Concert Reviews

Nick Jonas Was All Grown Up at House of Blues, So Just Deal With It

Nick Jonas
With Bebe Rexha
House of Blues, Dallas
Wednesday, September 23, 2015

If Nick Jonas was ever the dopey boy behind the guitar, sharing a stage with his two brothers, he has now escaped that boy band hell and become a solo pop act. And successfully, we might add.

On Wednesday night, Jonas played to hundreds of screaming girls at the House of Blues. Some girls were too young and short to see over the crowd while others were old and rowdy enough to throw their bras on stage.

And yes, that happened. During his most recent single, “Levels,” one girl decided to show her affection in the most groupie way imaginable. Jonas, acting like a truly grown-ass man, laughed it off and continued on with the show.
This all comes following a years-long process of Jonas shedding his purity ring, and the image that comes along with it, and adopting an I’m-a-grown-man attitude. And the women seem to agree. There were two women in the crowd sporting homemade T-shirts with Jonas’ Calvin Klein boxers ad printed on them — a nod to Jonas and his assets.

It's easy to get lost in the Nick Jonas machine. Every time you turn on your TV, his damn face is there. Among the corporate partnerships, his acting gigs on Kingdom and Scream Queens and discussions of his personal life, his music is easy to ignore. But it shouldn’t be ignored, because it’s good. If you’re still not sold, see him in concert. He opened his set with “Chains,” wearing sunglasses and an all-black ensemble. His guitar and bass player, both women, added to the vibe and aesthetic, dancing behind him during a few songs.

Jonas’ sexiness — or swagger, or whatever the hell it is — wasn’t forced either. It seemed to come somewhat naturally. There were no boy band, choreographed moves, but Jonas wasn't idle behind the mic stand either. He comfortably moved around, finding himself on both ends of the stage, singing to the crowd. The fact that he was overshadowed in a band of brothers singing stupid songs like “Year 3000,” when we could have had this Jonas much earlier, is a real shame.

Speaking of the Jonas Brothers, there were zero nods to that era of his life. He told me before the show (yes, I talked to him — in person) that he would not be playing any of that band’s music, saying, “It’s a Nick Jonas show, not a Jonas Brothers show.” He did, however, play tunes from Nick Jonas and the Administration — his first, and much less successful, attempt at a solo career — including "Who I Am."

The only time the crowd saw a glimpse of the Jonas Brother was halfway through the set when he brought out his acoustic guitar for a few songs. His signature vocal runs came through and the crowd loved it.

Jonas hardly spent any time talking, whether to explain songs or encourage the crowd to sing, dance or scream. The one time he spoke to the crowd was before a brand new song, “Don’t Make Me Choose,” alluding to his recent breakup with Miss Universe Olivia Culpo. As awful as never-before-heard songs are at concerts, Jonas pulled it off effortlessly to a pleased crowd.

But the rest of the set was made up of the popish, R&B-style songs you’re hearing from him now on the radio. His encore was “Jealous,” and the crowd went apeshit. Jonas, of course, took it in stride.
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Paige Skinner has written for the Dallas Observer since 2014.
Contact: Paige Skinner