LIVE REVIEW: Jonas Brothers at HP Pavilion
Enclosed in the HP Pavilion with thousands of screaming girls, I can say only one thing:
Thank god for earplugs.
The Jonas Brothers World Tour 2009 made their Bay Area visit to San Jose on Monday, August 3rd.
I attended their ‘Burning Up’ tour this time last year, and their fame is much the same. Lines snaked around the venue hours before doors opened, tweens garbed in puffy-painted tees blaring lyrics or the name of their beloved Jonas, dads pulling out wallets to shell out on $20 programs and $40 tour merchandise. I shudder at the middle-aged mom in the “parent of the Jo Bro hoes” shirt. This is bat-shit territory.
The World Tour is a step up from their last stop, filling in the show with more opening acts, beginning with Honor Society.
The pop-rock group are the Jo Bro protÃ©gÃ©s (despite all members being significantly older than the trio). They’re the first band signed under Jonas Records (an affiliation with JB’s label Hollywood Records), style mirroring the Jonas-preppy-suit-era a la 2008, and member Alexander Noyes was the original Jonas drummer until leaving in 2006.
From the looks and sounds of it, you wouldn’t call this band amateur, though they were plucked from obscurity only last year. From playing fans’ homes to touring the world in stadium venues supporting the Jonai, Honor Society has it made.
And surprisingly, the quartet has adapted well to a bigger stage and audience, making good use of their fast fame. It felt more like an intimate set, pint-sized singer Michael Bruno packed croon-worthy vocals as guitarist Jason Rosen and bassist Andrew Lee bounced about stage edges and platforms- making frequent eye contact and flashing smiles at revelers. Drummer Noyes was without a charming wide grin throughout, pounding down hits at the stage’s center while pointing out to a handful of individuals in the crowd.
The audience was on their feet for songs “Full Moon Crazy,” and ballad “Where Are You Now” off the Bandslam soundtrack. The set finished off with “See You in the Dark” complete with fans joining in on a choreographed dance called ‘the honor roll.’ Clever and cute.
Following the gentlemen were South Korean imports Wonder Girls, making their first U.S. appearances on this tour. They supported the boys overseas, and were invited to the bill for the rest of the U.S. dates. The petite pop-girl group paraded on the stage with matching sequined silver dresses and dance moves. They performed only one song, “Nobody” before quickly leaving the stage for Jordin Sparks.
Former American Idol winner Jordin Sparks sure can belt, and hands-down had the best vocals of the night. Her performances, which included “S.O.S.,” “Tattoos,” andÂ “No Air” were carried by that, as her stage presence isn’t nearly as strong as the headliners.
You can tell just how big The Jonas Brothers are by how they walked to the stage. They didn’t.
Each performer had to walk by rows of floor seat attendees to get to the stage, located in the middle of the venue floor. Minutes before their set began, I witnessed burly security men roll three large equipment boxes to the bottom of the stage entrance from my seat. Each of those containers held a Jonas inside, a trick to avoid detection and a possible rampage. Close-by fans figured it out though once the second one was rolled out, and girls scrambled for their cameras to take pictures of the black boxes. Insanity.
But that’s when the show really began, as JB pumped out song after song. The show never felt slowed down, with the exception of Nick’s wah-wah monologue about his strife with diabetes, a speech nearly-identical to the long-winded one he made at last year’s show.
I applaud the stage plot: a round, rotating center stage which made every seat a good view. Floor seaters got the best experience however, for the two long runways allowed members to play on, reach out and touch hands, and for viewers to be closer to all the sweat and action.
New album Lines, Vines, and Trying Times is horn-heavy, which made a fun addition to the tour. The new section enabled the trio, known sports-fanatics, to cover “Sweet Caroline,” which was dedicated to the parents on board.
The boys played majority of their new songs which included “Poison Ivy,” “Turn Right,” “World War III,” “Paranoid,” and new single “Fly with Me.” The tunes reveal The Jonas Brothers are moving toward a more mature sound, and it’s beginning to show in persona as well.
Lead singer and attention grabber Joe Jonas was significantly less hyper and spastic as he was only last year. Nick hardly swayed from his pre-determined moves and pre-planned banter, and it appears he sings along to a back-track, no longer able to reach his pre-puberty notes. Guitarist Kevin Jonas had even less say and spotlight than usual, aside from one impressive guitar playing back flip on the stage trampoline and a short “Singing In the Rain” intro to the tour’s indoor rain effect.
Their fans are aging, and so are they. Who knows who’ll fade first, but in the meanwhile their success is evident in the sound. The sound of thousands of ear-splitting screams.
Seriously, thank god for earplugs.