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Tulsa World Article

We're home! 
By THOMAS CONNER World Staff Writer 

Teen-throbs thrilled by Tulsa turnout

Boy, the boys are glad to be home.

"Finally, we've figured out what day and month it is, and where we are. We're home!" said Zac Hanson, youngest of the fraternal trio Hanson.

The group returned home Wednesday for its first hometown concert since the group's major- label debut record, "Middle of Nowhere," hit No. 1 around the world last year.

For the last year and a half, Hanson -- that's Isaac, Taylor and Zac -- has been racing a whirlwind schedule of promotional appearances and brief performances around the globe. The three boys spoke with the media at a pre- show press conference and said that this summer's tour is the most fun they've had yet.

"People always ask us, `Is being on tour such hard work?' Actually, being on tour has been less stressful than the last year and a half," Isaac said.

Each young singer voiced and showed visible relief at being among familiar surroundings. The group -- which usually travels with both parents and some or all of four other siblings -- return to Tulsa on rare occasions, but the bulk of their time since "Middle of Nowhere" hit shelves in May 1997 has been spent in hotels and buses from Birmingham to Buenos Aries.

In fact, there were fans young and old at Wednesday night's concert who traveled all the way from, well, Buenos Aires.

"It's amazing that people would come that far," Isaac said.

"I wouldn't go that far," Taylor added.

It's amazing that these three Tulsa youths have come this far, too. Just two years ago, the under-age boys were still finagling gigs at Tulsa clubs and wondering how they would ever get their career off the ground.

"Our last gig in Tulsa was just two years ago," Taylor said.

". . . at the Blue Rose," Isaac added. "I remember it distinctly. We said to each other, `This is going to be our last show. We're going to go to L.A. and make an alSee HANSSON A-3[ 2] bum.' "

The amazement at their own good fortune seems genuine. These are three kids who have conquered the world and matured remarkably but still somehow remained bright-eyed and cheery.

"We're still just so psyched about getting to play," Taylor said. "If it all stopped right now, we'd be totally psyched to say we have had the greatest year and a half ever."

When asked what they missed most about Tulsa, Zac was quick to answer, "The food."

Outside the press conference -- held in a room at the Warren Place DoubleTree Hotel -- was the usual gaggle of young girls hoping for a glimpse of the three stars. They screamed when Hanson entered the room, and they screamed when the boys left. The Hansons said they've gotten used to that sort of hysteria and haven't allowed it to hamper their normal lives too much.

"We still go out -- we just go in big groups of friends. We still do all the things we used to do -- we're just more cautious," Taylor said. "It's cool to just have fans at all."

Courtesy: Tulsa World Online