Written By | Jilian McLendon
Life-long fans of Hanson waited excitedly in the freezing cold lines Wednesday night to experience their much anticipated tour : Wintery Mix. The Hanson brothers sold out the Buckhead Theatre and were so happy to give all the attendees their favorite songs of the late 90’s and early 2000’s while also showing their festive side with winter classics in anticipation for the upcoming holidays! Whether you are a die-hard fan of Hanson or a passive listener, it was easy to sing along to the traditional Christmas songs and tap your feet or hum the chorus to tracks that were so fundamental to 90’s culture. I’m sure Hanson is the culprit to some of those tunes that you randomly start singing while doing the dishes.
Joshua and The Holy Rollers started the night off with all the right energy! Frontman and lead singer Mac Hanson (yes, he’s also a Hanson!) and his band have a gritty, rock vibe that is easy to get behind and enjoy. Logan Beadean (lead guitar), Joey LaRosa (drums), and Al Moore (bass) have a blast jumping around and smiling ear-to-ear song after song. If you’re down for some folksy-blues-rock definitely check out “Hey Hey” Hey Hey (2018) “Talks Like Alabama” Talks Like Alabama (2019), “Humble Pie” Humble Pie (Live) (2018), “It’s All Gonna Be Fine” Patience (2019).
Ultra heartthrob and 2011 American Idol contestant Paul McDonald (lead vocals, guitar) graced the stage with amazing keyboardist (and Georgia native) Wesley Flowers. The duo put together quite a tight set singing about love and life. McDonald’s voice is so smooth and charming and it’s easy to swoon over his open stage personality and winning smile. (The cowboy hat and low cut, button-down jean shirt definitely helps) “Come On” Modern Hearts (2018) was easily one of the audience’s favorite songs and he encouraged everyone to sing along with him. McDonald was so honored to be asked by Hanson to tour with them; he mentioned that it was the third time they had asked him to come along. He even exclaimed, “Hanson fans are the best, man. They love music!”
In 1997, most of us heard Hanson for the very first time. Their single “MMMbop” Middle Of Nowhere (1997) was voted “Best Single Of The Year in a Pazz and Jop poll, ranked 20 on VH1’s “Greatest Songs of the 90’s”, 98th on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of the past 25 Years” and they made the 12th slot on Billboard’s Year End Hot 100 Hits of 1997 . It was a world-wide success and catapulted the teenage Oklahoma trio into pop music infamy. After 22 years and 17 tours, these now grown men are still making music and reminiscing with all their dedicated fans that vowed to love them forever- as most girls did back then. (I maybe-definitely had a “thing” for Taylor Hanson in my youth and there is absolutely some VHS footage of me, my sister, and my cousin putting on our own “Hanson concerts” in the basement. haha)
The Wintery Mix Tour is a collaboration of songs from just about all the studio albums that the guys recorded over the years- including their 1997 Christmas album which were customarily played as we put the tree up each year in my childhood home. Because they have such a breadth of music, we got a bit of everything from the decades! Included in these was “Shout It Out” Shout It Out (2010), “This Time Around” This Time Around (2000), “Georgia” The Walk” (2007), “A Wonderful Christmastime” It’s Finally Christmas (2017), “Little Saint Nick” Snowed In (1997) along with an acapella version of “Joy To The World”! Of course you can’t have a Hanson concert without the songs that started it all for most of us: “MMMbop”, “Where’s The Love” and “Wake Up” Middle Of Nowhere (1997).
Zac Hanson (drums, vocals), Taylor Hanson (lead vocals, piano), and Issac Hanson (guitar, vocals) still put on an amazing experience for their fans and absolutely love that so many have stayed by their side, loyal from the beginning of their stardom despite the fact that they have slowly drifted from major pop Teen Bear heatthrobs of the 90’s to a matured, more rock-influenced trio with still so much more to create. I know so many will be awaiting another album, as long as they throw in those old throwbacks for nostolic measure.
Photo Credit | Jilian McLendon