Last Night: Hanson and Hellogoodbye at House of Blues

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Hanson, Hellogoodbye
House of Blues
November 1, 2009

Better Than: Spending $80 to sit in the nose bleed section at another concert

Hanson stopped in at the House of Blues last night to perform before a more than loyal crowd as part of its Use Your Sole Tour.

But these weren't the kid stars you remember. Forget about the group's teen days. And yes, forget about "Mmmbop."

Hanson is all grown up and all business. There's no need for stereotyping. They've got some actual talent.

Starting the night out with a rendition of "Where's The Love," the band gave audience members their money's worth, playing songs from all of its albums, including Middle of Nowhere, This Time Around, Underneath and The Walk. And, for an additional treat, the Hanson brothers even gave a sneak preview of some songs on their upcoming 2010 album.

Playing both an electric and acoustic set, the band proved they can multitask. Taylor Hanson tackled both the harmonica and the keyboard during a classic performance of "If Only" while Isaac Hanson switched out guitars more times than you can count.

There aren't many bands who sound the same live and in person as they do on a record but Hanson does.

Letting the music speak for itself, they didn't stop much to chat in between songs. Although that's not to say it was all work and no play. Continuously smiling out into the audience, the trio did make sure fans received an "A" in participation, encouraging jumping and clapping throughout the night.

And the crowd ate it up, singing every single lyric to every single song. Talk about loyalty.

Hellogoodbye was also on hand to join in on the night's festivities. Opening for Hanson on the tour, this California band distracted from its music with their goofy comments and crazy antics, trying to convince the crowd that "orange" rhymed with "orange." And, despite fun renditions of "Here in Your Arms" and "Baby, It's Fact," audience members concentrated way more on the fact that band member Travis Head decided to give in to a fan's request and took off his pants on stage. (Just so you know, he prefers "tighty whities.")

Oh well, the usage of the ukulele and the mandolin were still interesting too. No one can say they didn't get their money's worth of entertainment and talent.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
I started listening to Hanson when I was 10. I'm 22 now and still listening.

By The Way: Sherwood and Steel Train have also been performing on the "Use Your Sole Tour." If you like enthusiastic and entertaining musicians, these are the bands for you.

Random Note: The couple standing next to me all night needed to get a room.

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