People’s perceptions of things are often based less on actual experiences of said things and more on vague interactions with surrounding ideas and perceived popular opinions of what is or isn’t cool to think is worthwhile and relevant. Hanson are one of those bands that most people have a knee-jerk negative reaction to, but the fact of the matter remains; it is very hard to climb to the top of the international music charts with multiple number one singles if you don’t have any talent at all.
Seventeen years after MMMBop ubiquitously permeated radio waves around the world and bedroom walls were plastered with the prepubescent faces of three brothers from Oklahoma, Hanson arrived in Melbourne (sporting haircuts and ever-so-slight paunches) to literal screaming hoards of 20-35 year old women. Conservative estimates would place the ratio of women to men in the audience at 99:1. The few straight men in the crowd were left living out their dreamlike fantasies of drowning in a veritable orgy of sweaty, musically aroused women with a backdrop of uplifting 90’s pop anthems.
Live, Hanson have evolved into a tight, more than capable musical outfit. With three-part vocal harmonies, jangly guitar, silky keys and never-miss-a-beat-drums, the now grown men (all married with kids) showcased impressive musicality and a natural flair for performance whilst strolling through some old classics and showcasing new material off their latest album with energetic verve.
Even though there was something mildly terrifying about the maniacal crowd, I found myself letting go of any Hanson baggage I had carried for all those years (when liking Hanson would have been the social suicide equivalent of taking a shit on my desk at school) and allowing myself to just enjoy the concert as if they were any other band.
Free of my self-imposed shackles and with the memories of my Dad telling me if I didn’t have something nice to say then say nothing at all, I considered the way as humans we flagrantly disrespect and denounce things, people and experiences for no real reason other than something is not really to our taste or preference. Often I think it’s more to do with our jealously, insecurity and what seems to be an inherent character-trait of dissatisfaction highlighted by our inability to be happy about other people’s successes, that sees us undermining those who aren’t afraid to separate themselves from the herd simply by not being afraid to pursue their passions.
At the end of the day, the three brothers from Hanson were having the time of their lives, in a theatre full of adoring fans, travelling the world, doing what they love and making a lot of people happy along the way. A dream lifestyle that doesn’t allow much room for the tall MMMPoppy syndrome of their detractors to have even the slightest effect on the way they choose to live their lives.