The Jonas Brothers set three Minnesota State Fair grandstand records Friday night at their sold-out concert.
First, the enduring pop hitmakers established a new mark for the highest grandstand ticket price — $207. Prior to this year, the top was $194 for Zac Brown Band in 2022.
Second, the Jonas Brothers also set two unofficial new State Fair standards 1) for the most songs performed and 2) the most tunes trimmed from their tour set list.
The trio is in the middle of their Five Albums, One Night Tour — their own version of Taylor Swift's Eras Tour — playing about five dozen songs (several in medleys) from five albums in nearly three hours. That's like downing a Pronto Pup, French fries, pickle pizza, roasted corn, blooming onion, cucumber lemon lager, a bag of mini-donuts and a malt (preferably chocolate) for an extended dinner.
At the State Fair, 12,808 fans got to experience sort of Jo Bros lite, more like a footlong hot dog, a fried pickle, a bite of Big Fat Bacon on a stick, three cheese curds and two Sweet Martha's cookies with milk.
The sibling pop trio offered maybe 50 tunes — many just a chorus or verse and chorus in medleys — in a mere 110 minutes. Some fans were disappointed at the relative and unexpected brevity (unless you follow Jo Bros on Instagram where they warned about the planned, abbreviated 75-minute duration of the State Fair gig).
"We only had a certain amount of time allotted for the show," Joe Jonas said early in the evening. "So, we added some extra. Shout out to the State Fair for making it happen."
That the Jo Bros are even attempting an Eras-like tour proves that there is no expiration date for boy bands. Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas — ages 35 to 30 — were Disney Channel-launched heartthrobs from 2007 to 2010. After a contentious split in 2013, the trio is somehow bigger than ever since a comeback in 2019.
Despite the extra efforts by the fair staff and the Jonas' team, the show seemed rushed, with no visual delineation or few verbal announcements between album eras. With so many tunes compressed into medleys, it felt like speed dating, or ordering every favorite food at the State Fair and having only a taste of each.
Moreover, the brothers seemed less animated and enthusiastic than their musicians and backup singers, especially during the first half of the program. The Jo Bros vocals weren't especially assertive — or the two young women behind me screaming every lyric were just too loud, though this wasn't the Jonas scream-a-thon like their 2019 Xcel Energy Center show.
Things seemed to turn around Friday in the middle of a medley from their third album, 2008's "A Little Bit Longer," during the spirited sing-along "Lovebug," a simple, island-tinged ditty about being smitten. The ensuing rocker "Burnin' Up" indicated that the Jo Bros were finally heating up.
Nick brought out longtime Minneapolis musician John Fields, who produced the Jo Bros' second and third albums. That unscripted, unhurried, sincere moment meant more to the trio than to the fans. But it helped wake up Nick, who sparkled a few minutes later on "Jealous," his gently funky 2014 solo hit.
Then it was Joe's turn to prove his solo mettle, offering "Cake by the Ocean," his 2015 hit with his side project DNCE. Suddenly, Joe seemed energized and pogoed along with the fans. But then it was back to a medley, this time from 2019's "Happiness Begins," their comeback album. And that led to Friday's crowning moment, "Sucker," the kick-starter for the Jo Bros' second act that became their first No. 1 hit.
Opening the concert was Lawrence, a New York band fronted by siblings Clyde and Gracie Lawrence who showed good pop-soul instincts on their original material. They invited Twin Cities guitar star Cory Wong to add some funk on two numbers.
By the way, the Jonas Brothers will return to the Twin Cities to deliver their full Five Albums. One Night repertoire on Nov. 19 at Xcel Energy Center. VIP packages run $289 to $695.