The Hanson brothers: Grown, but not forgotten

By Kristin Drouin & Sarah Mintz

Flannel, grunge rock and TRL videos: what’s not to love about the ’90s? This week, the decade strikes back with the return of those three long haired blond brothers who captured the hearts of the girls of the ’90s. That’s right: Isaac, Taylor and Zachary Hanson are headed to the Twin Cities this week in all their “Mmmbop” glory. In 1997, when the Oklahoma natives skyrocketed to fame with that original, toe-tapping hit, they were only kids. Zachary, the youngest, was a mere 11 years old. Since that first big break, the boys have come a long way, changing labels three times and releasing five full-length albums and countless live recordings.

Though their style has matured from bubblegum pop to bluesy rock, fans still recognize them as icons of the popular music movement. Their shared talent as singer-songwriter-musicians distinguishes them in the label-controlled boy band world.

Though the guys have grown up considerably (sorry, girls, all three are married with children), they’re still writing their own music and spreading it throughout the world. Recently, the brothers traveled to Africa to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. Hanson also encourages fans to hold mile-long walks in their own cities with the goal of raising money to send shoes to African children.

Their newest album, 2007’s “The Walk,” reflects their philanthropic campaign. Their current live performance consists of tracks from “The Walk,” as well as old favorites from the band’s early days. With The Veronicas, an Australian sister duo known for the hits “Hook Me Up” and “Untouched,” as their opening act, the concert will be a unique blend of old-school pop and modern rock-and-roll.

If you’re ready for a little “Penny and Me” this Friday, you can find us at the First Ave. The show starts at 8:00; tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.