Throughout their 25 years of making music together, the brotherly trio of Hanson – Isaac, Taylor and Zac – have toured the world many times over, winning over throngs of new fans with their catchy mix of R&B, pop, and rock.
Hanson – Middle of Everywhere 25th Anniversary Tour; Finally It’s Christmas Live
When: 6:30 pm October 7; December 1 and 3
Where: House of Blues 329 N Dearborn St.
Tickets: $44-50+. Sold Out
Chicago is one place for which they’ve developed an especially deep reverence. Most years it’s almost like clockwork that the band routes its tours through the city. The brothers will perform two separate times this year at the House of Blues: Oct. 14 in celebration of their 25th anniversary and new collection “Middle of Everywhere ‑ The Greatest Hits,” and Dec. 1 and 3 to promote their first Christmas album in 20 years, “Finally It’s Christmas.”
“Chicago has been one of our favorite places to play for years,” says Taylor Hanson. “It’s one place we’ll consistently play two shows on tour. It’s not only that people will come out and see us but I think fans like to travel to that city. It’s a great city and I always enjoy coming back. Chicago can’t get rid of us.”
One of Taylor’s favorite Chicago memories is when the band played the House of Blues during a 2003 acoustic tour. He recalls “how the entire room was bouncing with fans” and what a “dynamic space it was.” For this tour, Taylor is most excited about seeing a multi-generational audience.
“With this tour, you see fans [that] have grown up with us and connected with along the way,” he says. “There are also fans that might be the children of the fans that got turned onto our music.”
Starting at ages 11, 9 and 6, in 1992, the brothers set out to make music together and quickly hitting the jackpot with their chart-topping hit “MMMBop.” While some bands have crumbled to pressures and friction that comes with that kind of sudden success, Hanson has remained steadfast in its pursuit of making quality music.
“We haven’t avoided the pressures. We haven’t dodged challenges. We’ve just been stubborn about continuing to adjust and adapt and continue to do what we started doing, which is to focus on the music,” Taylor says. “We’re really focused on creating great music. That quality and that ability to make that connection with fans is really the thing that ties it all together.”
Taylor adds that it’s critical to take on risks and be confident in what you’re doing. Their ability to learn from their experiences and take on the challenges and hard decisions is a major reason they’ve lasted this long.
“We’re not trying to react to the next single or next trend,” says Taylor. “Our goal has been to make our future in a way that’s more long-term with what we are building. Having that focus has allowed us to weather the storm because we realize that our goal is not simply to popular in a moment but to create a connection to people and hopefully invest in them.”
Their new greatest hits collection is a testament to their staying power.
“One thing that’s really clear when you hear the record is there really is a continuity in our influences,” says Taylor. “You can hear our musical influences, whether you’re listen to our first record or our latest. … There’s a span of time and different life experiences, and peoples’ voices are higher many years ago when we were kids. But the common thread is these songs. You could put them right up next to each other and you still hear the foundation of this band.”
The collection also features new single “We Were Born,” which celebrates the idea that everyone has the potential to make their mark on the world. The song’s video features 11 of the trio’s 12 children, further embellishing the full-circle nature of the song for the band.
“To see our kids singing along, it’s a metaphor to our own life experiences,” says Taylor. “It’s like looking back at ourselves through them. We want people to be engaged by the message of the song and connect a little bit more with our story, which is: We chose to jump out there and go after our dream of making music when we were, in many cases, the ages of our kids.”
“There’s great possibilities when you’re crazy enough to go after what you imagine yourself doing, to go after the thing you feel you were born to do.”
Joshua Miller is a local freelance writer.