Under theatric fuss, Jonases actually rock
MANSFIELD — A lot has happened in the year since the Jonas Brothers last played the Boston area. Nick started an anticlimactic adult-contemporary solo career, Joe began and ended a relationship with fellow
The transformation wasn’t a complete one, given that the performance was half concert, half semitheatrical preview of “Camp Rock 2,’’ the Jonases’ upcoming Disney Channel movie. A sizable chunk of the songs came from the soundtrack. Nick sped through the antsy, Jason Mraz-like “Introducing Me’’ in an effort to cram the song into 2 minutes and 15 seconds. “Wouldn’t Change a Thing’’ was the type of duet (between Joe and Lovato) where the singers were more aware of the audience than each other.
While the non-“Camp Rock’’ material had plenty of stadium-size bombast, most of it seemed grounded in the actual music. Many of the songs, like the heavy glam-pop shuffle “L.A. Baby (Where Dreams are Made Of)’’ and the upbeat ’80s-prom-theme-styled “This is the Night,’’ seemed as though everything was cranked to full. Others had a jittery, overcaffeinated feel that made it so the audience’s only recourse was to start jumping.
But the Jonases came on strong with the sleek, effortless “Paranoid,’’ an unsubtle yet high-impact cover of the Beatles’ “Drive My Car,’’ and “Lovebug,’’ which transformed from a happy jaunt to almost Queen-like majesty. The movies might fuel the machine, but the Jonas Brothers aimed to make the ride a smooth one.
Lovato’s opening set was similarly split in two. The first half was given over to her strong solo material, and combining twin acoustic-to-electric songs “Falling Over Me’’ and “Don’t Forget’’ was a smart masterstroke. She became a lot less interesting once she shifted from the Lovato show to the “Camp Rock 2’’ live tour, complete with lakeshore backdrops, headset microphone, and full-cast choreography.
Marc Hirsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.