Mmmkay. If you’ve known me since middle school you’ll know that I am of those Hanson girls from 1997. Still am, actually, just toned down quite a bit.
Well, I met them. Briefly, but I met them. Not until I was like 30, but it happened. By this time they were playing smaller, much cooler venues, and had matured quite a bit… as humans and as artists. Taylor was just starting to try his hand at DJing and held an after party at each show. That was interesting because he’s actually quite talented but the crowd was almost all OG Hanson fans who have no idea how to rave and were still in total starstruck oggle mode. Watching a DJ be treated like a boy band fascinated me. Not many people were dancing, only the drunk girls, and they were mostly trying to dance all up on each other to show off for Taylor. This is not me making judgy assumptions, they were literally screaming this at him. Some of them still had their posters and fan garb going strong. I’ve never seen a DJ get that much unwavering attention. It was odd in an awkward uncool way.
Me, I took this opportunity to play it cool as hell. I didn’t really know anything about club music so I couldn’t be that cool, but I did feel musically snobbish enough to distance myself from the boy crazy mmmboppers and act like I just didn’t care.
LOL! To think that he saw and sensed my elitist apathy and found it attractive amidst a sea of girls holding up heart posters with his name plastered everywhere is so funny to me. But I swore it was a thing.
After the “after party” even more girls had left. This, I thought, is how you do it. My music scene at the time was small college town bars and venues that hosted obscure bands that most people hadn’t heard of. And I loved it. I had become that girl. So I knew the trick was to hang until the band was wrapped and ready to roll out. This gave me an advantage.
Most of the other girls had already dipped out because they were either normal people who were there to hear that one song and weren’t totally obsessed, or they had been fans but lost their middle school level of dedication.
So there I was standing out by their bus at about 230 am, with about 20 other girls who all looked familiar. I’m confident that I’d seen them all before at the Nashville show 10 years prior. We had dwindled down to about 20. In 1997, if it was ever even possible to get to a Hanson show at some mega arena, this would have all been done by 10pm and there definitely would have been more than 20 of us.
So this was a sweet setup. I got to talk to all of them for a few minutes and, of course, I cried. I swung back into full force fan mode and found it impossible to continue to try to play it apathetically cool.
At the end of the day, I realized that the only thing lamer than being a 30 year old teenybopper is going to a Hanson show as a 30 year old teenybopper trying hard to act like an elitist music snob who didn’t care. There was no way around being a strange girl in this moment, so I might as well go for it.
I mean, hey, we all get a little bit Weird sometimes.