January 30, 2020
Birmingham ArenaMaximalist staging and fiendishly catchy songs from the Disney alumni make for a night of escapist pop fun
Jonas Brothers review – slick, bombastic and knowingly cheesy
Disney alumni often proudly distance themselves from the mouse that built them. Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez have left behind clean-cut images to create music that sits among today’s idiosyncratic, personality-driven artists. Yet the Jonas Brothers seem, on their 2019 comeback album Happiness Begins, largely as shiny and frictionless as the silver purity rings they once wore. It was their highest-charting UK album to date, reaching No 2 last June.
Playing to 16,000 on the opening night of their UK tour, the brothers prove that their slick, energetic live show is a different story. For 90 minutes, they bound around a neon-trimmed stage that turns out to be a jack-in-the-box of pop trickery, intermittently sprouting confetti cannons and wacky inflatable tube men. A medley races through choice early singles, and 10-foot flames shoot from stage during the fiendishly catchy Burnin’ Up, as good a song as the trio’s more feted pop-punk peers ever wrote. Recent album track Rollercoaster soars higher than it does on record, beefed up with the help of two fantastic live drummers, and the recent single What a Man Gotta Do thunders along like Edge of Seventeen’s younger sibling. Disappointingly, though, Nick’s throbbing solo single Jealous – perhaps the best song to bear the Jonas name – isn’t given the maximalist staging of many of the brothers’ shared hits.
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