By BRIDGET BALCH
On February 23, Nick Jonas took DC area fans by surprised, tweeting that he would be giving a free concert at the Jammin’ Java, a tiny venue in Vienna, Virginia.
Nick, the youngest member of the Jonas Brothers, was on his own in DC to sing at the White House’s Motown Celebration in honor of Black History month.
Fans, mostly females in their teens and some very patient parents, lined up around the venue in the freezing cold as early as 7 hours before the 11 p.m. show. Jammin’ Java employees insisted that only the first 200 people in line would get the wristbands and stamps that allowed admission.
There was a great deal of apprehension while employees numbered hands with sharpees and gave the coveted wristbands to the lucky few. In fact, after reaching 200, they went through the alphabet, leaving the 60 or so people after “z” extremely disappointed, one of whom claimed to have driven 6 hours to see Jonas.
Despite security’s insistence that the wristband-less leave, many stayed, trying to persuade parents in line to give up their places or in hopes of catching a glimpse of Jonas entering the building.
At around 10:30 p.m., Jonas arrived at the venue and any order that previously existed was lost in the mass of people mobbing the front door. Fans pushed and squished as close to the stage – and each other – as they could.
Finally, at about 11:20 p.m., Jonas and John Taylor, the Jonas Brother’s bass guitarist who was traveling with him, took the stage.
Jonas was extremely charming and casual with his comparatively small audience, taking part in banter with Taylor, sharing anecdotes, and interacting with the fans in an uncustomary southern drawl.
He set up the Jonas Brother’s hit “S.O.S.” with an apology for how emo and melodramatic he was at the age of 13, when he wrote it. He even sang one verse the way it was originally written, in country bluegrass style.
Jonas alluded to his past relationship with Miley Cyrus, saying that he had originally sung “Before the Storm” with “someone very special to [him].”
While performing “BB Good,” Jonas told the story of how, when the Jonas Brothers were recording it, he jokingly told his brother and fellow band member, Joe Jonas, that he should talk and say random things between the verses. “I was totally pulling his leg,” said Jonas, “but he bought it,” and it stuck as part of the song.
At one point, Jonas addressed a fan who was in the front row, asking her what song he had written that she most connected to, saying “this is her moment,” when other fans shouted their answers.
In order to make the set list for the acoustic show, Jonas had tweeted earlier, asking for ideas and chose a fan’s submission, which included “Last Time Around,” “Stay,” “Lovebug,” “Rose Garden,” “Give Love a Try,” and “Who I Am.” He played “London Foolishly,” a song he wrote in England while he was playing Marius in Les Misérables on the West End, for the first time live.
He also did a medley of covers that included “Rocketeer,” by the Far East Movement, “Teenage Dream,” by Katy Perry, and “Just the Way You Are,” by Bruno Mars. Jonas also played some crowd requests such as “Inseparable,” and “Hello, Beautiful.”
Jonas’s voice and acoustics were just as good in person as they are on his albums. Aside from him forgetting some of the lyrics, which he joked about, adding to the intimate atmosphere, Jonas’s performance was exceptional for an unrehearsed, acoustic show.