about 13 years ago, i heard this particular band for the very first time. i remember being in our garage with the radio station blaring, thinking to myself, i don't know who or what this is, but it's catchy and i like it. a feel-good kind of music that made me smile and want to dance. i was completely hooked. luckily, my cousin shared the same love for this band; we were two of the few hanson fans i knew. yes, i'm talking about hanson. and, while we got a lot of crap for liking them and their music, we continued buying their albums and t-shirts and books (yes, there were books) and concert tickets.
we saw hanson in concert for the first time when we were almost 13 years old. i still remember that night. even with our lawn "seats," and even though we could just barely see the band, we sang and danced and jumped around the entire night as if we were on the front row of the arena. our second hanson concert, a few years later, was in an auditorium, and this time, we could actually see them clearly. we again sang and danced, running down the isle to get a better look at the band. i'll never forget the look on my cousin's face when, after waiting for the guys to run out to the tour bus after the show, she reached out, touched zac's hat and turned around to tell me the "big news." i saw the band again a few years ago, in a tiny club in baltimore, packed with fans. i have to say, things were a little different that time around. when we were teenagers (or almost-teenagers), there was that teeny-bopper, "oh my gosh, it's hanson!" excitement. as the years went on, the kind of fandom changed, and it became more about liking the music. still, throughout the years, their music continues to put a smile on my face and brings back that same feeling i had years and years ago.
my brother, my cousins and i grew up listening to oldies thanks to our moms and dads. i can't remember a ride or a trip in one of our family's mini vans that didn't involve the oldie station on the radio and a little singing and dancing. i think our exposure to that kind of music is part of the reason we have always enjoyed hanson so much. their music has always had that same kind of feel to it. pop. rock. soul. it was just a given.
as i'm writing this, i'm listening to hanson's newest album, "shout it out." it's the same kind of feel-good music they've been creating for years. and i'm in love with it all. i've literally had a smile on my face for the past hour and a half that i've been listening to their newest music. i also recently watched a "making the album" video, and i think zac sums it up best when he says, "don't be afraid to smile and to love music that makes you feel good.."