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Concert Reviews:
Jonas Brothers Fill The Palace With Tricks, Treats

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Monday, July 27, 2009

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AUBURN HILLS -- As the 20,000 or so ebullient and, presumably, hoarse fans left the Jonas Brothers' concert on Sunday night (July 26), ushers at the Palace of Auburn Hills handed out postcards hyping Britney Spears' slow-selling Circus Tour appearance in September.

But she'll be hard-pressed to put on a spectacle that measures up to the Jonas' three-ring exposition.

In their biggest Detroit-area appearance yet, the Disney sibling trio dressed up its four albums' worth of tuneful, clean-cut pop with more eye-candy than a Jerry Bruckheimer action film, making for 100 minutes of visual dazzle that only upped the scream factor from the overwhelmingly young and female turnout -- whose favorite eye-candy, of course, was the three Jonases themselves. Nevertheless, the show never ceased to entertain as the trio covered 144 feet of stage situated in the middle of the Palace four, with tricks galore on each of the three separate round performance areas.

One, for instance, housed a cherry picker that allowed oldest brother Kevin and middle brother Joe to spray fans with foam during "Live to Party" with youngest brother Nicks played drums in the center "ring." That middle area featured two rotating platforms, lasers, a trampoline for Jonas stunts during "Much Better" and a hydraulic lift that brought the Jonases as well as a white baby grand piano on and off the stage -- all while three circular video screens broadcast close-ups as well as canned behind-the-scenes footage.

Enough? Never! On the south side, near where the basketball teams usually emerge from their dressing rooms, was another stage, which levitated towards the ceiling during the "Camp Rock" track "Gotta Find You" and was encircled by a waterfall while the group played "Lovebug" with Kevin sporting a white raincoat and umbrella.

Woe was Nick, then, when he accompanied his solo piano version of "A Little Bit Longer" with a heartfelt but longer-then-the-song discussion of his diabetes diagnosis, a slowdown just not in keeping with the non-stop action of the rest of the night.

Following short sets by Honor Society and Season Six "American Idol" champ Jordin Sparks and a one-song performance by the Korean vocal quintet Wonder Girls, the Jonases came out rocking with "Paranoid" from their latest album, "Lines, Vines and Trying Times" and kept the energy moving through "That's Just the Way We Roll," "Poison Ivy," "Hold On," "Play My Music" and "Fly With Me." Mention of Nick's name may bring the loudest cheers, but Joe, unencumbered by an instrument, was the group's chief showman, traversing the length of the stage and goofing around with the band -- particularly the four-piece horn section that, along with two violin players, brought some genuine muscle to the music. Kevin, who recently announced his engagement, has lost a little luster with the fans, although one sign in the Palace's upper deck offered congratulations. Acoustic-styled versions of "Gotta Find You" and "Turn Right" were brief respites from the furor, while Sparks and her band joined the Jonas crew for a version of her latest hit, "Battlefield."

The Jonases tossed Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)" into the mix as a bone for the adults, but the night was really all about youth and energy and lung power -- not to mention "What recession?" souvenir sales. It was big fun that entertained regardless of how you felt about the tunes.

Beat that, Britney.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


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