We ALL grow up

I am going to see Hanson this Thursday in Philadelphia, and I couldn’t be happier. And no, this is not Ashley pretending to be Joe. This is Joe, and I really am excited for the concert. This will be my first Hanson concert ever.

It’s amazing how many people are shocked to find out that Hanson not only still exists, but that they’re still making music, too. While this may come as a surprise because they first entered everyone’s radar in 1997 with their first hit Mmmbop, it shouldn’t be. Composed of brothers Isaac, Taylor and Zac, at that time they were 17, 14 and 12, respectively. Wouldn’t it be more surprising if this trio of talented and already-accomplished brothers never made successful music again?

Had I not known Ashley, I might also be skeptical of going to a Hanson concert. But I do know her, and for anyone that really knows Ashley knows that she is a longtime fan and 100% supporter of Hanson. She became a fan of theirs after their Mmmbop debut, and like many others was instantly hooked. Not only were these boys musically talented, but they were cute, which takes precedence when asking any 12-15 year old girl who their favorite band is. More importantly, they came during a time in Ashley’s life where she really needed to put positive energy into something positive, as opposed to her parent’s divorce or the other dramas of a teenager’s life. Hanson was purely fun.

So she became a fan, and a rather big one. She would go on to see them many many times all over the country (mostly the northeast), taking trips with friends and making even more friends with other fans, spending time before concerts sleeping in streets/hotels/friend’s cars/etc. Like most other bands, Hanson had/has a large following, and it’s still as strong as ever. While Ashley’s quest to see them perform eventually died down (slightly), she still continues to support them and tries to see a show whenever they are in a nearby town. In the four years I’ve known Ashley, I’m usually aware of anything new that Hanson comes out with, whether it be about private shows in Jamaica or a beer that they’ve created. I’m not sure if you can find Mmmhops in stores just yet, but the fact that they turned their hit song from 1997 into a clever and understanding name of a beer is pretty cool.

At this point, it’s more about supporting Ashley, so it doesn’t really matter who these guys are; I just want to take part in something that has meant so much to her for so much of her life. That being said, though, I’m also looking forward to this show because these guys are actually GOOD (seriously, give Anthem a listen). All grown up and bearing wives and children these days, the Hanson brothers continue to sing, play multiple instruments, carry an awesome harmony, and straight up bring it whenever they play (as I’ve heard/seen from Ashley and other various outlets). Plus, I’ll get a glimpse into other fans like Ashley, both old & new.



Other than being a positive beacon of light in Ashley’s life, I will continue to root for Hanson for another unrelated reason: they are big basketball fans. Since they hail from Tulsa, Oklahoma, they have become big Oklahoma City Thunder fans (they have season tickets), which has been a fun experience since they have Kevin Durant on their team. They’ve sung a few of the national anthems before games, and the Thunder have returned the favor, too: the first song from their latest album (‘Fired Up’ from Anthem) is part of a video that’s played on FOX Sports Oklahoma telecasts to promote watching the Thunder on local TV.

Since I’ll be away for a few days in Philadelphia/New Jersey, I’ve already checked the Bulls schedule to see which games I’ll be able to watch because I’m a geek and I try to watch every single game of theirs that’s played on national TV (they play this Wednesday vs. the Indiana Pacers on ESPN). But it seems like I’m not the only who does this with their team:

“A couple nights ago we were working on a song (during Game 5 against the Rockets Wednesday),” Taylor said. “But if there’s a game on, the iPhone is out, the score is being checked. We can finish that verse but we’ve got to catch the last ten minutes of the game. That’s in our weekly schedule. Are we missing any games?”

If you’re still doubtful, check out their cover of Bill Withers’ Aint No Sunshine below, as well as two of my favorite songs from their new album ‘Anthem,’ called You Can’t Stop Us and Juliet.

photo credit 1 2

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