MONTREAL - "YOU GOT US GOING CRAZY" read one of the many handmade posters being held up at the Bell Centre, in hopes of catching the eye of one of the Jonas Brothers.
Ain't that the truth. The measure of any good teen-pop band is the volume and shrillness of the screams of its fans - and the Bros. had both from the get-go to the very end of the show Saturday night, as they took the stage at the Bell Centre before 11,500 mostly female fans.
It had been almost exactly a year since their last visit, when they came through in support of their 2009 album Lines, Vines and Trying Times, and played to a crowd nearly double the size (21,000).
They had an excuse for the hasty return - the premiere of Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam Friday night on the Disney Channel. Not that they needed excuses.
The venue was a sea of cellphones and Glow Sticks as the boys emerged to fireworks for Feelin' Alive. The party took off with Hold On, which had everyone on their feet, dancing and singing along as Kevin, Nick and Joe stood side by side, belting out the peppy tune.
They added a colourful video for Year 3000, featuring cartoon images of the boys in a spaceship, zooming between buildings, bubbles and rainbows, with a shower of CDs raining down near song's end. Add to that bouncing stiltwakers, with the crowd jumping and clapping in time, and it seemed as if the vibe couldn't get any giddier.
"How many of you watched Camp Rock 2 last night?" asked Nick. "So many people watched - 8 million people. Thank you. Here's a song from that movie. It's called Heart and Soul."
They brought out a crew of six vivacious female and two male dancers. With bandmembers coming up from the background (where they lingered most of the night, leaving the spotlight to the Bros.) to shimmy around with the band, it became a real song and dance, complete with a cast huddle at the end of the number.
Opener Demi Lovato (who co-stars in the Camp Rock series) joined Joe for This Is Me and I Wouldn't Change a Thing, belting out her lines with impressive gusto.
Song after song, the Jonas Brothers delivered their spirited, squeaky-clean brand of pop-rock. Even Paranoid, one of the edgier songs from their latest album, couldn't dampen the fun, as Joe engaged fans in a game of call-and-response..
"How many of you saw Paul McCartney in this venue a couple of weeks ago?" Nick asked, introducing a cover of the Beatles' Drive My Car. Though surprisingly inspired, it garnered the most tepid response of the night.
The boys may toss in such tributes to satisfy their own musical ambition, but it was obvious that their rabid fans were there for one reason only: to see the dreamy Jonas Brothers in concert.
And they didn't disappoint. Heartstring-tugging ballad Please Be Mine and head-bobbing ditty Lovebug (cue confetti) brought us to the encore, which had the rousing S.O.S. and flames- and on-screen fireworks-enhanced Burnin' Up.
The night ended as it began, with a Bell Centre full of screaming fans.