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Hanson and Hellogoodbye wow Newport

Best known for their 1997 hit, MMMBop, Hanson took the stage Wednesday at the Newport Music Hall to perform in front of hundreds of screaming fans.

Doors opened at 6 p.m., and opening acts included Sherwood, an indie-rock band from California, Steel Train, a punk-rock band from New Jersey and Hellogoodbye, a power-pop band from California.

Anticipating the trio’s stage entrance, fans filed in and crammed the pit. The crowd erupted in screams as Hanson’s “Use Your Sole” banner was raised.

Thirty minutes later, Issac (guitar), Taylor (piano) and Zac (drums) took the stage to high-pitched screams and cheers. They started their set with World’s On Fire, off their new EP “Stand Up, Stand Up.”

Their new EP and tour is a tribute to their Take The Walk campaign and partnership with TOMS Shoes, a group the band has helped to donate thousands of shoes to children affected with HIV/AIDS and poverty.

Hanson jumped right into some of their more popular songs: Runaway, Where’s The Love, Penny and Me, and Crazy Beautiful. Female-filled screams were deafening between songs, and the noise of fans singing along almost drowned out the band.

In the middle of the set, Hanson left the stage, only to return and slow it down with a few acoustic songs. Their on-point harmonies were clean and soulful, and the crowd lapsed into a trancelike state.

Taylor was left alone on stage to perform Go, a song about a relationship gone bad. The crowd went silent as they listened to his strong, tenor vocals.

The brothers returned to round out the end of the set. They picked things back up with This Time Around, If Only and a cover of The Doobie Brothers Long Train Runnin’.

The crowd’s energy was at its peak, and then the first cords of MMMBop were struck. A bomb had exploded as hundreds of fans cheered the long awaited song that first put Hanson on the map. Fans were transporting back to 97′ when Hanson was on top of the world.

Hanson exited, and the crowd chanted for their return. They took the stage and delivered an energetic encore. It was a fantastic ending to the set.

The Hanson most fans remember has grown up, and their music has matured along with them. They might not be able to reach the falsettos they once used to, but what they bring to their music now is so much greater. The songs are much more refined and mature in style.

The three-part harmony Hanson is known for has only improved. Taylor, who once lead all the songs, now shares the vocals with Issac and Zac. They seamlessly transition among each other and can carry any song with their voices alone.

Hanson doesn’t need to work the crowd. Their incredible stage presence does the job. They sing because they love the music, and every song reflects that quality. They are talented artists who have only gotten better with age.

Hanson’s cult status and dedicated fans attest to their greatness. They are and continue to be a wildly successful band. Hanson still delivers a must-see concert event.

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