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HANSON
Omigod — it's Hanson

AUSTIN — Stunning sisters Mandy and Morgan McIntyre: One blonde, the other brunette; one short, the other tall; one singing along to Hanson, the other not so much.

On Saturday night, both found themselves in another dimension of time and space, a place like no other at SXSW 2008. They had entered the Hanson Zone at La Zona Rosa at 11 p.m.

"They're the only show I went to the entire South By Southwest," said Mandy, 25. She's seen Hanson four times in her life. The first time was at SeaWorld of Texas in San Antonio when she was 17-years-old.

"They are getting totally, like, better. They're underrated."

Her older sister just shook her head. "I can't drag her out except for Hanson," said Morgan, 26.

Aren't you two old enough to know better?

"Yeah, but they're totally awesome," they answered in unison.

I turned to walk out, but changed my mind because I wanted their picture (for this report). When I turned around to take their photo the two cuties had disappeared — faster than, say, in "The Twilight Zone."

Only a hint of sulfur and a little perfume lingered in the air.

Actually, Hanson — brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac — will be remembered for turning in a tight pop rock set with some outstanding harmony vocals. New material sounded like a hybrid of matchbox twenty and Three Dog Night.

Taylor still steals the spotlight with lead vocals that rival Michael Jackson's old sound. The band was really tight, but there would be no "MMMBop" this night.

To my Hanson-way-of-thinking, that's like going to see "Planet of the Apes" and having the movie projector malfunction just as Charlton Heston is about to deliver the line, "Get your stinkin' paws off me, you damn dirty ape" or (at the end of the movie), "Damn you, damn you, damn you all to hell."

Hey, but even feeling a little ripped off, will never stop me from defending their honor -- even as I'm hauling ass to try to catch the Slits and X several long blocks away.

As I walked by, some dude smarted off, "I used to think the drummer was hot until I found out it was a guy."

"And I'm sure your wife believes you," I replied.

- Hector Saldaña