Review Lynda Buchanan
The air was thick with excitement as I approached The Forum in Melbourne on Sunday night, the massive line snaked its way around from the front doors, down Hosier Lane onto Flinders Lane an entire block away. Just shows how strong the following for Hanson still is, 25 years later.
Jason Singh warmed up the excited crowd and as it turns out was a great choice of support as he was met with many cheers and claps throughout his set. I Can Dream, from his debut album Humannequin, is beautiful and along with a quick story about his father’s passing and his mother never getting over it, seemed to go over very well with the crowd who had managed to get a prized spot up on the barrier. With Jason playing bass, joining him on stage was Adam Surace on guitar and Luke Batterbury on the keyboard, it is really amazing listening to how Adam and Jason’s voices harmonize so well together. Closing out his set was crowd favourite “Creepin Up Slowly” from Jason’s Taxiride days back in 2002, he requested the crowd help sing the chorus and the whole room willingly obliged. The smile on Jason’s face showed the pure joy it is for a musician to have almost 2000 people singing your track back to you, word for word!
The house lights were turned on as the room started to fill even further, excited chatter filled the air while everyone waited for the band they’d come to see, some who had traveled interstate, to take the stage. The demographic was mainly females, ages ranging mostly from 20 – 45 and the atmosphere were infectious! Although last hitting our shores in 2014, for some, it has been a long time to wait to see Isaac, Taylor and Zac Hanson (who are now in their 30s — feel old yet?)
The lights dim and the crowd erupts as they walk out on stage, along with Andrew Perusi (Bass) and Dimetres Collins (guitarist/keyboard) who have been touring with the lads since 2007. The familiar intro of Already Gone starts up and the crowd is ready to sing along from the first word. The guys move into Shout It Out and the crowd does not miss a beat as they sing back at them just as loudly as they started.
Tragic Symphony is another highlight with Taylor playing both keys and the tambourine at the same time.
Taylor took a moment to say how great it was to be back in Melbourne and some special thanks to the crowd for showing up early and standing in the bitter cold outside, before launching into Thinking About Something.
This Time Around gets the crowd excitedly jumping and clapping with hands in the air, Taylor inquires as to whom has seen them before, half of the crowd cheers and throws their hands in the air. We find out there are many fans attending that have traveled interstate and even one that has been to 50 Hanson concerts, what dedication!!! This provides the perfect introduction to the next song with Zac exclaiming “It’s ok to be weird sometimes” as they launch into Weird, much to the delight of the crowd who immediately throw their hands in the air and sway side to side. It’s at this stage the crowd is in such a fevered frenzy it was actually quite difficult to hear the vocals over them!! This was definitely a crowd favourite.
After a reconfiguration that had Taylor stay at the keyboard, but Isaac now moved to acoustic guitar and Zac singing lead with Tamborine in his hand. All three lads then come to the front of stage to a sole microphone stand and they acoustically belt out Go & Madeline. Interesting titbit, the guys actually sang Madeline in a carpark acoustic performance about 20 years ago right here in Melbourne.
After another shuffle of instruments (Taylor to drums, Zac to Keys) and a brief song introduction that had Zac explaining to the crowd that he will forever be writing songs inspired by girls, the guys then launch into Juliet, clearly another favourite of those assembled as the arms of everyone in the crowd shoot straight in the air and fly side to side, followed by an acoustic track for the fan club members specifically.
Kicking the show back into gear with I Was Born, the latest song to have been released, this track is a great crowd participation song with everyone fist pumping the air and yelling “BEFORE!”. Another few songs roll out before we hear the unmissable intro for MMM Bop, the crowd cheers excitedly. Suddenly there are all phones in the air, ready to document the song that many people have been waiting for! An acapella section featuring Rockin’ Robin paves the way for a Chuck Berry dedication of Johnny B Goode.
Before we know it the show was fast coming to an end, Isaac, Taylor, and Zac come to the front of the stage and thank the crowd for continuing to come and see them, mentioning that as long as the crowd keeps coming out, then they can keep playing the shows. After seeing the turnout and the excitement that these lads bring to their fans, I don’t think it will be long before we see them on our shores again.
It is here that I have to make mention of the sheer musicianship displayed on stage was mesmerizing, you can see how tight the brothers are and the connection of so many years playing together, which makes for an amazing show for everyone to enjoy. The fact that they can seamlessly swap instruments between each other goes to show that not only are they all multi-talented, it is fairly unique to see on stage in this day and age.
Definitely, a show not to be missed!