I saw Hanson last week at the House of Blues in Boston…and I liked it. Don’t tell any of my friends though.
Those guys are truly inspiring: they’ve been a band for 21 years, hold records like being the 2nd youngest guy nominated for a grammy (Zac Hanson), and do some incredible things outside of their music careers.
Here’s where my good times and dancing clashed with the House of Blues (and what I think all artists can do to help):
- Entering the venue, the door guy confiscated all bottles (plastic and any other forms of liquid containers), requiring all patrons to shift to the convenience mindset of use and throw away cups. All in the pursuit of profit. Don’t believe that it’s for your safety. It’s never for you. I snuck in a plastic bottle in my back pocket and filled it up with bathroom sink water during the show. Question: is this water any different than tap from the bar? Please don’t tell me if it is…
- To drink a beer originally from a can, the bartender was required to poor it in a plastic cup. Sure I can understand the danger in giving a crazed Hanson fan a glass bottle, but an aluminum can DOES NOT pose a danger to anyone’s well being. Again, they say this is for your safety. It’s not. Remember, with corporations, it’s never for you. It’s to prevent lawsuits and further protect profits by reducing their insurance bills.
- There are NO recycling intentions: bins, signs, pleas to reuse your first cup. In fact, I had a cup sitting on the bar from my beer, and the bartender without asking grabbed it and threw it away, then asked what I’ll have. HoB could employ someone to overlook the recycling for the venue…oh yea, that costs money doesn’t it. Let’s just toss everything out.
So here we are, contributing to two businesses: House of Blues / Live Nation, a typical corporate setup that doesn’t give a damn about anything except profits. Maybe they will hire a PR firm to increase their goodwill with environmentally minded fans at some point. Maybe. And the other, Hanson, who are activists and forward thinkers, much like other artists.
The coolest thing about Hanson: they do this thing called Take The Walk.
From the website:
“Take The Walk is about giving you simple tangible ways to take action against the HIV/AIDS pandemic and poverty in Africa. A small donation, the purchase of a pair of shoes, the download of a song or simply taking a one-mile walk.
The initial launch of the Take The Walk campaign began with one mile barefoot walks staged across the US and Canada to help inspire individuals to make an impact through simple actions. 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.
Now, through TakeTheWalk.net, you can join a walk on HANSON’s The Walk Around The World Tour, a walk hosted by another individual or host a walk in your town. Every mile walked will raise funds to support one of five real causes that will make a difference, with one dollar donated by the Take The Walk campaign for each walker. You can support: access to medical care, medical treatment, shoes, clean water and education.”
Hanson and other artists are leaders in environmentalism and activism. They always have been. It’s exciting to think how much power famous people have over our society, and to know that they are doing great things. All hope is not lost.
My Plog entries increased by 2 cups and a straw on this night. Was it worth it to see Hanson, stay hydrated and slightly buzzed? I think we can have our cake and eat it too.
It will take the help of the performer. Hanson: you have control over the VENUE you play. Ask the venue to make sustainable choices. You sold out the HoB and have hundreds of thousands of screaming (mostly) female fans that will follow your every move. Now exert your influence over the venue that you support.
In further Hanson news, they are debuting their new beer, appropriately called Mmm Hops:
This will be amazing. More to come.
More classic pics [here].(http://members.tripod.com/~I_Love_Zac_Hanson/pics.html)
That’s it for this rant. Do you have ideas on how artists can use their influence for the greater good? Let’s get the discussion started and take these ideas to our favorite bands. In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to be in contact with famous people through social media and the like. It’s definitely feasible that our ideas will be heard and implemented by our favorite artists and celebrities.