Monday, April 2, 2012

Concert Review: Hanson Heats Up Manila

Title: Hanson Heats Up Manila
Written by Jamie Ortega
Photos by Kris Rocha 
Back in the 90s, when Internet was a mere illusion, teen idols were plain images their fans would see in BOP, Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, and other teenybopper magazines. Their supporters would catch them on TV every so often, but with foreign concerts extremely scarce back then meeting them in person seemed like it would never happen. With the resurgence of all these 90s bands making a comeback, 90s kids (like this writer) are given a renewed sense of vigor, that their childhood fantasies can, in fact, become a reality.

Like they say, one should never stop dreaming, because life, in all its’ unpredictability, can give you a wonderful whack. When this writer was back in high school and struggling with the usual issues kids cope with, (bullies, grades, and in this case the death of her mom, and remarrying of her dad)  Hanson tunes I Will Come To You and With In Your Dreams helped her with her journey. Fast forward 15 years later and to just be given the chance to tell these things straight to the band’s face at their press conference for their two day concert  entitled Hanson Shout It Tour Live In Manila was an unbelievably surreal experience- to say the least.  So surreal that this writer forgot what they replied to her, but to just be afforded that chance was more than enough.

To those unfamiliar with the band, (and I am surmising probably didn’t grow up in the ‘90s), Hanson is made up of brothers Isaac, Taylor, and Zac. Their debut album Middle Of Nowhere sold 10 million copies worldwide and earned the band three Grammy nominations. Known for their soul-inspired-brand of American pop-rock n roll, some of their most popular tunes are MMMBOP, Where’s The Love, and I Will Come To You. Lo and behold, like a dream come true, Hanson performed in Manila last March 30 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum and March 31 at the Cebu Waterfront Hotel as part of their Shout It Our World Tour.

The crowd at the show, made up mostly of female yuppies (including a KC Concepcion standing on a chair in the front row nearly the entire time), screamed with excitement as the trio kicked off the show with a relatively new tune, Waiting For This, from their newest album Shout It Out. With charisma emanating from nearly every pore of their bodies, Taylor took charge of the piano, Isaac strummed away with his guitar, and Zac banged away on the drums.  

By the time they took on their second song, their 1997 hit Where’s The Love, it was apparent how the band’s sound as a whole changed. There’s still a sugary sweet tinge to their musical styling but there is also a new depth in their voices, a soulful, bluesy edge as they clapped their hands while singing the song’s bridge. One thing that didn’t change? The band’s hair flips, their utterly charming smiles, and their undeniable passion for music.

Taylor seemed to be the most energetic of the three as he would clap his hands while playing the piano in between songs. I couldn’t help but notice, however, how the screen at the Smart Araneta Coliseum would focus on Zac every so often. Talk about more than a little camera time!

                “It’s fun to be back in the Philippines thanks for joining us, we are taking you back to 1997,” introduced Taylor, before launching into one of their biggest hits, Thinking Of You. The nostalgic fest was continued with This Time Around from their 2000 compilation bearing the same name as well as Penny And Me from their sixth studio commercial album.

 One of their most applauded numbers was With You In Your Dreams which Taylor commented they always wanted to perform with a gospel choir. It was as if the entire Coliseum was transported to the 90s ( and this writer was transported to her highschool days as she would play the Hanson cassette tape before crying herself to sleep)as the band performed with gusto. “I heard you guys could sing,” commented Taylor, “You’re right, you guys can sing,” he said, just before the song ended.

As expected another number which made the crowd go crazy was Mmmbop. Taylor acknowledged how the song put them on the map and how they hope they will perform for another r15 years (and for as long as they may live, we hope!). This was one of their most energetic numbers, with Taylor standing up and running around the stage, encouraging people to sing with them. 

For their encore, their first hit If Only, Taylor posed another challenge. “We know you guys can make noise the thing is can you jump?” Needless to say everyone was jumping around and screaming and, I am pretty sure, transported in their own way, to the good ole days. To paraphrase a line from MMMbop may this night remind everyone from every era to follow the MMMbop philosophy, to "hold on to the ones who really care. In the end they'll be the only ones there". 

Other celebrities spotted at the event: Kean Cipriano, Alex Gonzaga and Baron Geisler.
Thanks to Dayly Entertainment!


Denise said...

Thanks for this very nice blog/review. I agree, Hanson really heated up Manila. I am one of those 90's kids who traveled back to 1997 during the March 30, 2012 concert and whose dream also came true. Hanson will always be part of most people's lives, especially us. I do hope that they will always make good music, as you hoped, as long as they live. Thanks for this, again. - Denise

iamtheduckknight said...

nice one! we really enjoyed the concert last March 30, hoping for more Hanson concert in the near future. btw, Karylle was there too!

eyerin said...

very well written...I feel like I am back to my teeny bopper days

Anonymous said...

Thinking of You wasn't a hit as it was never released as a single and the night's encore was In The City :)

rubeetah said...

love this review. Indeed, Hanson took me back to gradeschool :) I love their energy!

All_Allen said...

Thanks so much for this. Hanson fans like myself just couldn't get enough of them. We enjoyed the concert very much. They soooo ROCK <3

esjhay_19 said...

that's a good read!... i feel like i'm a 5th grader again!... 90s music is the best!!! HANSON just got IT!!!

Maria Elizabeth Calde said...

Actually, I still feel nostalgic about it... even after more than 8 months. Would you believe that?

Anyways, thanks for the review and indeed, HANSON's Shout It Out Tour 2102 that was held at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum is the Best Concert of the Year - promise!

Remembering March 30, 2012 - always and forever