Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jonas Brothers hang in there with tweens

It has to rank as the greatest press release that has ever been sent on behalf of Riverbend.

“There have been bogus posts on various Facebook accounts indicating that the Jonas Brothers show at Riverbend Music Center tonight is cancelled. This is NOT TRUE,” read the statement from the promoter, with caps bringing home the point.

Bogus, indeed. May the perpetrators of such an unspeakable deed be unfriended by a thousand souls, and may they never know the glory of aging-but-still-youthful heartthrobs giving it their all for Disney and for Cincinnati.
Tuesday’s Jonas Brothers concert was not canceled. In fact, in the hearts and minds of the five-to-15-year-old girls who made up the majority of the audience, it was whatever the exact opposite of canceled was. It was on, totally.

Although they are five years into their existence as a group – which is a long time in heartthrob years – and they’ve since been overtaken by another certain heartthrob act (a young fellow from Canada who sports a Justin Bieber hairdo), the Jonases are not turning their backs on the tween scene. The show was a wholesome production without any indications that the band is trying to write more mature songs for an audience in line with their ages of 17 (Nick), 20 (Joe) and 22 (Kevin).
Brothers Nick, Kevin and Joe Jonas ran through a 22-song set that clicked along at a well-paced 95 minutes. Their music is as it ever was – mindless and mostly up-tempo fun, with a few spells of acoustic-guitar balladry, lest anyone think they’re not sensitive.
In fact, Tuesday marked the release of the soundtrack to “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam,” a movie that airs on the Disney Channel next month. The Jonas Brothers, backed by a five piece band, performed the songs “Heart & Soul” and “Introducing Me” from the soundtrack, and they fit right in with a set list filled with earlier hits like “S.O.S.,” “Burnin’ Up” and “When You Look Me in the Eyes.”
Opening act Demi Lovato, who was also the opening act for the band’s appearance two summers ago at the same venue, came out in the middle of the Jonas set to do a few duets with Joe. Her Jonas stage time started poorly. She entered late and missed her cue on the first song, “This is Me.” She only got out the first line – “I’ve always been the kind of girl…” – before the band kicked into the chorus. She shrugged her shoulders and jumped ahead.
Lovato fared better with “Wouldn’t Change a Thing,” another new “Camp Rock 2” tune and Joe-Demi duet that’s a bit more moody and less poppy than “This is Me,” which charted in the Top Ten in 2008.
The crowd was loudly appreciative of the new material and at times maniacal when presented with the older favorites.
“This is the third stop on our tour. You guys are the loudest crowd yet. I wish I could say that at every show, but I don’t,” Kevin said, sweet-talking the crowd. Take that, Tinley Park, Ill. and Noblesville, Ind.
He wasn’t lying, but he may have been fibbing when he noted that there were more people in attendance at this show than the ’08 one. Unlike Tuesday’s performance, there weren’t many, if any, open pavilion seats two years ago.
There’s no reason for Kevin or any other Jonas brother to misrepresent the band’s current appeal. Despite their advanced ages, they’re hanging in the teen-beat scene nicely.



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