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Teens Turn Up The Volume For Hanson Trio - Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES-- Although some of the estimated 1,500 people gathered at the Sam Goody record store Saturday screamed out affections such as “We love you, Isaac!” or “We love you, Taylor!” most of the fans of the trio Hanson just chose to scream. Eardrum-piercing, glass-shattering, banshees-have-nothing-on-us screams. The fans, primarily teenage girls, screamed when they glimpsed members of the adolescent trio waving from the balconies. They screamed before brothers Isaac, 16; Taylor, 13; and Zac, 11- who’s first single “MMMBop”, has become a runaway bestseller- came onto the temporary stage erected downstairs. They screamed between the songs performed by the group at this free promotional concert, and occasionally they screamed during them.

Sometimes they screamed for no reason at all. “It’s like the Beatles revived”, said Kris Nikosey, 42, who took her 13-year-old son, a drummer, to see the band. Well perhaps that’s overstating it. A fairer comparison might be New Kids On The Block, the teen sensation of the late 80’s- though Hanson comes with more musical substance and without the New Kids’ synthetic, prefab feel. All this noise is for three kids from Tulsa, Okla., with a Jackson 5 sound and a hot debut album, “Middle of Nowhere”. The record came out on May 6 and the band already has done Letterman and Rosie O’donnell. Last week an estimated 6,000 fans showed up at a mall appearance in Paramus. The brothers’ first performance as a group was at a Tulsa arts festival in 1992. Over the next few years, Hanson put out two albums; the second caught the attention of Mercury Records, which signed the trio. With some help from heavy MTV airing of its MMMBop video, Hanson has taken off. Fans started lining up for Saturday’s 1 p.m. performance at 9 a.m. The first four hundred would get autographs after the show. Meanwhile, the three boys did interviews on the store’s upper level and then held a press conference. “Smile, Zac”, says one photographer. “This is fun, right?” For the most part, the Hanson boys did seem to be having fun. During an interview, they appeared to be comfortable and genuinely excited.

“All these screaming girls and guys going crazy, you just have to have fun with it”, Taylor says. “It’s not about you”, Isaac says. “It’s more about the position you’re in.” Isaac plays guitar, Taylor keyboards and bongos and Zac plays drums. No single one of them, they say, is the lead singer. The Hansons all wear earplugs when on stage- not because of the volume of the music but of the fans. The video for “MMMBop” was being looped on televisions throughout the store. A nearly two-story-high banner with the band’s picture on it hung on one wall. Downstairs, waiting fans were crammed tightly, some with the Hanson CD in hand. A huge electronic banner stated, “We Welcome Hanson.” Close to the stage, Tammi Hanna, 12, waited with her sister for the band to come on. “We love them,” said Hanna, wearing a furry “101 Dalmatians” backpack. “They are so fine.” Darrin Davis, 15, here with eight members of his family, said they’re all big fans of “MMMBop.” “Every time my sister sees the video she yells, ‘Oh my God!’ They’re sex symbols.” Just before Hanson took the stage, two moms nearly got into a fight when one family cut in front of another. “You know how long I’ve been here?” said one of the women. The argument ended when a security guard appeared and the band started playing. The set was a quick one: four songs in a little more than 20 minutes, with the brothers backed by three other musicians. During one song, Jamie Cabrera, 30, her 7-year-old daughter sitting on her shoulder, said, “I’m going crazy here.” Hanson encouraged the noise. Before their last song, Taylor said he wanted everyone to scream as loud as they could. “I personally have never seen a reaction like this to anything,” said Steven Greenberg, 36, the executive producer of Hanson’s record and vice president of A&R for Mercury. “More than anything, this reminds me of films that I’ve seen of the Beatles landing at Kennedy Airport having their famous press conference and having the screaming girls everywhere....But I almost dare not say it. It’s such a precocious comparison to make, so I don’t want to make it, but that’s the only thing I can think of that reminds me of this.” Hanson doesn’t like Beatles comparisons. “Don’t go there,” Isaac said during the interview. Jennifer Bonilla, 20, came to Sam Goody for a different reason- to buy a classical CD. No chance. “I walked inside, but it was crazy in there so I left,” Bonilla said outside after the concert. “A lot of little girls were in there screaming.”