Jonas Brothers w/ Avril Lavigne | 07.22.08

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In a world full of shoe-gazing mope-rockers, these Rolling Stone cover boys were not ashamed to put on a great show to go along with their fun songs. 

 

 

 

 

 

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, St. Louis

 

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Ever since the announcement hit that the Jonas Brothers would be gracing the stage at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre with their “Burning Up” tour, their fans have been counting the days. More likely, they have probably been counting the hours and the minutes, while their parents saved their cash and coin for the big-buck tickets and $35 t-shirts.

With that in mind, was the endless wait and broken piggy banks worth it? If the ear-crushing screams of thousands of teenage girls were any indication, the answer would be a resounding affirmative. At times, the music barely overpowered the shrieks, and I will never again wonder what it sounds like standing next to the Space Shuttle when it takes off. Despite of, or because of this, the Jonas Brothers entertained the capacity crowd with a blindingly electric stage show, and solid musicianship.

Entering the three-tiered stage on what looked like a giant hydraulic cheese grater, the brothers plowed through the opening song “That’s Just the Way We Roll” as flames shot to the top of the amphitheatre. Flanked by a string sextet and a full band, brothers Nick, Joe, and Kevin rocked a twenty-song set that was full of fun surprises. Nick in particular stood out, playing lead guitar on “BB Good,” occasionally pounding on a second drum set on some tunes, and singing lead on others. A short video segment talked about Nick’s struggle with diabetes, which let straight into “A Little Big Longer,” a song he wrote about living with the disease.

The songs were catchy, the band was tight, and every move the brothers made would illicit screams of delight. Each time Kevin began spinning in circles, each time Joe would flash a smile across the enormo-screens at Verizon, the crowd would erupt. Between the musicians, the risers, the levitating piano and the pyro, I half expected a kitchen sink to be thrown on stage. In a world full of shoe-gazing mope-rockers, these Rolling Stone cover boys were not ashamed to put on a great show to go along with their fun songs.

Playing second in the lineup was Avril Lavigne who, just a few months ago, had the Jonas Brothers opening for her. Despite a small but impressive list of hit songs to choose from, Lavigne seemed to be swimming against the tide. Her voice was in fine form, but the presence of two bad-girl backup dancer-singers seemed oddly out of place. However, by the time she launched into “Sk8ter Boi,” the crowd went appropriately ballistic.

Opening the show was the Jonas Brothers’ Camp Rock co-star, Demi Lovato. Lovato is the latest star from Disney’s galaxy of young entertainers and she did an admirable job keeping the attention of the Jonas faithfuls. | Jim Ousley

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