And The Fan Girl’s Dream Came True (Hanson in Manila 2012)

11 Apr

Disclaimer: This is another pretty long post from the fangirl in me. 🙂 So please, bear with me as you witness my 15-year love affair with the boys and their music. 🙂

As you all know from the last few posts here, I was going crazy and a little paranoid over Hanson because they were having a concert in Manila. I got to learn about the concert back in January and after professing on Facebook my love for Hanson and my desire to watch them in concert for the first time, one of my friends replied saying she wants to go with me and watch too. So I thought okay, now I have a company. But weeks before the concert, she was uncertain and didn’t confirm if she was still going or not. And I didn’t want to watch alone so I was worried that I’d miss the concert. Man, how can go crazy jumping up and down, screaming while singing the songs I grew up with if I will go alone? I sure don’t want to look like a complete lunatic.  I have to share the craziness with a friend! LOL. Oh the disadvantages of being a single!

So I thought I’d settled with the idea that I will miss their concert in Manila for the 2nd time. Yes, they had their 1st back in 2004 and I already skipped that chance of seeing them. But 3 days before the concert, they arrived in Manila, went straight to a TV station for a live interview and man just seeing them again on Philippine television awoken the teenybopper in me. So the desire to watch the concert resurrected. I texted my older sister and convinced her to go with me to the concert. And surprisingly, she didn’t say no. But her reply was, “Sure, as long as you’ll buy me a ticket. Haha” Well of course, whenever we ask each other for a company, it is always the one who asks who will shoulder most of the expenses.

(**Below is the interview of Taylor Hanson with Boy Abunda)

Isaac and Zac at the airport (image c/o Kris Rocha of Dayly Entertainment)

So I scored the tickets the day before the concert.  I managed to get a 50% off from buying from an authorized ticket re-seller.  It was good that I already filed for a vacation leave from work on the day of the concert, since it was also my only niece’s graduation and I promised her I will attend (She, btw, graduated pre-school as a class valedictorian! So proud of her!). After the graduation ceremony, I told my sister we should leave early because we still need to pick up the tickets and because I don’t want to get caught in the rush hour. I asked her if she already told her 6-year old daughter that we’ll go somewhere but I told her not to mention where we were going for she might cry and insist on going with us too.

Warm welcome to the boys! (image c/o another fan)

Hanson was greeted by the fans at the hotel lobby, singing one of their songs from Middle of Nowhere album. They were obviously delighted. Taylor taking pictures of them! (image c/o another fan)

So my sister, carefully choosing her words, told her, “P, Auntie Y and I are going somewhere, you stay here with Lola and Lolo (grandma and grandpa) okay?”  Surprisingly, P answered, “You’re going to the concert? Okay!” then she quickly added, “Ma, record it in video okay?” Hahaha… we thought she didn’t know where we were going.

So at the concert venue, I picked up our tickets and lined up as early as 6pm. There were already a few people in the line waiting to get in. The crowd started to grow and I noticed that although most of the attendees are females in mid twenties to early 30s, there were guys/men too (and no, they’re not even gays!) There were teenagers too, some kids with mom and dad and the surprise, there was a “granny” in the crowd! Wow! I know Hanson has been around for 20 years, but been in the mainstream music for 15 years, but I didn’t know they have a fan as old as my grandmother! LOL. Okay, as old as my mother, I guess she is only in her early 50’s.  All were excited to get inside and didn’t mind standing for more than an hour outside the gates of Araneta.

Hanson during a press conference ( image c/o another fan

They opened the gates by 7 so my sister and I rushed to find a good spot.  We were quite far from the stage, and although we wished we were at the front row, we thought our spot was good enough to see the trio. While waiting for the concert to start, we had dinner right inside the coliseum and were talking at the possible Hanson setlist. I said, maybe their opening song will be MMMBop – the smash hit that launched them to stardom back in 1997. My sister’s bet was that MMMBop will be the last song to end the concert with the bang! Fans sitting near us were actually creating their improvised banners. Total fan girls!

An hour later, the concert officially started with a local artist Robin Nievera and his band as the front act. The fans at the first few rows seemed to be receptive to Robin’s songs though I’m sure they can’t wait for him to finish all his songs so Hanson can finally play.  It lasted about 30 minutes for the front act to finish about 6 songs when the lights at the stage were turned off that made the audience roar in excitement! Even when the lights were off, we could see a few guys on stage, but barely, with their little flashlights, checking and preparing Hanson’s instruments before they get on the stage. Some people would take pictures of the stage with their flashes on so they could see if Hanson is already up there. And because nobody can really see who the guys were on the stage, when one of them hit the drums, probably testing if the sound is okay, we all went crazy! We thought it was Zac! It happened twice and the crowd’s reaction was the same crazy roar! Oh whoever that person was on the drums, he sure was laughing out loud for driving us nuts! LOL…

I wanted to pee but because I didn’t want to miss the opening, even though the washroom was just right outside the door, near our seats, I stayed and waited. I didn’t want to miss anything! No!

Then a few more minutes, there they are, stepping on stage…

HANSON!!!

Hanson on Araneta stage (image c/o exclusive circle live)

And the coliseum went wild! Oh the fans that couldn’t contain the excitement as they kicked off the show with Waiting For This off from their newest record, Shout it Out. And though I don’t know much of the songs yet from their latest album, I stood up and danced along with other fanatics! Oh I just couldn’t believe it, I’m in a Hanson concert after 15 years!!! OMG! The opening song “Waiting For This”  surely described my feeling right that moment.

Isaac on guitar, Taylor on piano and Zac on drums (image c/o exclusive circle live)

Where’s The Love was next which was the 2nd single from their 1997 Middle of Nowhere record, followed by another track from SIO, Thinking ‘Bout Something’, both of which sent us to stand on our feet and dance. The next songs were truly familiar as they performed songs from their first, second and third albums, songs that brought nostalgia –  Thinking of You, Minute Without You, Crazy Beautiful – this is one of my favorite that  evening as Tay’s showed his prowess over the piano, and Can’t Stop. 

They stepped out of the stage for a very short break and came back to perform their acoustic rendition of  Strong Enough to Break, Deeper (which the oldest brother Ike sang, oh what a beautiful voice!) and Wish That I Was There. Zac – the hottest looking drummer in the world I swear, sang the 3rd cut in that acoustic session that made all the females in the audience that night fainted in excitement. I swear, my married older sister couldn’t contain her admiration for him, both for being good looking and being a monster over the drums! (Both my sister and her husband plays drum.) Zac, btw has a different drum set up as from what I know (and I think), he is left handed so the commonly set up which is the snare drum and the clapper on the left was on the right side. And whenever Zac brushes his hair with his fingers and flashes his gorgeous smile, the fans would go wild! And the cameraman surely knows how to please the crowd by always shooting a close up on him! Same goes for Isaac and Taylor. I’m glad this good looking trio grew up as gorgeous men.

Hanson Acoustic session (image c/o exclusive circle live)

(image c/o exclusive circle live)

(image c/o exclusive circle live)

Zac drove a lot of girls crazy that night (image c/o exclusive circle live)

Close up shot of Zac (image c/o another fan)

The soulful ballad A Song to Sing followed, then With You in Your Dreams,  the song that was dedicated to their grandmother who passed away long time ago. Followed up by This Time Around that once again proved Taylor’s killer piano skills! Man, I wish mom enrolled me to piano lessons when I was young, at least I can say that I have a talent. LOL. During the This Time Around song, the lead singer Tay asked the audience to do their part in the song, he said, we are to sing the part “We won’t go down” continuously as the band sings the chorus, however though, either the others did not understand the instruction or they were just too distracted of the men’s gorgeous looks because I think I was the only one singing “we won’t go down”. Oh well.

Fans sang along with the trio in the next songs, And I Waited, which is now one of my faves off of SIO record, and their 2004 single Penny and Me from the Underneath. The feel-good song Give A Little was next. Oh that song just makes me dance every time I hear it. As the song says, “let your body lose control”, indeed sent the crowd to lose control and dance!

Hanson 2012 - Araneta Coliseum (image c/o other Hanson fans)

After the upbeat and Soul-Pop-RnB-infused Give a Little that made us dance, Taylor thanked the fans for sticking with them for 15 years after their first song. He added, “We were thinking about, sticking around for additional 15. You guys gonna’ be right here 15 years from now?” And a loud roar of excitement was the audience’s response! It was crazy! I screamed saying Yes! Of course, even after additional 30 or more years! Hahaha… Ike started strumming away his guitar to a very very familiar song that night. OMG! I screamed and told my sister to get up on her seat and record it because they’re playing the song that launched them to stardom back in 1997 and the song that capture the hearts of million teenagers (mostly girls) back then – their smash hit MMMBop!

OMG! OMG! OMG!

(image c/o exclusive circle live)

The Big Dome once again were filled with screams, shrieking and shouts. Man, we were taken back to  ’15 years ago’! I felt like it was 1997 all over again! It was crazy! The audience went wild, screaming while singing and dancing and I guess some maybe even crying. I swear I almost cried hearing them play MMMBOP live. It was just nostalgic! That night I traveled back in time and remembered the very first time I saw them on MTV and fell in love instantly. I can’t even capture in writing how I felt. I was just overjoyed. It was the song that started it all. The song that started my interesting teenage life. Hahaha!!!

Taylor was super energetic that night. (image c/o other fans)

Isaac's so charming! (image c/o exclusive circle live)

Oh maybe some of you cannot relate, because either 1. You were born in the 90’s or 2. You have different musical preference (but I hope that you weren’t one of those who pre-judged this teenage band for their age, their looks and their first single MMMBop, which is actually about relationship – “hold on to the ones who really care, in the end they’ll be the only ones there”. Read the lyrics, it’s meaningful.)

MMMBop was quickly followed by another upbeat song Lost Without Each Other which is another favorite of mine. After that, Taylor said, “We know you guys can make noise, the thing is, can you jump?” As usual, crazy screams were the response. Then just as Zac hit the cymbals and Ike strummed his guitar, Taylor played harmonica as he encouraged the crowd to jump with him. And this just made the screams and shouts rather more deafening! It was one of their hits back in early 2000- If Only! And boy, Tay doesn’t know the word “tired” as he keeps on jumping and running on the stage while singing, then alternately playing the piano and harmonica! What an energy! That drove a lot of us crazy. LOL. My goodness, it was a pandemonium! Taylor is totally charming. He’s not just good looks but good looks coupled with a REAL musical talent! They all are actually! They sort of stopped midway through the song or right after the bridge part and Taylor teased the crowd causing a load uproar. But Tay seemed to be not contented yet and encouraged more noise from the sea of fans in front of him! My gosh, who would say no to Taylor?! LOL

Tay jumping up and down (image c/o exclusive circle live)

Tay rocking on his piano (image c/o exclusive circle live)

Tay and Zac encouraging the fans... (image c/o another fan)

Zac on his drums (image c/o exclusive circle live)

If Only was actually their finale song and I would say, what a great way to end it. Gosh, the song…. “If only I have the guts to feel this way, If only you’d look at me and want to stay, If only I’d take you in my arms and say I won’t go ’cause I need you…”

Taylor thanked the audience and introduced the session musicians with them (bassist and back up guitarist/ keyboardist), waved and left the stage together with his brothers. Then lights were off.  Of course like most rock concerts, we all knew they’d come back, yet still we chanted and screamed for “More! More! More!” 

They returned to the stage and played the funky-rock-n-roll song “In the City” from their This Time Around album as the encore that caused riots and more jumps and screams! Oh, when Taylor sang the part “I’m gonna ask you once again, gotta tell me once again do you love me?” that was repeated thrice, I screamed Yes thrice too! LOL.

So how did they end the encore? Ike got on top of the platform where Zac’s drum was set up, then Zac stood on top of his bass drum with his back facing the audience and Taylor joined them on the right side of the platform and jumped off as they finished the song, then lights off! Oh I can still hear the screams until now.

Preparing to jump (image c/o Dazzle -http://inkachua.tumblr.com)

Jump Hanson Jump! (image c/o Dazzle -http://inkachua.tumblr.com)

Lights were turned on again as the three of them took their turns to say thank you to all of us for the nth time for showing up that night and for being an amazing crowd. 🙂 Then again, introduced the session musicians and all five of them (sessionist included) bowed altogether.

Taylor grabbed the mic and said, “We will come back if you will too!” And the screams filled the dome once more! Then Isaac, Taylor and Zac held hands and bowed for the last time. Zac, left the stage while Isaac took a few of his guitar picks and gave it away to the audience. Lucky those who got them!

Hanson with their session musicians.

Hanson- one of the only two bands I love. 15 years!!! Indeed a dream came true! Thank you for coming to Manila again! (image c/o Dazzle -http://inkachua.tumblr.com)

And Taylor? He jumped from the stage and took pictures using his Leica M9 those in the pit and even shook hands with some of them. Very lucky girls indeed! I’m envious! LOL 🙂 Good thing there were two bouncers that quickly followed him and the railings that separates, or else Tay will be mobbed!

What a night! What a show! What a concert!

As a fan of the band for 15 years, it was a dream came true to be at their concert. Now I can cross it out from my bucket list. I went home all smiles and took with me an awesome experience that Friday night. Indeed it was one of the best Fridays in my entire life! The fan girl in me was just so happy! 😀 Gosh, I woke up the next day, asking “Was it just a dream that I was at the Hanson concert last night?” 😀

I’m so thankful to my older sister who went with me to watch my boys (well my men now, LOL) even though she only knew probably two or three of their songs, yet still she enjoyed the night, screamed with me and shared the craziness.  She obviously had fun too! She took pictures and record some songs, though when she thought she recorded the entire MMMBop performance just before her camera’s battery went flat, when we reached home she found out it wasn’t saved at all. Too bad!

As for me, don’t ask me for pictures or videos. Yeah I did take videos of most of their performances but unfortunately it is good for personal viewing only. Hahaha!!! I don’t want to ruin my reputation because all you will hear was me screaming and singing on the top of my lungs! LOL. This very long post is enough to wreck my good reputation. Hahaha…

Hanson, thank you boys for the great music!

Hanson, one of the only two bands I really followed and adored (the other one is Jars of Clay), still makes beautiful music after 15 years. They aged so well. They are now matured men (and so their music), happily married and blessed with lovely kids. And even after the changes both in their careers and personal lives, the fans still adores them. I guess, we’ll all be here for as long as they live and make awesome music. Yes, like Taylor said, “another 15 years”… Gosh, they’ll be in 40’s by then! Hahaha…. Now, that reminds me of Bee Gees!

Hanson is underrated. Back in the days, many judged them and their musical ability due to their age but they didn’t see what us, the fans, have seen in them and realized since 1997 – that they’re not just bunch of good looking boys, and that if you listen closely, the lyrical prose, their poetic side, their passion, their skills over playing different musical instruments are just amazing and applaudable. They are musical geniuses.  And it is only now that others realized this, like this one:

“@barrycyrus: To be fair, the Hanson brothers make one bunch of well-versed, profound musicians.”

I’m glad I am a fan since 1997. Though it makes me realize how old I am now, it also makes me feel like a ‘teenager’ once again. Thanks Hanson for your beautiful music and thank you Lord for the opportunity to see them play the songs that influenced me over the years.

Now that I have seen them in concert, next goal, meet them real up close. 🙂

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