June 15, 2009
Posted: 01:20 PM ET
In advance of their appearance on LKL Thursday, the Jonas Bros. have given LKL exclusive, unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to one of the hottest bands in the world, on their world tour. LKL producer Quinn Brown is embedded with the band and filed this report from Paris.
The Cast of Characters, The Jonai Reverence, and The Zenith Furnace
A Parisian sunrise is one hell of a way to start the day. France from the air is dotted with shimmering rivers and lakes, lush greenery, and what I would call a non-invasive city structure. Everything seems to have a purpose. Not a lot of arbitrary in Paris, and it’s all very harmonious.
The same can be said for the Jonas organization. While I marveled at the size of the entourage on Day One, I now understand that everyone here serves a specific purpose. But when you look at how Team Jonas functions as a unified whole , you really begin to understand the wild success of the band.
If you look at contemporary bands that have successfully endured past the ten-to-fifteen year mark – bands like U2 or Pearl Jam – ,you find they all have famously tight organizations that are run on the basis of a common purpose and direct principles. In other words, there is a clear mission mapped out and everyone follows it. With that also comes a sense of family – something that can’t be sustained if there are jerks running around.
The Jonas organization definitely embraces the former (family) and rejects the latter (jerks). It’s built on the principle that if you start with a solid foundation of family and family, trust will follow. What’s unique about Team Jonas are the members of the “family.” The Jonas Brothers - Joe, Nick, and Kevin – are individuals. And characters one and all. But more on them later.
Those surrounding the band are vitally important to this operation. There is Brad the promoter - a Letterman look-alike with an irrepressible sense of humor and unmatched enthusiasm. He’s the only music promoter I’ve ever run into who will actually tell you: “If a promoter’s lips are moving that means he’s lying.” The assistant to the band (modest title for a major job) , Jesse. He’s a hard worker who makes the brothers’ long days and demanding performances seem just a bit less arduous by taking care of the little things. Stef the masseuse is a woman with a naturally radiant personality. She soothes as much with her spirit as with her hands. Anthony is the video supervisor for the concerts. In addition to buffering pressure from the tour managers by being exceeding helpful, he’s absolutely hilarious.
The list goes on and on. The jobs have been carefully thought out. The choices of who to bring in to fill them have been even more painstakingly considered. That precision and care really pays off for a band in the midst of one of the most demanding tour schedules I’ve ever seen. It’s also laid the groundwork of a Team I expect will hang together for many years to come.
We spent a good amount of time talking all aspects of art with the Jonas boys today. One thing that strikes me about them is the sense of reverence they have for those who have influenced their work. These influences aren’t narrow or predictable, either. Ahead of Larry King’s interview with the band this Thursday, Nick has been especially vocal about his admiration of our beloved host. He surprised me talking about some shows that he had watched in the past. Our shows aren’t exactly targeted to mid-teens. Joe has studied all of the greatest frontmen – Mercury, Morrison, Jagger…and he’s sweated hard to put those studies to use on stage. While he has an instinctive understanding of how to connect with an audience, he’s worked to amp up his natural showmanship. And Kevin? Well, he served as our tour guide as we bussed to the Paris concert venue earlier today. Museums, landmarks, history, French personalities and artistic achievements – he knew his stuff, without checking Frommer’s!
Of course, the Jonas Brothers’ ultimate standing will rest on their own performances. As I talk to the band and crew, I get the sense that their rate of improvement is accelerating.
They battled hard on this night as the show was held at the giant popcorn bag known as Le Zenith arena in the industrial part of Paris. There were at least four faintings *before* the band walked out on stage tonight. It was as though the heat had been stored in that building for use in the cold winters, but wasn’t let out in a couple of years. And yet, the Jonases battled their way to a hard earned victory…leaving the previous night’s Madrid show in the dust. The fans were right there with them. Those that stayed afloat hung in there mightily, and the band feed off of their enthusiasm admirably. There are more smiles, more interaction and tighter playing all the way around tonight. The plane ride to London is brief but sails on a victorious air over the English Channel.
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