Thursday, January 14, 2010

The one where I go on about Nick Jonas...

This is semi-related to my writing so I'm going to just go with it.

I am an emotional person, by that I mean that I get that overwhelming pressure in my chest, making it hard to breathe, heart racing, tears flooding into total bawl baby moments often.  A great book where I have lost myself deep in the tangle of characters, a movie that transcends format, a song that moves me, for goodness sakes, I've lost my shit over commercials before.  Rarely - but it happens.

Nothing moves my soul quite like live music.  Something happens in the presence of hundreds/thousands of other people - listening to live music.  The energy, the emotion, the comradarie, being able to actually feel the music.  Singing along with a huge crowd of people just does something to me.  Watching someone share their creation - is powerful to me.

Last night I took my oldest daughter to see Nick Jonas and the Administration down in Boston (yes, on a school night - hey it was what she wanted to do instead of a birthday party).  I'm an admitted Jonas Brothers fan - I think they have a fun, catchy vibe and the fact that they play their own instruments and write their own music holds a lot of weight with me - so I wasn't dreading the show. 

I have heard a couple of the songs from NJatA, his first release Who I Am  (and I cry at the video - just sayings all) is pretty good.  I love the lyrics to Rose Garden... and Olive and an Arrow is also pretty good.   I'd read some reviews which were mostly positive, and talked about Nick's funkier, older sound.  Hmmm, the kid is 17 - just how old can he sound?  I know he had some good stuff backing him (3 of the New Power Generation band... and bassist John Fields) so that was a good sign.

I was wholly unprepared for what I walked into.  I've seen the Jonas Brothers in concert - so the hordes of screaming girls didn't phase me.  What I was surprised by was the boy on stage.  His voice was the strongest I have ever heard it.  I have pretty much listened to every Jonas Brothers song recorded (7:05 is my favorite... followed by Can't Have You, if you were wondering) and Nick's voice was decent - but nothing special - and a lot of the time it sounds like he's straining too hard.  Last night his voice was strong, in tune, and I found myself digging it about 2 songs in. 

His band is nothing short of amazing - a tremendous choice on his part - but Nick himself was the main attraction.  The songs, including two re-manufactured Jonas Brothers songs (2 more were also smashed up in a cover mash up) were darker, dirtier, funkier, and just more... well MORE. 

I've often marveled at what it must be like to be a teenager who plays their own music in front of 30,000 screaming fans, singing your words back to you.   Something about dreams coming true, yadda yadda yadda.  Last night I saw a kid (an old soul for sure but a kid nonetheless) on a stage in front 3,000 fans.  He looked out at the crowd, sometimes in amazement, as they sang along to songs that haven't even been released yet.  His eyes searched the crowd, and there was something in his eyes that just said, "wow."  

He was equal parts show-man, funny guy, humble, ridiculous (jumping on top of a piano at one point to jam out).  My favorite part of the show was when he sang a song that he wrote last week (and recorded the day before at John's Fields apartment in Boston!!) called Stay.  I've seen the other youtube videos, so I'm aware that some of his moves are a bit repetitive (some would say rehearsed) but it really moved me.  The song itself is great really, but watching him perform it - you could easily see how much the song meant to him and in turn it was even more moving.  (In a creepy side note - if you watch this video (which is not mine) check out how he rocks the microphone stand at about 1:30). 

It was fun, and my daughter was beside herself.  As much as I loved the music (and I did) - the best part for me was watching my daughter.  She is normally a very reserved kind of girl, quiet and although I think deep down she likes being the center of attention, she is a bit shy about getting that to happen.  She is NOT the screaming, squealing type of fan-girl - that's just not her way. So - back to my favorite part - during Rose Garden, a song my daughter absolutely loves, I looked over at her and she had tears streaming down her face (she's just like her momma - a crier) and she was just quietly singing along.  Then in an uncharacteristic move - she throws her hands over head and I smile.  Then I see that her hands are in the I LOVE YOU sign.  This is when my tears fall.

Thanks Nick.  Good luck.

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