Jonas Brothers at The Honda Center on July 13, 2008
By Arrissia Owen Turner
Better Than: Three hours at Chuck E. Cheese trying to burn through 100 tokens.
If the Jonas Brothers' parents weren't constantly circling their superstar sons, we're pretty sure they could get all the second-base action for which their little hormone-filled hearts could lust. Never have I seen such zealous teenage girls—not even myself circa 1989 when Depeche Mode filmed 101 at the Rose Bowl. But this was sold out, Disney-inspired hysteria with a movie being filmed during the night's show, right on the heels of the mega hit Disney Channel movie Camp Rock, starring none other than the night's headliners.
The Mickey Mouse Club madness made me continually check on the teary-eyed blonde girl behind me who was in such a state that her steady, emotionless gaze was a little unsettling. When the laser light show went into overdrive, the mom in me looked for warning signs of a seizure. That mom in me also explains the impetus for agreeing to weather through a night of well-coiffed Camp Rock craziness. Got to admit, these boys give good hair.
The pleasant surprise was that the Jonas Brothers put on a pretty decent show for a toothsome trio whose every move is watched over by their showbiz-vet parents and whose good-clean-fun shtick is a welcome change from "Toxic" teens and the boy bands who spend their time acting like marionettes and singing a cappella while snapping fingers and shaking a leg.
Not that the Jonas Brothers don't swagger and cut a rug. There was even a gymnastics interlude with two of the brothers doing choreographed backhand springs and all sorts of Cirque du Soleil stuff that sounds stranger than it was. Hey, Dave Gahan never did the splits or so much as a handstand, so the Jonas Bros had Depeche beat on that.
The three-hour concert never lost momentum, which is expected since most of the people involved had to beg their parents for a ride to the big show. The energy was palpable, if not excruciatingly painful, with the screaming rarely lapsing. The girls even squealed during the obligatory video diary portion where drummer Nick Jonas talked to the crowd about being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. When the cameras showed Nick putting on some sort of insulin patch, which conveniently involved him lifting his shirt, the girls lost their minds. These guys cannot turn these girls off.
This of course already had me daydreaming about how many years it will be until the tell-all hits the shelves. Which one will be the coke-addled party boy dating an over-the-hill Paris Hilton? Who's up for the caught-with-a-transvestite-hooker National Enquirer scoop? Who will be the first to sue mom and dad?
The creepiest people in the crowd, surprisingly, were not the dads who agreed to escort daughters for three hours of this stuff, even at the threat of ending up broadcast on Disney relentlessly. (That was actually kind of endearing.) The real creepies were some of the ladies. I swear on Walt Disney's grave that there were some grown women flying solo, glowsticks in hand, singing word for word the brothers' big hit, "When You Look Me in the Eyes."
The highlight for most of the crowd was probably getting to sit so near some of the other Disney stars, like cast members from Hannah Montana, Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place, as well as (according to one knowledgeable source) pop star Taylor Swift (they were all seated on a raised platform in the middle of the crowd). But for me it was my Mom Moment. Half way through the concert, my 5-year-old daughter sitting on my lap turned her face to mine, grabbed my ears, pressed her nose against mine and looked straight into my eyes as she said, "Thank you for bringing me here."
Then I was teary-eyed, too.
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Personal Bias: After being forced to watch Camp Rock at least 15 times, I'm actually starting not to gash my eyeballs out every time I hear "Gotta Find You." Almost.
Random Detail: Shortest beer line I've ever seen at a concert.
By the way: The JB In 3-D movie version comes out in January.