Hanson Brings a Wintry Mix to Omaha

Hanson at the Sokol Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska on Friday, December 6, 2019. Photo by Joe DeSanti.

BY JOE DeSANTI | Go Venue Magazine

On Friday night December 6th, the Sokol Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska played host to Hanson’s Wintry Mix Tour

Concertgoers packed inside the auditorium as Joshua & The Holy Rollers opened the show. I was totally blown away by the talent and energy of this band.  Their music can best be described as Folk / Rock & Roll, and the lead singer’s voice is gritty, but beautiful. It wasn’t until after the show, that I realized the lead singer’s name is Mac Hanson. He’s the youngest of the Hanson brothers, and obviously since he was born later, wasn’t part of the iconic musical trio with his older brothers. The band’s first single, “Hey Hey”, was released in September of 2018, and although he’s the younger sibling of one of the most famous boy bands in the world, Mac has obviously found his niche. His soulful voice, paired with the band’s drum beats, rock sound, and guitar riffs, sets Joshua & The Holy Rollers apart. After just a few songs, I became a fan. They have a unique sound and great energy!

After a brief intermission, Paul McDonald, of American Idol fame, hit the stage. Wearing a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, and a lot of denim, I was expecting a lot more of a Country sound, but I was surprised. Although there were definitely some elements of Country music, McDonald has more of a pure Rock sound.  Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, McDonald placed 8th on the 10th season of American Idol.  Since the show, he’s toured around the country, appeared in music videos, and released and album titled, “I’m Not Falling.”  He had an awesome set, and the crowd seemed to really enjoy his performance. Although I was unfamiliar with his music before the concert, McDonald impressed me with the purity in his voice. He had a great attitude, good energy, and seemed genuinely excited to be there.

After another brief intermission, the Hanson brothers took the stage, and the crowd went absolutely crazy.  The opening bands got a nice reception, but when the brothers came on stage, it was clear who fans in attendance were there to see.  The trio, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, consists of Isaac, Taylor, and Zac.  Over twenty years after their second, most successful album, Middle of Nowhere, Hanson hasn’t missed a step.  The group has won World Music Awards and Kid’s Choice Awards, and has been nominated for numerous Billboard Music Awards. They’ve won New Artist of the Year, Favorite Song, Best Selling Holiday Album, Best Selling Music Video, and World’s Best Selling New Artist awards as well. It’s easy to see why the group has been so successful. They have great chemistry, loyal fans, and are each uniquely talented. Seeing them live brought me back to my high school days, and judging from the reaction of the crowd, I wasn’t the only one enjoying the throwback. Sprinkled throughout their set of holiday songs, were the groups most recognized hits, “This Time Around”, “Where’s The Love”, and of course, “Mmmbop.”  Their 22 song set included a few samples from their upcoming album, recognizable Christmas favorites, and an encore performance. Say what you will about boy bands, but THIS boy band is well deserving of all their accolades. They sound just as great now, as they did two decades ago, and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The Hanson concert was amazing!


Paul McDonald

Joshua & The Holy Rollers

All images © Joe DeSanti
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