13 October 2009

"I Took the Walk!"

As part of their social activism, Hanson's been leading walks with fans before each show on their last two tours. They worked on much of their album The Walk in Africa, and became really motivated to contribute to the fight against AIDS. So people show up, walk a mile barefoot, and Hanson donates a dollar to one of five differently focused charities (providing people with shoes, general healthcare, clean water and schools for children, or AIDS medication for pregnant women).

So today, I took the Walk. It was pretty cool. Erin and I were a little late, but we caught the mass of people leaving the UIC quad.

We walked about half of the mile, and then stopped for a bit, while Taylor told us about the concept behind the Walk project, and how with over 30,000 people having taken the Walk, we're working on (the equivalent) a second lap around the world.

He speaks well, and looks quite comfortable with a megaphone. He'd make a good grassroots organizer (which, I guess, he kind of already is).

Then we finished our mile. Some of the time, I walked fairly close to (a few feet away from) Zac, and I got to hear him talk about how much fun he had playing with the guys from Cheap Trick, and how he hopes that after he and his brothers have been playing for as long as Carlos and Nielsen have, that they'll be that good. I love musician-talk, in general, but especially musicians talking about other musicians. He was also encouraging the fans around him to independently organize Walks in their communities.

They even treated us to an acoustic version of "Great Divide"!

The Walk was the perfect ending to my first experience of seeing Hanson live. The concert reminded me of how much I love music, and want it to be a part of my life, but the Walk allowed me to step back from the intensity of the concert, and refocus on the power of social justice. As I've said, Hanson's always been exactly where I needed them to be, and that proved even more true today.

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