By Taya Wilson
People from all across the nation are descending on Hutchinson, Kansas to see the 1990’s pop rock brothers Hanson perform at the Kansas State Fair.
That includes multiple Hanson “superfans” like Jessica Jackson of Kansas City, Missouri and Laura Azamski of Florida. This will be their first time to experience the Kansas State Fair — and it’s all because of their love of Hanson.
Jackson and Azamski's Hanson fandom goes back to being pre-teen schoolgirls during the summer of 1997. Jackson was going into sixth grade. Azamski was turning 12. “MMMBop” had just released, turning Taylor, Isaac and Zac into instant celebrities.
Twenty-two years later, both women have dozens of concerts under their belt. They have met new friends along the way who have the same love affair for the three brothers and their singing abilities.
“I still talk to my friends in London that I met while waiting in line for Hanson,” Jackson said. “I’ve been following this band for 22 to 23 years and there is really no other band people my age can say they have followed that long.”
In fact, Jackson has friends all over the Midwest who enjoy Hanson as much as she does. Whether it be friends in Kansas, Texas or Nebraska — this group of fans will meet up to road trip to the next concert or even hang out post-concert.
Jackson talked about how she has watched Hanson evolve from young teenagers to mature performers. The brothers still have 90s-era hits, but have also added a collection of new songs to their independent label. She finds Hanson’s quality and down-to-earth music to be refreshing.
Azamski said she uses Hanson’s Facebook fan page to find concerts all over the world. She has watched them perform in Australia and Jamaica.
“It gives me a reason to travel and see the world,” said Azamski. “I probably wouldn’t just hop in the car and go to all of these different places, but since they (Hanson) are performing, I have a reason.”
Azamski said there are too many good concerts to pick an absolute favorite. However, the very first concert she attended is near the top of her list.
“My favorite, if I had to pick one, would be my first concert in ‘98. I can remember the anticipation I felt because I didn’t really know what to expect,” she said.
For Azamski, Hanson’s music was always the one thing she could count on — a constant in her life for more than 20 years. The love for their music is the common thread that has helped her and others forge friendships with complete strangers from across the globe.
When Hanson performed in California, she took the opportunity to drive up the coast to where they recorded parts of their first music video “MMMBop.”
“It was so surreal, truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Azamski said.
Hanson will perform Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Nex-Tech Wireless Grandstand at the Kansas State Fair. Tickets for Hanson and all other concerts can be purchased at the Fair’s ticket office at 2000 N. Poplar, Hutchinson; by calling 620-669-3618; or by visiting kansasstatefair.com and clicking on “Buy Tickets.”
Here is the full Kansas State Fair concert and motorsport lineup:
• Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots with Nicolle Galyon. Friday, Sept. 6: Tickets from $20-$65 at Nex-Tech Wireless Grandstand.
• Billy Currington, Saturday, Sept. 7: Tickets from $25-$65, Nex-Tech Wireless Grandstand.
• Skillet, Sunday, Sept. 8: Tickets from $20-$55, Nex-Tech Wireless Grandstand.
• Demolition Derby, Monday, Sept. 9: Located at Nex-Tech Wireless Grandstand. Tickets are $10 for adults 13 and over. Children 12 and under are free.
• Mason Ramsey, Tuesday, Sept. 10: Free. Located at Bretz and Young Injury Lawyers Arena.
• Francesca Battistelli and Zach Williams, Wednesday, Sept. 11: Tickets from $20-$50.
• Lindsey Ell with Madison Kozak, Thursday, Sept. 12: Free. Located at Bretz and Young Injury Lawyers Arena.
• Lauren Alaina with Mitchell Tenpenny, Friday, Sept. 13: Tickets from $20-$55, Nex-Tech Wireless Grandstand.
• Hanson, Saturday, Sept. 14: Tickets from $20-$55, Nex-Tech Wireless Grandstand.
• All Star Monster Truck Tour, Sunday, Sept. 15: Tickets from $5 to $35, Nex-Tech Wireless Grandstand.