Saturday, January 23, 2010

Nick channels the Purple One

Was it the setting or just the sincerest form of flattery? Nick Jonas' concert was rich in Prince vibes and showed off his solo musical powers.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here for a thing called Nick Jonas & the Administration.
There was such a pronounced Purple vibe Thursday night at the sold-out State Theatre in Minneapolis for the side project of the youngest Jonas brother that it wouldn't have been surprising if Nick, 17, had broken into a PG version of Prince's "Darling Nikki."
The sound of Nick's new group was decidedly Prince-like at times, the lights were heavy on the color purple, and the usually introverted Nick eventually found his inner rock star and practically channeled the Purple One on a couple of numbers, complete with falsetto.
Nick knew he was in Minneapolis, home of all four members of his Administration, three of whom used to play in Prince's New Power Generation. The fourth guy was Minneapolis-bred bassist John Fields, whose uncle (Steven Greenberg), as Nick explained to the crowd, wrote "Funkytown" (the last song broadcast before Nick took the stage).
"This is a funky town," Nick declared shortly after he had played "Last Time Around," the turning point in the 95-minute show.
Before that, Nick had played proficiently but without any commitment, conviction or spark. His band -- all the members are old enough to be his dad and have played with one another for years -- was terrific. Then suddenly, Nick cut loose, climbing atop an upright piano and jumping off with a flying leap, shouting "wow" and then doing some spins. He carried on like a rock star instead of a studio geek making his music sound just right.



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