It has been awhile since I’ve gone to a concert, but I knew the moment that I listened to Nick Jonas’ self-titled album last year, I had to see him live on tour. I can’t say I was ever a big Jonas Brothers fan, and while that racy photoshoot definitely caught my eye, I still wasn’t very interested in checking out his music. It wasn’t until one day I was editing a post that Camille wrote about Nick’s then-new single, “Jealous,” that I decided to give it a listen. The catchy pop tune was pure ear candy; I loved it. From that point, I slowly but surely fell in love with a Jonas brother.
With all that in mind, Monday night I was feeling very excited as I headed to the House of Blues in Chicago. Getting there early with fellow TYF staff writer, Brooke, we shuffled our aching feet and talked, waiting for Nick’s opening act Bebe Rexha to start the show. Mostly familiar with her single, “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy,” Bebe was a solid opening act. The energy was there, and I learned a few new things about her (that she has a few sick songwriting credits, like Eminem’s “The Monster”). Unfortunately, her band overpowered her vocals at times, and there were a couple of times that her mic screeched (something my ears may never forgive me for). However, the set did make me want to give her new EP, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, a chance.
Before I begin discussing Nick’s set, I have to point out something that quite annoys me about today’s concert scene. What’s the point of enjoying a LIVE show if you’re going to spend 90% of your time there recording it on your phone? You’re distracted, you can’t dance because you need to keep the frame in focus, so what’s the point? Taking a few snaps here and there is totally reasonable, and I would say I have about 10-15 pictures and a couple videos under 30 seconds. But you guys, going to a show to listen to a musician perform your favorite songs, feeling the good vibes, dancing, and enjoying the moment is the BEST part. Now, I’m not telling you how to enjoy a concert. It’s your life, your money, your decisions, but maybe next time, put your phone down, watch the musician with your own eyes, not through a screen. That moment will probably live in your memory in a much richer and satisfying way. (Since all of you spent so much time during trying to take good pictures, I shall use them for this post.)
Okay, end mini rant. How was Nick Jonas live? AH-MAY-ZING.
— gina scarpino (@ginascarpino) September 15, 2015
Nick started the show off with a “Chains” intro, which definitely pumped up the audience and set the vibe for the show: fun, kind of sexy, and danceable. He made a major shift with his past album, which has a sizable dose of R&B. It’s a departure from his work, so I was curious to see how well he embodies it when performing. Looking very attractive with a buzzcut and tight black tee, Nick sings very well live. He hits those notes, he plays around with his sounds, and he knows his music. There was no doubt about that as he performed some of my favorite songs like “Wilderness,” Teacher,” and of course, “Jealous.”
Many of his songs, especially a couple new ones he performed, are sultrier than the regular pop fare. Despite how good he sounds and looks, he doesn’t quite embody all of the sensuality in those songs. His eye contact was kind and friendly with the audience, not so much sexy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being pervy and saying that I want Nick making lusty eyes at me for 90 minutes, but listen to his new songs! They’re sexy, not sweet, I really want to see him feeling those lyrics (to an extent). Also, his dancing was limited. and I hoped for more frequent, fluid movement to accompany his performance.
Regardless, Nick puts on a good show. He’s coming out of his Jonas Brothers “act.” Growing up and singing about more grown up things. He’s evolving, learning, and having a ton of fun. As he performed a cover of “Roses” by OutKast, it was one of the only times he broke out into a full, bright smile while singing, clearly enjoying the song and the moment. It was infectious. This guy holds so much promise, and I can only see him growing as a musician and performer.
For the ticket cost and smaller venue setting, now is a good time to see Nick Jonas on tour. I can totally see him having a career trajectory similar to Justin Timberlake’s. This is Nick’s “Justified,” now let’s just wait for his “FutureSex/LoveSounds.”
Concert Rating: 8.5/10