Jonas Brothers At Molson Amphitheatre
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By Nick Krewen
The Phoenix has risen.
As every boy band has an abbreviated shelf life, one might have dismissed and designated the New Jersey-bred Jonas Brothers to a similar fate. Not too long ago, the JoBros were everywhere, and the trio of actual brothers — Joe, Nick and Kevin — sold out arenas and stadiums everywhere they traveled; such was the height of Jonas fever.
In the four years since the band's 2009 album Lines, Vines And Trying Times, there's been a transition, and the half-filled Molson Amphitheatre suggested that perhaps some fans have moved on. But those who filled the seats couldn't have been more devoted to their charges, standing on their feet, dancing the night away, screaming their adulation, and singing along to every song the JoBros' sang, including the newer material from their soon-to-be-released album, V, which was featured prominently.
Backed by a seven-piece band that included three keyboardists and a violinist, the unassuming Jonas trifecta delivered a well-paced, 80-minute set that saw the brothers play a number of instruments and sing pleasantly melodic songs that made their audience, estimated to comprise 99.5 percent women ages 6 to 30, swoon in their seats.
They started the set off right as Joe Jonas, dressed head-to-toe in white, and Kevin Jonas made their way through the crowd at opposite ends of the venue to further whet the appetite of the faithful. Opening with their latest single, "First Time," and following with "Paranoid," the proceedings took an exceedingly adult turn with "Pom Poms," another single that refers to cheerleaders shaking their you-know-what and inviting a little action through double entendre.
"Who I Am," a song from Nick Jonas' side project, the Administration, that promotes identity and individuality, brought a particularly spirited moment as audience members displayed their own "Who I Am" paper signs with their individual self-descriptions (i.e. sister, activist) scrawled on the back and thrust them toward the stage.
Video screens punched out the lyrics to "What Do I Mean To You," and Joe Jonas sang "When You Look Me In The Eyes" with particularly urgency as the Jonas Brothers moved from song to song with minimal breaks in between.
Since they play their own instruments and now largely write their own material, the previous Best New Artist GRAMMY nominees may successfully achieve what Justin Timberlake has and make the transition from teen idols to adult superstars.
Their Molson Amphitheatre performance provided a strong argument that phase two of the Jonas Brothers' career may be even more fruitful than phase one, thanks to their core fan base.
To catch the Jonas Brothers in a city near you, click here for tour dates.
"Who I Am"
"That's Just The Way We Roll"
"Play My Music"
"Gotta Find You"
"Fly With Me"
"A Little Bit Longer"
"What Do I Mean To You"
"See No More"
"Still In Love With You"
"Last Time Around"
"When You Look Me In The Eyes"
(Nick Krewen is the Toronto-based co-author of Music from Far and Wide: Celebrating Forty Years of the JUNO Awards, a contributor to The Routledge Film Music Sourcebook and has written for The Toronto Star, TV Guide, Billboard, Country Music. He was a consultant for the National Film Board's music industry documentary Dream Machine.)