songs on top forty stations. The past twelve years hasn't been all about Hanson and their careers, however: it's quite the contrary.

Hanson has been doing their part to bring change to South Africa by contributing time, energy and talent towards solving the AIDS epidemic and issues surrounding extreme poverty. They've worked with various business partners to help provide HIV positive mothers with medical care so that their children might be spared from the disease, and so that kids who have lost parents to the pandemic can get support to become productive adults. They have also worked with TOMS shoes (for every pair of TOMS you buy, one pair goes to a kid in need) to give shoes to kids, many who have never owned a pair of shoes. Those shoes open up previously closed doors, like those to classrooms, and eventual employment.

This might be the cherry on top that makes Hanson over-achievers: they don't just do their own in regards to the importance of making a difference to the music industry and the betterment of humanity. They encourage other people to do the same, and engage them to do so on walks.

Hanson hosts one-mile walks in each city on their tour to talk to people about making a difference. The walks show that when one person joins up with another person and so on, it can create a team destined to make change not only possible, maybe even inevitable. These walks that Hanson hosts are a materialization of the proverb that says "a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step" and while we have a long way to go, this is a great way we can get started.

The best part about the walks is that they aren't about Hanson, lights, glamour or even the music. They're about people taking a walk together, having a conversation about how to make things better for our fellow man. An added benefit of going on a Hanson sponsored walk is that they give $1 on your behalf to a cause of your choice that will go towards solving the crises associated with the AIDS epedemic and extreme poverty. Among the causes you can choose to have your $1 go to include access to education, healthcare and access to clean water.

So far, the band has raised over $25,000. Just by people going on walks together and having conversations. That's evidence that small steps add up to large, sweeping actions.

So there it is: they've survived childhood stardom, gone independent (again), have stayed true to themselves and have brought light to issues that many people don't even know exist and have brought lots of extra light to the global AIDS crisis which needs as much love and attention as it can get.

So it's fair to say that now is the time to rethink any negative impressions you have of Hanson. Revisit their old music and check out their latest studio album, The Walk, available from their website and from iTunes.

Then you will be all caught up and ready to go enjoy what is all but promised to be an incredible show.

If you want to join Hanson and be part of the movement, take part on their Minneapolis walk. The event will take place in the afternoon on Saturday, October 3rd. The walkers will meet up outside First Avenue, specific time to be announced.