Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Hanson ‘Shouts It Out’ in Northampton

By Ashley Berger

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Hannah Cohen/Collegian

On a particularly warm November night, the nearly-packed Calvin Theatre in Northampton welcomed the band Hanson to play an intense and high energy show.

The day began for Hanson late in the afternoon when they participated in, and encouraged fans to also partake in the “Walk.” Before every show, Hanson “walks” a mile with their fans to raise money to donate shoes to poor children in South Africa. The eventual goal of the walk is to walk around the world – or to cover 24,902 miles. Currently, the band and fans have surpassed this goal and walked 32,255 miles.

The show opened with Jarrod Gorbel, former front man of The Honorary Title. Accompanied by just a guitar, the set featured an extremely strong vocal performance. Though the lyrics were slow and relatively whiny, Gorbel kept the audience hooked and entertained, frequently stopping to joke with the audience and continuously calling out audience members who were on their phones instead of watching the show. An interesting part of the evening came when Gorbel covered Alicia Keys’ single “No One,” which received a great reaction from the audience.

The moment the Hanson brothers took to the stage, their fans instantly burst onto their feet. The title track to their newest album, “Shout It Out,” set the mood for the rest of the show. In a throwback to Hanson’s major label debut album “Middle of Nowhere,” the brothers roused fans with “Where’s The Love.”

The boys continued on to play “Underneath,” which featured Isaac on the acoustic guitar and Zac on the harmonica. The acoustic set also featured fan favorite “Penny and Me,” which Taylor dedicated to all of the fans who had traveled to come to the show. The acoustic set also featured a solo by Zac on the piano, in which the other brothers left the stage to give him the spotlight. The fans were silenced with awe during his performance.

The band resumed the set with high energy, playing the edgy and latin-esque “Can’t Stop,” which had fans dancing and moving constantly. The brothers also highlighted the evening with a cover of the infamous Beatles tune “Oh Darlin,’” which was met by a high pitched shrill coming from the audience. The cover featured a great deal of Zac’s vocals, much to the largely female audience’s pleasure.

The band further went on to play their classic and best-known piece “MMMBop,” which was obviously a major hit. The song was taken down a few octaves to accommodate the boys’ journey through puberty and into adulthood, but was performed even better than the original in its altered state. Fans sang along, and had the band not actually been singing, every word of the song would have still been completely audible.

The brothers also granted one lucky fan member’s wish. While playing 2010’s “Give a Little,” the band explained how hard it is for guys to approach girls, especially when they are surrounded by their girlfriends. To demonstrate this problem, the boys invited one girl and one guy on stage to dance for the remainder of the song.

Instead of concluding with their most treasured song, the brothers continued on to play another few jams. The next few included “If Only,” which the brothers and fans jumped throughout the entirety of. For the encore, the brothers brought up two apparent audience members to sing the last tune with them.

Throughout the concert, the boys frequently interacted with the audience and thanked them for coming. The show showcased just how much the boys have grown up in 13 years, and though they have experienced fame for this duration, they seem grounded and thankful of what opportunities they have been given.

Arguably more important than showcasing the band’s maturity in respect to their personalities, the boys have collectively blossomed into talented singers, songwriters and musicians. During the show, Isaac’s guitar solos were featured during a multitude of songs. In contrast, Zac jumped between the drum set, piano and bongos, while Taylor stayed predominantly on the piano, keyboard and tambourine.

What made the show so memorable was listening to how each brothers’ voice blended and harmonized. Each song’s strong vocals and clear sound impressed the audience, as each sounded as if it could have been recorded.

The brothers played for almost two hours, proving that they were more than just one-hit-wonders that could have faded from the scene in an “MMMBop.” The hundreds of fans at the Calvin last Monday are certainly happy that they didn’t.

Hanson will continue on their “Shout It Out” tour, taking their talents to our neighbors to the north in Montreal on Nov. 18.

Ashley Berger can be reached at [email protected]

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