Hanson’s Shout It Out tour comes to Asheville

Pop band Hanson, who rose to fame in the 1990s, are still going strong. But now the three brothers — Isaac, Taylor and Zac — are all grown up (youngest, Zac was a pre-teen when the band’s hit “MMMBop” charted; this year he and his wife had their second son) and, though still pop-savvy, have more magnanimous goals than mere pop stardom. Enter Hanson’s Shout It Out tour, which arrived in Asheville today.

Photo: Taylor Hanson walks with fans along Biltmore Ave.

From a press release: “HANSON is proud to announce the first two legs of their North American tour in support of their highly anticipated fifth record, Shout It Out. The announcement of the tour follows a whirlwind week of excitement for the band’s debut single, “Thinking ‘Bout Somethin’” which was released to digital outlets Friday in conjunction with the premiere network television performance of the song on the Late Show with David Letterman, and the music video debut on Myspace, garnering praise from fans and critics alike including Perez Hilton, MTV, Entertainment Weekly, Absolute Punk and Salon. The video, featuring “Weird” Al Yankovic, was viewed over a million times in the first few days of release, and is still rising. The exuberant homage to classic film The Blues Brothers, recreates an iconic scene where the band’s soulful music incites over 300 people to dance in the street.”

Photo: Isaac Hanson walks with fans along Biltmore Ave.

The tour combines with the brothers’ ongoing Take The Walk campaign where, at each tour stop, they walk one mile barefoot with their fans. The walk raises awareness about poverty and AIDS in Africa where many children can’t afford footware. Fans walk barefoot in solidarity with those misfortunate children; each walker also pledges to donate $1 to a cause such as fighting AIDS, building schools or donating shoes. Hanson has teamed with TOMS Shoes, a company which donates a pair of shoes to a needy child for each pair sold. Many fans at today’s walk — which left The Orange Peel around 3 p.m. — were wearing TOMS shoes.

Info about the walk came via Twitter: “join us for the walk at the orange peel today! 2:30, C U there -Taylor.”

Hanson plays the Orange Peel tonight. 8 p.m., Rooney opens. Tickets are $28 at the door and are still available.

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23 thoughts on “Hanson’s Shout It Out tour comes to Asheville

  1. Carrie Ann

    uuugggghhhh this is ridiculous. I’m sure those poor kids are much happier without shoes. Going barefoot is not something that we need to ‘raise awareness’ about! It is healthy ! Come on people, even after all the statistical evidence and studies that we have available nowadays PROVING this; crap like this still shows up everywhere. Do some research!

  2. Piffy!

    good point, carrie ann. Going barefoot is indeed healthy and there are numerous studies supporting this.

  3. Piffy!

    Judging by the photos, I would say hanson fans might want to go a day or two without eating instead of without shoes.

  4. Kriss

    Good point, Carrie Ann. I used to like Hanson – their music, that is. But this gimmicky self-serving publicity stunt that they do nowadays is nothing short of a clever marketing scheme based on ignorance and shortsightedness while exploiting the natural altruistic impulse of most people. They’ve got some kind of a deal going with TOMS shoes that is designed to benefit both the bottom line of the band as well as the bottom line of TOMS shoes.

    The clever gimmick is to get people who generally never go barefoot outside the soft smooth floors of their own homes to actually take off their shoes and walk a mile on rough pavement. The point is that it’s going to be very uncomfortable and somewhat difficult to do, and therefore the message is supposed to be that poor barefoot African children feel the same pain 24/7 (which they indeed don’t, because to them walking barefoot is just natural and they’re used to it) – therefore we all need to purchase TOMS shoes so they can send a matching pair to some poor child somewhere who has none. And at $45.00 for a cheaply made canvas type shoe manufactured in China, TOMS is not only making a huge profit (even as it sells, in effect, 2 pairs of shoes for the price of 1), this is nothing short of an obvious effort by a shoe company to expand its future markets, and create some demand where none currently exists, while getting feel-good press out of it at the same time.

    Are shoes what the poorest of people on the planet need to be convinced of to spend what little money they have on? Because once these donated shoes are worn out or are outgrown, who’s to pay for new ones? And they will indeed need new ones, because by that time, the children’s feet will have gotten soft and vulnerable to injury as well as vulnerable to foot fungus and other problems caused by or exacerbated by shoe wearing.

    But the demand will have been created. And the old and worn out ones end up polluting the landscape or filling up landfills. So where well-meaning but possibly misguided Americans – in cooperation with shoe companies whose real goal is to increase demand and therefore increase profits – attempt to apply their own standards to the rest of the world and try to make everybody in the world just like they are, traditional cultural norms and practices are being distorted or destroyed.

  5. A Walker

    Actually it’s about more than just shoes. If you have ever taken a walk, you would know that it serves one of five purposes. 1. Shoes. 2. Building schools. 3. Improving Healthcare/AIDs research 4. Building wells for clean drinking water. 5. Access to doctors through things like cell phones. Everyone has the right to an education, clean drinking water and health care regardless of whether or not you are the poorest country or the richest.

    So please before you think you know everything from an article in a newspaper – do your own research at TakeTheWalk.net or even Hanson.net

    I took the walk!! Asheville NC 2010

  6. Kriss

    Yes, I’m aware that the “walk” is ostensibly more than about just shoes, but shoes are pretty much the main thing it’s about, otherwise why would people be encouraged walk barefoot?

    Walking barefoot relates to shoes, or lack thereof. Walking barefoot has nothing to do with building schools, improving healhcare/AIDs research, or all the other things you mentioned. In fact, in the TakeTheWalk website, it states, “Thousands of individuals participated in these walks, lead by the band HANSON in partnership with TOMS Shoes, providing thousands of shoes to impoverished children in South Africa.”

    This walk is just an extension of another TOMS Shoes marketing campaign called “One Day Without Shoes,” in which people were encouraged to go a whole day barefoot so they could “imagine a life without shoes.” Of course, the people that participated pretty much never ever went barefoot otherwise, and their relatively short time barefoot was in no way indicative of actually living without shoes on a regular basis. But TOMS did sell a lot of shoes that way.

  7. Susie

    It’s called symbolism. I’m neither here nor there regarding Hanson, but this is a way to raise awareness. Period. Do you think people would act or ask questions and start conversations (JUST like you’re doing right now?) if it weren’t for an extravagant display like this one? No. They wouldn’t, not outside of the Hanson fan base. The Toms thing does reek a bit of corporate gain, but that doesn’t change the fact that Hanson fans would do anything for these guys, and they know that, and they are utilizing this in a positive way. Don’t be so bitter… it’s just Hanson.

  8. hansonfan86

    I can’t believe people are dissing others for just standing up for something they believe it. It doesn’t matter whether you think it’s a marketing campaign or a worthy cause, don’t be disrespectful just because you do not see the point in it. I’ve taken multiple walks since they started in 2007 and the purpose of it is not to show you how kids in Africa feel, it’s about how we take things for granted, like a simple pair of shoes, that people in impoverished places don’t necessarily have. Americans in general do take the simple things for granted, food, clothing, education, health care and taking your shoes off and walking a mile is eye opening to the fact that not everybody in the world has it as good as we do here.

    Whoever made a statement about most people never go outside without shoes, seriously? One this is Asheville and two this is the south, I rarely wear shoes unless I have to so it’s not like it’s some pointless torture session with Hanson, not to mention shoes are completely optional, nobody says anything if you chose to keep your shoes on. Tom’s isn’t even involved with the walks now. The first year they did sell shoes after the walk, there is even a Hanson themed pair, but in no way was it ever treated as a promotional thing and nobody ever tried to sell you anything.

    Also, Caleb, please do not make personal comments attacking people for how they look. It’s rude, immature, and has nothing to do with the story that is being reported. That comment was meant to be nothing but hurtful, overweight people are everywhere, most of America is overweight so don’t make a generalization about Hanson fans and even more importantly don’t make comments like that. It’s things like that that lead to anorexia and bulimia. You may have thought you were being funny but honestly you’re just flat out rude.

    I’m sure I will get negative replies to this, Hanson always invokes a strong reaction and it really doesn’t matter. I have been behind this band for 13 years. Hanson doesn’t ridicule you for whatever cause you support and neither do their fans. Please just have respect before you make comments that could be hurtful.

    I TOOK THE WALK!
    Charlotte-2007,2008
    Myrtle Beach- 2009
    Asheville-2010

  9. Barefoot4life

    Shoes are the last thing needed by people who are accustomed to a barefoot lifestyle. What is really needed is clean drinking water, proper sanitation, school supplies and basic medical and dental care.

    When you walk barefoot everywhere on a regular basis it becomes apparant that walking barefoot is the most comfortable, healthy and natural way to walk. Footwear is over rated and unnessessary most of the time.

  10. Susie

    It’s called symbolism. I’m neither here nor there regarding Hanson, but this is a way to raise awareness. Period. Do you think people would act or ask questions and start conversations (JUST like you’re doing right now?) if it weren’t for an extravagant display like this one? No. They wouldn’t, not outside of the Hanson fan base. The Toms thing does reek a bit of corporate gain, but that doesn’t change the fact that Hanson fans would do anything for these guys, and they know that, and they are utilizing this in a positive way. Don’t be so bitter… it’s just Hanson.

  11. Piffy!

    [b]this is a way to raise awareness. Period[/b]

    To raise awareness of what, though? That these people have soft little baby feet?

  12. Piffy!

    I’m with Kris and Barefoot 4 life on this one. All this shows me is that some very privileged people think that not wearing shoes for a mile gives them some kind of insight into poverty.

    Personally, i find this perspective to be indicative of people who are as clueless as to their level of privilege as they are to thew needs and experiences of people who live in actual poverty.

    (Here’s a tip: Shoes are probably far less of a concern than food, water, and people shooting at them).

  13. Hansonfan8797

    Caleb, as previously mentioned, the walk raises awareness for much more than the need for shoes, including water, health care and education. As far as their experiences, Hanson spent time over there helping children hands on in both hospitals and schools. So they may not have a personal experience (ie living in poverty) they do have more of a knowledge base of what poverty is than most of us.
    Also, your comments about some fans being overweight is nothing more than disrespect toward people you don’t even know. And that could be why you feel so comfortable making generalizations like that. But as hansonfan86 mentioned, the majority of the United States (majority here being about 85%) are classified as overweight. Some of those overweight or heavier people just so happen to be Hanson fans – so what?

    Again, I agree with hansonfan86, there are going to be negative responses because Hanson seems to polarize people because the general public can’t get passed MMMBop from 13 years ago, but I don’t care. I have been a fan for 13 years and will continue to support the band and their efforts no matter what they are.

    I Took The Walk
    Charoltte 2007, 2008
    Asheville 2008 2010.

  14. Piffy!

    how do i have to know a person to see they are overweight? It’s not a comment on their character. ITs noting the irony of privilege.

  15. Kriss

    Again, I agree with hansonfan86, there are going to be negative responses because Hanson seems to polarize people because the general public can’t get passed MMMBop from 13 years ago, but I don’t care.

    This has nothing to do with Hanson’s music, whether MMMBop or any other song. Come on. I’ve never disliked MMMBop. As I said before, I used to like Hanson’s music, not that I necessarily dislike it now – my interest just lies more in other kinds of music nowadays.

    The issue is how they’ve bought into this idea of shoeing the world.

  16. Kriss

    Personally, i find this perspective to be indicative of people who are as clueless as to their level of privilege as they are to the needs and experiences of people who live in actual poverty.

    Indeed. I agree. As to the needs of people who live in actual poverty in places such as Africa, shoes are so far down on the list of real priorities, they really aren’t even on any rational list. Instead of wasting money, time, and lip service, as well as helping some shoe corporation’s bottom line, people should be contributing towards what these people and these children really need. Just think about it, if TOMS Shoes truly had an altruistic interest in helping poor children by providing them shoes (not that shoes are something they really need), they would simply be sending them shoes – no strings attached. Why is a purchase necessary for this to happen? The truth is, they’ve hit upon a very clever marketing scheme, which has two parts:
    (1) Convince people that poor kids around the world need) shoes because being barefoot is a horrible life, and tell people that TOMS will “donate” shoes to these children – but only if a consumer pays for an overpriced pair of cheaply made shoes first (thus, the consumer in effect is paying for both pair – TOMS is out nothing).
    (2) Create new customers by creating a demand for shoes in these poor countries where there was never a demand before.

    It’s a clever scheme, no doubt about it. And the sad thing is that so many people are falling for it, hook, line, and sinker. It’s exploitation on a major scale – of both American consumers as well as poor children in underdeveloped parts of the world.

    (Here’s a tip: Shoes are probably far less of a concern than food, water, and people shooting at them).

    Probably? They should be of NO concern. People who normally go barefoot and it’s part of their culture do NOT need shoes provided to them by perhaps well meaning but very misguided Americans.

  17. Susie

    Why are you making such a big deal out of someone doing something good? Who cares if you agree with it or not? Stop being such a douche and furthermore, stop wasting your time arguing against THE STUPIDEST THING TO ARGUE AGAINST EVER. Go to Habitat for Humanity and make fun of their hammering skills or something. And don’t come back with “but they build houses, which people need” until you actually research what these boys have done IN the country of Africa (which I just did before writing that) and shut up. Send some money to some kids in need if that will make you feel better. I know you won’t do that, but these fans will walk around barefoot (or not barefoot) to raise awareness, which was completely 100% effective, as you have proven by bitching about it for the last 2 days.

  18. Susie

    Before I get corrected by Caleb and Kriss know-it-alls here, I meant “In the countries of Africa”. Never said I was an English or geography major.

  19. Kriss

    I know you won’t do that, but these fans will walk around barefoot (or not barefoot) to raise awareness, which was completely 100% effective…

    Susie, I think we’re talking about two different things here. I’m not talking about charities and causes that really do do some good and help people by providing things they actually need. And I’m sure that many of the causes that Hanson advocates are very worthwhile and helpful. I’ve been specifically talking about sending shoes to children who normally go barefoot, something that is not only not worthwhile or helpful, but is indeed harmful in the long run.

    This is very similar to a classic extortion scam. That is, somebody convinces you that someone you care about is in intense distress and danger. They also let you know that they have the means and ability to alleviate the problem and make the person safe. But they will only do it if you pay them money.

    And to add insult to injury in this scenario, the extortionist has also been able to convince their victims to do something silly and conspicuous in order to attract the attention of other gullible victims.

  20. Don’t support any organization /charity/ help group without first checking them out…THOROUGHLY!
    Be responsible, not gullible.

  21. culturalobserver

    The truth often lies down the middle, as they say…
    While Kriss is right that they do not need the PHYSICAL protection of shoes, since they are totally used to walking barefoot and can do it on anything, there are diseases that do not exist in the US or Europe that do exist in third world tropical countries, the worst being podoconiosis. Look it up. But that only exists where people live on volcanic ash. So if they had the proper infrastructure, sewers and paved roads, they would not need shoes. The shoes are just a temporary band-aid solution to a much larger problem, and while doing this charitable stuff they should talk about all those other issues as well.

  22. Carrie Ann

    I do not understand why those of you in favor of this silly display are using as defense the irrelevant fact that this campaign also has to do with housing/AIDS etc. If it were about housing, why did they not build a house instead? If it were about lack of water/food, then why did they not fast instead? This particular event was focused on shoes, and the supposed ‘need’ for them.

  23. Piffy!

    Thanks Kriss, for a glimmer of sanity in a sea of self-righteous privilege.

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