Hanson Day 2022

May 11 – 16, 2022

Maybe I’m wrong, but I’d guess that if you are reading this, you remember clearly the day in April 2020 when that year’s Hanson Day celebration was “rescheduled to 2021”. (If not, you probably gave birth to me.) And if you’re reading this and not my mom, you probably also remember that Hanson Day 2021 wasn’t a normal Hanson Day with all the add-on events. So here we are, a full three years after the last real HDay, finally getting back to normal.

I flew in late Wednesday night, but with the extreme heat and loss of will power, my friends and I opted to skip waiting in the typically forever-long registration line this year. We all agreed that the only reason to register ASAP was to get into the store ASAP, and that there wasn’t anything we needed to buy that badly. I don’t regret this decision at all, although it does mean that in the end I missed out on that little green crossbody bag.

Instead, we spent Thursday sleeping in and grabbing brunch from Chimera. We finally made our way over to registration just in time to get signed up before the volunteers shut it down for a lunch break. Since the Hanson store line was still long, we spent the afternoon wandering around some of the local Tulsa shops. I bought a few books from Magic City Books and some stickers and a coffee mug from Ida Red. And then the real fun got started.

HTP Live

They added a new in-person event to this year’s lineup by offering a live version of the Hanson Time Podcast. When they announced this, we weren’t sure how exactly this would play out. But then about a week ahead of Hanson Day, my friend got an email saying she and one of her other friends had been chosen as tag-team reporters, and that their theme would be the new Fan Club EP White Rabbit. I might be biased, but I thought they both did an excellent job coming up with questions, especially considering we had only had the EP for two days by the time HTP Live rolled around.

If you’ve ever listened to Hanson talk then you’ll know they have a knack for getting off topic. One thing that was brought up, but not asked by the reporters, that I found very interesting was because you cannot evenly divide dollars by three people, Isaac earns an extra penny to every dollar the band makes. My accountant brain immediately started trying to add up how much extra he has earned over the past 30 years and while I obviously don’t know Hanson’s finances, I think they might want to consider switching that up soon.

They also opened up by talking a bit about how the past five years have been hard for them as a band. While I don’t think that’s any secret to anyone who has been paying attention, I found it refreshing to hear them acknowledge it. We now know they almost broke up back in 2012, and I think one of the main differences is that now they’ve stopped trying to pretend that everything is okay. At the risk of digging into pure speculations, I’ll probably talk about this a bit more when I write my review of Red Green Blue (because spoiler: have you read the lyrics?).

Karaoke

Night one of Hanson Day (really why aren’t we just calling it Hanson Week at this point?) typically is karaoke, and this year they added a ’90s theme, with some more current Hanson songs mixed in. While I have no interest in singing (and no one else wants that either, I promise), I always look forward to being a spectator, having a drink, and dancing around, especially because you never know when Isaac is going to start singing along with some fans. Highlights of the night included Isaac singing “Sweet Child of Mine” and “River of Dreams”, a fan singing the ’90s staple “My Heart Will Go On”, and a friend ending the night by absolutely killing “I Will Always Love You”.

Hanson Day Gallery

Friday morning was rainy, which meant we spent a good portion of the day lying around our hotel room. I did pop into the store real quick to buy way more shirts than the zero I told myself I would buy. But then once the skies cleared out, my friends and I popped into the gallery. This year, Zac opted for more drawings than paintings. It was fun to see a different take on things this year. There was only one painting: a red tree growing on green grass with a blue starry sky in the background. I absolutely loved it and would have bought a print of it if I actually had somewhere to hang it, but my walls are getting full.

For that same reason, I did not buy any of Taylor’s photos this year. They were all a play on Red Green Blue, with each brother playing around with colored lights in a dark room. They also had a stage set up with some of the props from the “Don’t Let Me Down” music video. It reminded me of the little museum they had in 2017, and I’d still love for them to do a bigger, more full museum with fewer video props and more awards, instruments, and things of that nature.

RGB Listening Party

Just a few weeks before Hanson Day started, they added another new event to the lineup: a listening party for RGB. My friends and I signed up for the last time slot, since one of our friends was flying in that day and wouldn’t be able to make the earlier times. As someone who tries to avoid spoilers, this meant I had to stay off social media for the first part of the day. My intention was to take notes on my phone during the listening party of my first impressions, much like I did for White Rabbit. However, I immediately realized that was going to be too much work to keep up with, so I simplified my notes down to a single hand gesture emoji for each of the non-single songs. I’ll leave you with these notes for now until I get to the review blog for RGB.

Storytellers

Normally we’re given a theme for the Storytellers show, but this year we were just told “we’d find out when we get there.” I prefer being surprised by set lists, so this was good news to me! Looking back though, I’m still not sure what the theme was supposed to be (and we were specifically told there was one that was “too hard to explain”). They pulled out songs from almost every album; Middle of Nowhere and Shout It Out being the only exceptions.

The absolute highlight of the show was when they started telling us the story of how “MMMBop” came to be. It wasn’t any new information as they explained this way back in 1997, but if you happen to be reading this and didn’t already know: a few years before they became famous, they were writing another song (“Boomerang”) and started singing “mmmbop ba duba dop ba du bop ba duba dop ba du bop…” as a background vocal. But they decided they liked the way that sounded too much for it to not be its own song, and thus “MMMBop” was born.

When they started telling this story, they actually sang the chorus of “Boomerang” in the process, which is something they had never done before. Then they stopped and continued on with the story, and I thought for sure that little tease was all we were getting. But, no! They actually sang the entire song! I never thought we would actually ever get to hear it, and I’m so glad I got to be there when we did. They also played “Watershed”, a very short song from the 2007 fan club EP, which had only ever been played at Back To The Island in 2014. The moral of the story is: you never know what you’re going to get at a Hanson show so you might as well do your best to never miss one.

Dance Party: Part One

After Storytellers, we had some time to go get changed for the Dance Party. They’ve added themes to the Dance Party at the last couple BTTIs, but I think this is the first time they had a theme for Hanson Day: dress as your favorite era. I honestly don’t have a favorite and at one point in time was considering just wearing my pajamas and joking that 2020 lockdown was my favorite era, as I’m not big on costumes. But I recently acquired my first jumpsuit, and I was talking to a friend here in Nashville and realized I could easily (and lazily) dress it up to be the ’70s by adding a gold chain belt and a scarf around my head. I think we got about five or so intermittent songs in to the dance party before Taylor announced he wanted to punch his computer in the face as something was clearly not working. He ended up calling it a night and said we could try again the next night. I usually look forward to the dance party and was way too tired to be into it, so I was honestly glad we were getting a do-over.

I Heart To Bowl

Bowling has been a consistent event at Hanson Day, but one that I had never signed up for before. I’ve never been great at bowling; my all time high score is 83, and the last time I went I won a trophy for most gutter balls. But one of my good friends loves to bowl and I figured it’s time I give it a go at HDay since I never had before. My one goal was to not be the worst on my team and sadly, I did not meet that goal; I scored a whopping 40 points. But we all had fun and that’s the most important part. I’d happily sign up again in the future, but if you’re wanting to be on my team, you’ve been warned.

After bowling, I had thought about scootering around Main street to see if Hanson was out and about talking to fans, but it was too hot outside and I was still feeling tired from the late nights (going to bed at 2am vs my usual 9pm), plus I had been doing a lot of extra exercise over the week. My roommates were all working their volunteer shifts, so I decided to take advantage of the quiet room to myself and took a long, much-needed nap to gear up for the concert and dance party do-over.

Hanson Day Concert

Typically, the Hanson Day concert is full of fan favorites, members’ only songs we don’t get to hear anywhere else, and that year’s fan club EP in full. However, a few weeks before Hanson Day, they announced in their newsletter that this year would be a preview of the RGB Tour. I’m sure they had been practicing hard for the tour and didn’t want to be sidetracked by rehearsing a bunch of unique songs for a one-off members’ show. While I’m disappointed that this means we didn’t get to hear White Rabbit (and I’m still waiting to hear 3/7 of CBIB), we still got a really good show and it certainly whet my appetite for my shows this summer. “Against The World” makes for a great show opener (possibly my favorite since “Great Divide”), and when “If Only” popped up only three songs in, I had no idea where the rest of the show was going (which again, I love). The show continued to be full of surprises when they went from solo to full band and back a few times. “Cold As Ice” was a great choice to introduce Dimitrius and Andrew during, and they managed to cover every studio album.

Dance Party: Part Two

After the show, we grabbed dinner then headed back into Cain’s for another attempt at the Dance Party. I was feeling rested and ready to go this time, but opted out of getting back into my costume (if you can even call it that) from the night before. Strange things tend to happen at Hanson events and this time that included a pirate in spandex and someone dressed as Pikachu all dancing to Taylor Hanson’s DJ set. And if you’re wondering, yes, Taylor did play the obligatory “Another One Bites The Dust”. It was a great way to wrap up the week.

The Rest

While I’ve missed a few events here and there, I’ve been going to Tulsa for Hanson events since 2009. In that time, I’ve gotten to experience so many fun local restaurants, breweries, shops, and museums. On this trip, I somehow ended up going to Nothings Left Brewery twice. The did not have a Hanson Brothers Beer this time around (pun absolutely intended), but they did have a collaboration with another brewery to have Red (strawberry), Green (kiwi), and Blue (blackberry) sours to celebrate the week. I typically prefer stouts to sours, but I liked all three of these, especially the blue. They also had their pineapple dole whip beer slush and I’m so mad I can’t get it in Nashville.

A new museum recently opened called Greenwood Rising, and I had time to pop in during my last day in Tulsa. Just blocks from the Art District where all the Hanson activities happen is a corner of tragic history in Tulsa and in our nation. In 1921, the Greenwood neighborhood was a thriving Black community in Tulsa. Racial tensions were high, a white woman falsely accused a black man of assault, and it all led to hundreds of murders, leaving over 10,000 Black residents homeless with 1,256 homes burned. Due to continued systemic issues, the neighborhood has still not been fully restored even 100 years later. If you ever make it to Tulsa, I highly recommend visiting the museum. It was very well done and quite powerful.

Tulsa is a great little city and it feels more and more like a second (or third) home each time I visit. I was lucky enough to attend most of the shows in Tulsa throughout the past couple years, so it’s weird to know that now I’ll be going back to only having annual trips. (As far as I know anyway.) I’m surprised every year by how many fans say it’s their first trip. If you’ve never been, I hope you get the chance!

Hanson Day 2021

Tulsa, Oklahoma

May 20 – 24, 2021

If you’ve ever had the chance to attend Hanson Day in the past, you’ll know that the extended weekend is typically a whirlwind packed full of events: between multiple concerts, karaoke, the I ❤ Hanson store, the art gallery, the dance party, painting, bowling, and lines upon lines, there’s hardly time to eat or sleep. You can’t go anywhere in the Arts District or Brookside neighborhoods of Tulsa without running into a handful of fans, and if you stay for Hop Jam, you’ll hardly be able to make your way down Main Street amongst all the beer and music enthusiasts.

This year, however, was not that. I still remember that day last year when news broke that Hanson Day 2020 was going to be postponed until 2021. I think we all new it was coming, but at the time I never would have guessed that Hanson Day 2021 would also be affected. The silver lining though is that there was enough notice this time around (see what I did there?) for Hanson to come up with really great back-up plan.

The Events

Hanson put together a full week of streaming events, virtual meet-and-greets, and a full week of “pin hunting” on the website. Everything started on Monday when this year’s Fan Club EP, Crossroads, went up in the media player (and, depending on when you join/renew, available for download). I’ll get more into details on the EP in my next blog post, but it was fun to hear all these new songs and digest them via group chat with my friends. Later that night, Hanson went live and took questions from fans about the EP (and also some inevitable questions about The Masked Singer).

On Tuesday, Hanson live streamed their Hanson Time Podcast. The podcast was a new addition to Hanson.net last year as part of the virtual Hanson Day events, but this was the first time it was shared live, and it was also the first time it was shared with video. I’ll digress a bit here because I actually never blogged about this, but I had the chance to interview them on the podcast last summer. My theme was “Good Days” (both the song and the general idea), and it was such a fun opportunity. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous about it, but mostly the nerves were related to the fact that it would be recorded for all members to hear; I would have been so much more nervous had the video of it been recorded as well. But, this episode’s reporter did such a great job and asked insightful questions. It was easily my favorite episode so far.

Wednesday, Hanson went live again, this time to share more about the art in this year’s gallery. Like Hanson Day galleries in the past, there were original paintings from Zac as well as some photographs from Taylor. This year, Zac also painted on a few sets of Russian Dolls, and I thought they were all really cool looking. Because this year’s gallery was virtual, in lieu of selling the art work on a first come, first serve basis, they set up a raffle system on the website’s store. I thought this was a really great idea, and I hope they keep it up in the future. This will make one less line to wait in for those who make it to Tulsa, and will still allow those who can’t travel to have a chance at purchasing the artwork.

On Thursday evening, Hanson posted a mini “making of” documentary about Crossroads. I had to watch this one twice, but only because I was only half-watching it from a Tulsa Driller’s game the first time. I always love the chance to get to peek behind the curtain when Hanson is writing and recording, and I liked this mini-doc style better than having several 2-3 minute clips like we have had in the past.

Friday was the one-year-later 20th anniversary This Time Around acoustic concert, followed by a virtual DJ Taylor dance party. On Saturday, we had the main Hanson Day concert, a brief promo video for their new project Against The World, and then they wrapped up the week with a “Night Cap” live stream on Sunday where they played a round of Pictionary with some fans, and took questions as well.

The Concerts

Of the two concerts for this year’s Hanson Day, I was much more excited about the Saturday show. When given the choice between album songs that get played at most shows or the more rare members’ tracks, I’ll always choose the latter. That said, I went into the This Time Around Acoustic Show with low expectations…. and I was blown away! Not only was it a solid performance of every song, they also mixed it up and played some of the more common songs (“If Only”, “Hand In Hand”, etc) in slightly different styles (more different than just being acoustic). They also treated us to some rare B-sides: “Lonely Again” and “Smile.” Unfortunately though, I had to deduct quite a few points from this show after my friend told me she saw “Bridges of Stone” listed as a 3rd encore song, which they ended up not playing.

One of my favorite things about the main Hanson Day concert each year is that we get to hear that year’s EP played in full, along with quite a few of the back catalogue members’ songs. I was really bummed last year when we didn’t get to hear the songs off Continental Breakfast In Bed since Hanson Day was cancelled, so I was hoping they’d make it up to us this year. Zac did play “Good Days” (which he had also played at one of the shows this past fall), but that was it. I suppose that if they had done Crossroads and CBIB, it would have been a lot of new material to learn in addition to re-working the TTA songs, plus it would throw off the number of solos during the show. I was especially disappointed when Taylor sat down at his piano for what I thought was going to be “All I Know” and instead it was the-song-that-shall-not-be-named-because-it-makes-all-my-friends-cry-and-not-in-the-good-way. In fact, only 31% of the show was members’ only songs, compared to the 70% from the Hanson Day concerts in years past. (Shout [it] Out to Hansonstage for the stats.) Despite the setlist not meeting my expectations, it was still a really great concert. They played everything so well, it was high energy, and everything about it is why “we keep coming back (yeah we keep coming back).”

The Tulsa Life

Being in Tulsa this time felt so much different than any other Tulsa trip I’ve been on. The trips over this fall and winter were so quiet compared to the typical Hanson Day weeks, but this weekend felt like a weird mix of the two. There was an Ironman Triathlon on Sunday which brought in 2,500 participants plus all their friends and family who came to support them. It made the city feel just as busy as when there’s Mayfest, the Blue Dome fest, Hanson Day, and Hop Jam, but there was still only about 1/10th the typical number of Hanson fans. My friends and I spent most of the day Sunday standing at the corner of the finish line cheering people on. I’m not a sports person, but that day I learned that running is my favorite spectator sport. It was so much fun to watch the runners’ facial expressions change and their energy pick up as they heard people cheering for them and then rounded the corner and the finish line came into sight. A few of them got emotional, and so, in turn, did I.

These past few months of shows have been unique. Even though a lot of my friends have been to the same shows that I have, we were actively not mixing our smaller groups as a Covid precaution. However, I got to see more of them this time now that we’re all vaccinated. (Please, if you haven’t yet, get vaccinated. Science is real, it’s not a new technology, and it does not contain the coronavirus. The long-term effects of getting even a mild case of Covid are unknown, and there’s only one way we’ll ever get back to normal. *Steps off soap box*) It’s been nice to have down time and explore more of the city, but I’m looking forward to hopefully having a normal Hanson Day and Hop Jam in 2022.

Hanson Day 2019

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

After years of driving 9+ hours from Nashville, to Tulsa, this year I decided to fly. Even with a 4-hour layover in Dallas, it still took significantly less time than driving. While the official Hanson Day events didn’t start until Thursday, I chose to arrive Wednesday afternoon to get settled in and spend time with some of my friends before our schedules got too full of Hanson activities. I was about to head off to a grocery store to stock my room full of bottled water and snacks when I heard they had just opened a pop-up registration line at 3CG. Whoever made that decision, thank you! I was registered in less than an hour, and it meant one less thing line to worry about Thursday. After picking up our EPs and wristbands, we headed straight back to my room. I had packed my laptop for the sole purpose of importing the EP so I could have it immediately on my phone to listen to it throughout the weekend. I’ll post my review of the EP in the next couple days. I don’t know if pop-up registration will work in the future if fans expect it to happen, but this was one of the best choices Team Hanson made this year.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

If you’ve ever been to Hanson Day, or have heard anything about it, you can probably guess that I spent the majority of Thursday morning waiting in line to buy merch from the I ❤️ Hanson Store. I’m thankful the team has started to put the items up on the website, so I walked into 3CG knowing exactly what I wanted to buy. Per usual, I walked away with more than I probably should have let myself: the “Oh Snap” t-shirt, the sticker set (I LOVE that they included a magnet this year), the “Roll the windows down” keychain (I did name my car Penny after all), shot glasses, the espresso mug, the yellow walkie talkie pin, the gallery memento book, and two postcards (one to keep, one to mail to my nieces).

This year we got a show on Thursday: The “Storytellers” show. At this point, I think they need to just rename it the “bonus semi-acoustic show”, because they sure don’t tell any stories. The first year, they played songs from Middle of Nowhere and 3 Car Garage, last year they played songs from This Time Around, and this year they played songs from Underneath. I predict Hanson Day 2020 will include a “Storytellers” show featuring songs from The Walk. If I’m right, I won’t be mad about it. The song highlights for me were “Down”, “Dancing In The Wind”, and Isaac’s cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine”. Isaac in particular slayed this set, and it was a great show. I just hope that sometime soon we can hear a full-band/electric version of “Dancing In The Wind” for the rare occurrence of Taylor on electric guitar.

For the past few years, Thursday night has meant Karaoke night. I have absolutely no interest in participating in karaoke, but I love being a spectator at Hanson Day. While I felt this year was a little too heavy on the Hanson songs, where else do you get to hear Hanson songs sung in a karaoke setting? I mostly end up using the event as a second dance party, acting a fool with my friends in the back. I would be interested to see if it’d work at a bigger venue like Cain’s so more people can attend, but the more intimate setting of the Vanguard seems hard to beat.

Friday, May 17, 2019

We took it slow Friday morning, taking our time to get ready for the day’s first event: Group Photos. This year, they added a new backdrop to the photos: a curtain full of the H@Day symbols. I think it’ll be a nice touch, so I hope they keep it going. We’ll have to wait and see how the final product turns out, though.

After the photos, my friend and I went straight to the Art Gallery. This year for the gallery, they advertised a virtual reality video to go with one of the EP songs. The video was not available when we were there, but I think I might have passed on it anyway. I’ve never experienced VR, and I’d like to some day, but I wasn’t keen on the idea of putting something on my face that 100 other sweaty Hanson fans had already put on their faces. Zac’s paintings ranged from String Theory inspiration to food, thanks to Edible Digital Pants. This year, I gravitated mostly toward Taylor’s photos. I haven’t loved the band photos he’s had the past few years, so I was excited to see that these were in fact more In Real Life inspired, similar to the first photo gallery from 2012. I bought a print of a broken-down piano, and I’m anxious to get it framed and hung.

After the gallery, I went to one of the Listening Party sessions. This year we heard Edible Digital Pants. I don’t know why, but teenage me was obsessed with songs that can be only defined as “high quality nonsense”. If any of you grew up with Christian music, you might be familiar with songs like Five Iron Frenzy’s “Pants Rock Opera” or Relient K’s “Staples”. These songs were my jam, so it’s no surprise that it was actually “Man From Milwaukee”, not “MMMBop”, that had me running to Walmart to buy Middle of Nowhere back in 1997. So, while the digital pants songs will never be something I’d play to try to convert someone to the fandom, I think they’ll always hold a special place in my heart. I won’t do a thorough review of this EP, but I want to dance away to “Ice Cream Man”, and I’m amazed at Zac’s ability to make “Where You Want To Go” sound like a real song on the surface. I mean, “I’ve been trying to have a little heart-to-heart, ’cause I don’t feel you’ve been satisfied with all my choices lately” is a high quality no-nonsense line. The lunch box was a fun add-on, even though I’m slightly convinced we may have received the Hanson kids’ leftover Halloween candy with it. My plan is to stock it full of various Hanson trinkets over the next few years.

Friday’s main event, though technically not specific to Hanson Day, was the sold out String Theory show. I had the privilege of attending 5 String Theory shows prior to this (plus the “Stringless” Theory show at BTTI), and this was my favorite one, hands-down. In fact, it became my favorite Hanson show of all time, bumping Birmingham, AL Anthem Tour down to 2nd place and Summerfest 2012 down to 3rd. My friend and I thought we bought 4th row seats, but we showed up and there were three rows of pit reserved for Hanson’s family and friends, so we were really 7th row. This actually turned out to be a nice surprise for me. We were still close enough to see perfectly, and just far back enough to get the full picture. We were just Zac-side of center, and it ended up being my favorite spot I sat for String Theory (over front row, 3rd row, somewhereinthemiddlerow, and balcony).

What made this show so great? There’s a combination of factors. The show was sold out to a crowd that was more excited to be there than other ST crowds I had been in, and much more well behaved (save for only a couple cat-calls). It was neat to see Hanson’s family front and center – something they never get to experience – imagining how proud I’m sure they all were, especially their parents. This show sounded better than any other String Theory show I had been to. Whether it’s where I was sitting, a presumably more-rehearsed symphony, better sound engineering, or a combination of all these factors, it was beautiful. The highlight of the night was at the end, during “Tonight”, with a room full of fans singing a chorus of “don’t wait for tomorrow” while swaying phone flashlights. At one point, I caught Zac’s face looking into the crowd with a huge grin on his face, and I can only imagine what he was feeling in that moment. It’s one I’ll remember forever.

After String Theory was the Dance Party. Last year they brought in a photo booth, and it made an appearance again this year. This is a fun addition, and I hope they keep bringing it back. This year they also added Hanson Fatheads. While there weren’t enough to go around, it was still fun to see them floating around in the crowd. This year, Taylor took song requests via Hanson.net before the weekend started. I’m terrible with pop culture, so I didn’t suggest anything, nor did I pay attention to what people were requesting. I don’t know how much he stuck to the requests, but I do know this was the first Hanson dance party where I actually new most of the songs, and the crowd seemed to have an extra dose of excitement to dance away. Or maybe that’s just because we had a seated show beforehand and therefore weren’t quite as exhausted.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

I had tickets to a Painting Class session on Saturday morning. We woke up Saturday to an absolute downpour, and my friend and I decided we would much rather just stay in bed all day than go to the painting class after all. I’m an introvert, and a morning person. What this means for me is that I usually come home from Hanson Day weekend absolutely exhausted. This year I did not. I think it’s partially because I flew instead of driving, but I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that my roommates and I basically stayed in our hotel room all day Saturday, pretty much until just before show time. It seems a lot of people stayed in Saturday: plenty of ridiculous fathead photos were surfacing on Facebook as we all were keeping ourselves entertained indoors.

Saturday night was the State of the Band and the main Members’ Only Event. During the State of the Band, we learned Hanson plans to record two albums this year, releasing one in 2020 followed by a world tour (title: Hanson: Against The World), and the other in 2021. They did say something along the lines of being inspired by music from around the world, and releasing it “the way music is released in 2020″… whatever that means, we’ll have to wait and find out. They also hinted at a run of fall 2019 shows previewing the new music, similar to the Underneath Acoustic Tour. I’m anxious to learn more details about this. The show itself was what I’ve come to expect from a Hanson Day show: hearing all the new EP songs live with a mix of old members’ songs and a few fan favorites. Highlights from this year’s show for me were an almost-solo version of “Crazy Beautiful”, “Somebody That Wants To Love You”, and “Something Loud”.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Sunday morning, my roommates and I Ubered all over town visiting the places we hadn’t had the chance to see yet this year: Buck Atom’s, the original Ida Red, The Brook diner, and The Gathering Place. We then had time to take a nap before heading down to The Hop Jam. We got there just in time to see Joshua + The Holy Rollers. (For those not in the know: the band’s frontman is “little” Hanson bro Mac.) I didn’t want to like J+TH just because it was “the other brother”, but I fell in love with their debut EP, was looking forward to seeing them live, and they did not disappoint. Here’s hoping they make their way to the southeast someday. I tried a few new (to me) beers this year, and all my favorites were stouts: Hanson Brothers Beer’s Second Breakfast, 4 Hands Brewing Co’s Chocolate Milk Stout, and Founder’s CBS (coffee chocolate bourbon maple stout).

Hanson headlined the festival again this year, which is always a bonus. While the set list was semi-predictable, as most festival shows are, and my friends were too tired to even stand, it was still the perfect way to wrap up a fantastic weekend. Monday morning came, and with it tornado warnings. We weren’t sure we would “Make It Out Alive”, but at the end of the day the next day, “all my friends were home”. It’s always sad to say goodbye and go back to living In Real Life, but this year we know we can already look forward to Hanson Day and The Hop Jam on May 14 – 17, 2020. Will I see you there?

An Introduction

Well, hey there! It seems if I’m going to start a blog based primarily on the fact that I’m a fan of a particular band, I should probably start by talking about how I became a fan in the first place, and what it is about that band that keeps me “coming back for more” year after year. Two years ago, Hanson celebrated the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Middle of Nowhere, and at the time, I dusted off an old personal blog I hadn’t used in five years. So, instead of rehashing it all for you here, I’ll just link it here, then we can all move on together and fast forward to Hanson Day 2019.

Each year in May, Hanson hosts a fan club festival in their hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The first time I went was in 2009, and I’ve been going consistently since 2012. Tulsa, especially the Arts District, has grown a lot since that first trip, and it’s been neat to come back each year and get to see new things and try new restaurants. This year’s new Tulsa explorations included: Lone Wolf Banh Mi, Tavolo, The Goods Bodega, and of course, The Gathering Place. Since day one back in 2009, I’ve told people that it reminds me of a much smaller version of Nashville. I guess it’s fitting that it’s apparently following in Nashville’s construction footsteps as well.

Not only has the city of Tulsa grown, but the Hanson Day event has grown itself. Back in 2009, they held three sessions in a little theater (no really, it’s literally the Tulsa Little Theatre), and you could only sign up for one of the three sessions. Good luck getting into the same one as your friends! And talk about FOMO over missing the other two sessions. For the most part they were identical, but there may have been a song or two different, and of course different brotherly banter between songs. After each session, they took group photos by row. And then that was it.

Ten years later, and the Hanson Day activities included: one “storytellers” show, a String Theory show (Hanson + a symphony, technically not part of the fan club event as it was open to the public), a members’ only concert, group photos, a “State of the Band” discussion with a brief q&a, a bonus EP listening party, a painting class, an art and photo gallery, a bowling competition, a pop-up merch store, karaoke, and a dance party. Then, when that festival is over, there is also now Hanson’s beer + music festival, The Hop Jam, which they headlined this year. While I did not attend every event this year, I still think they’re going to require a blog post of their own, so stay tuned for an actual Hanson Day post “soon”.