People laugh when I tell them I’m a Hanson fan and that I was super excited to be going to see them in concert. Yes. That Hanson. The brother boy band. The ones who sang “Mmmmbop”. I know it sounds ridiculous. And even more ridiculous when I tell them that, for me, this isn’t just a nostalgia trip remembering my high school years, but that I have remained a fan from Mmmmbop on. They’re still making music? Yes. 25 years of it, actually. They are touring for their anniversary.
On Tuesday night, Ashley and I went to the show and I remembered all over again how much I love them and why.
Here’s the thing about Hanson: They are incredibly talented musicians. Each of them plays multiple instruments, they write their own songs, they’ve released album after album of really good music. Sure, they’ve got their poppy radio singles like everyone else, but they also have solid musical chops with profound lyrics.
They put on a hell of a show. They played for over two hours often without stopping between songs. They rocked from one right into the next. They sang acapella at times with tight harmonies. They worked the crowd. These guys are very good at what they do. I appreciate that they have a sense of humor about themselves. They dedicated a song to everyone who’s ever been given shit for being a Hanson fan. They brew their own beer and named it “Mmmmhops”. They sing their old songs with the same enthusiasm as their new stuff.
After ten years they left their famous record label and started one of their own. They have created a self-led career where they have creative control and it’s worked. They’ve made music for fifteen years on their own, continuing to tour. They connect deeply with their fans holding a special event in Tulsa (where they are from) every year.
They’ve managed to remain good and decent people, escaping scandals. They seem kind and down to earth. They seem to actually care; about their art, about their community, about each other. But I think what resonates with me the most is that here are these three guys. They were homeschooled. They came out of evangelical Christianity. And they sang about feeling weird and alienated. And as a former evangelical who was homeschooled I felt a little less alone when I listened to them. I felt seen and heard. I felt like maybe if these guys felt weird too, then maybe I would be okay.
Last night before they launched into their new single (video below), they told the audience that they believe that we all have something unique to contribute to the world, that we all have something that only we can offer. It was a reminder that I needed. So maybe it’s cheesy, maybe it’s nerdy, but I still really love Hanson and I’m thankful for the gifts they have given me.
“I was born to do something no one’s ever done, no one’s ever done before.”