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Arts and Entertainment

Hanson @ the Viper Room 08/07/07

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I'm not quite sure what lured me into going to see Hanson. I saw an e-mail about it, contemplated replying with a not-so-elaborate joke at their expense, and quickly snagged the opportunity without thinking twice. However, when I called my friend to jokingly present the Hanson show as a concert option for the night she vehemently lurched at it. I began to think twice.

Apparently, I was completely unaware of her Hanson phase. I'm pretty sure that if I had known we might not have been friends to begin with. Regardless, by offering it up I walked straight into a trap. We were going to see Hanson. It was final. I began to frantically rehearse lines in order to justify it to friends and family in the near future, but nothing I came up with really substantiated going to see Hanson. I had to deceive myself by viewing it as a (valiant) journalistic experiment: a small hipster dude in a room swallowed by a sea of emphatic fans. Putting myself in adverse conditions for the sake of renegade journalism. Way to go me!

Not.

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Here's the play by play of the events leading up to Hanson's performance:

9:30pm I arrive at the Viper Room and get in line with my friend, who proceeds to divulge every useless Hanson tidbit she had garnered in her Hanson "phase". The excessive display of fanaticism sickens me and I haven't even entered the venue. What did I get myself into?

9:45pm We enter the Viper Room and I head straight for the bar to drown myself with whiskey. I figure that the only way I could possibly enjoy the experience is if I'm completely inebriated. Oh joy! Two girls in bikini tops and short skirts show up.

10:00pm With a belly full of Makers Mark and Coca Cola, I walk up the stairs to the stage, trembling ever so slightly with each step towards the potentially hellacious experience. My friend makes it clear to me that she has no qualms elbowing her way to the front.

10:10pm We plop ourselves smack-dab in the middle of a cluster of underage girls, who clearly have issues with us doing so. I receive multiple blows to the ribcage from the girl standing directly behind me. I turn around and she attempts to play it off as if it were an accident.

10:12pm More blows to the ribcage incite rage. I turn around to explain, in a fatherly-like manner, that elbowing someone isn't conducive to results. If she wants me to move, then she should just ask. We engage in a heated argument, which draws surrounding fans. All of the sudden, I am surrounded by angry Hanson freaks. This is my worst nightmare.

10:15pm I concede, feeling guilty and disgusted, mostly the latter, by letting disagreeable hobgoblin-ess and company stand in front of me. Meanwhile, my friend holds her ground, adhering to our original plan. We are separated by fanaticism.

10:20pm After five minutes of terribly awkward silence, my friend realizes that it isn't worth it at all. She asks for the hobgoblins' names so that I can put it in the review (Lisa and Cynthia...suprise, you're on LAist!). We relocate to the back of the room and Hanson comes on stage.

The gleaming brothers of Hanson ran through a polished set filled with mostly new material from their latest release The Walk. They played all of the obligatory hits: "MMMBop", "This Time Around", "Penny & Me" and the latest "Go". I must admit their pristine three part harmonies are impressive, almost CSNY-ish as someone stated in the comments of the last Hanson review. I really tried to come into the experience objectively so that I would not overlook the musicianship. It's too bad their voracious fans completely ruined the experience for me.

With the amount of hell I've received from all parties, friends, family, and fans alike, I can safely say that I will never go to a Hanson show again. I used to rip on them in times past without any basis for doing so. The stigma prevailed above all. At least now I've got a legitimate experience to back my undying hatred.