Like Hanna Montana before them, The Jonas Brothers are ‘tween idols, releasing multimillion selling records and selling out stadiums nationwide. So it’s a blessing to parents’ wallets that youngsters can enjoy this peppy, 75-minute performance in a movie theater rather than scrambling for hard-to-get tickets and trekking to a ‘live’ concert.
What’s on the screen is footage from their 2008 arena spectaculars, supplemented with behind-the-scenes glimpses of them romping and riding Segways. But that does not include their recent appearance at the White House, fulfilling the fantasies of Sasha and Malia Obama.
For those unfamiliar with the Jonases, they are really brothers whose deeply religious parents accompany them on the road; their father is an evangelical pastor. At 21, Kevin is the eldest. He plays lead guitar and does backup vocals. The middle brother, Joe, is 18 and seems to propel the show as the lead singer. 17 year-old Nick, a.k.a. “Mr. President” plays guitar, keyboard and drums. He has Type 1 diabetes, which he dramatically reveals in a heartfelt solo number, “A Little Bit Longer.”
Nick allegedly dated and dumped Miley Cyrus, prompting her to write and record “7 Things I Hate About You.” He’s now dating Disney-bred Selena Gomez. And Joe expressed love for country singer Taylor Swift before moving on to his music video partner Camilla Belle. I’m told you need to know these timely gossip tidbits to appreciate the swooning fan fervor for this trinity that’s captured by director Bruce Hendricks.
The Jonas Brothers’ style seems to combine the Backstreet Boys and NKOTB, emphasizing repetitive three-part harmony. They warble about teenage angst, emphasizing chaste love and heartbreak, touching on the temptations of drugs and sex. All three wear purity rings and have vowed celibacy until marriage. That’s what’s behind the lyrics to “Burning Up”: “I’m slipping into the lava/I’m trying to keep from going under/Baby, you turn the temperature hotter/’Cuz I’m burnin’ up for you, baby.”
As for the 3-D, it’s a gimmick involving tossed sunglasses and guitar picks. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Jonas Brothers: The 3-D Concert Experience” is a high-decibel, shriek-inducing 6 for its intended audience – which, I suspect, includes few of us over the age of 30.