By J. Freedom du Lac
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 12, 2008


You can hear the Jonas Brothers approaching before you actually see them, because their every move is monitored by young and younger girls who act as a sort of early-warning radar for the trio of teen idols.

Eeee! Eeeeee!


The Jonas Brothers are handsome, wholesome, skinny-tie-and-skinnier-jeans-wearing boys from New Jersey who play impossibly catchy and completely inoffensive pop-rock songs. But the sound that has come to define Nick Jonas (15; the cute one), Joe Jonas (nearly 19; the hot one) and Kevin Jonas (20; the other one) has nothing to do with power chords and sweet vocal harmonies.

Instead, it's those gale-force shrieks that envelop them wherever they go: Into a mall, onto a plane or around the corner in the bowels of a concert hall, as they've just done at 1st Mariner Arena, where the Jonas Brothers -- easily the biggest thing in teen idoldom since 'N Sync splintered -- are about to meet and greet 200 excitable fans before another sold-out show.


"The boys were talking to me the other day and were like, 'Dad. Dad? DAD!' " says Kevin Jonas Sr., the trio's father and co-manager. "Finally I turned around and said, 'Guys, don't be frustrated. If I can't hear, it's your fault.'[The girls] are always screaming, and it gets loud; the decibel level is medically intense" -- 115 to 120 decibels at a typical Jonas Brothers concert, he says. Sandblasting is roughly 115 decibels. At 120, you're getting into jet-on-a-runway territory and closing in on the pain threshold.

"You hear it and you think . . . some type of monster just ran through the front door," says Joe, a swarthy, rooster-strutting, karate-kicking frontman with male-model hair.

"It's crazy," says Nick, a curly haired heartthrob who plays guitar, drums and piano and is regarded by most (including Jonas Dad, a former musician and music teacher himself) to be the band's most talented musician.

"So. LOUD!" says Kevin, a rhythm guitarist who has the misfortune -- or, perhaps, the great fortune -- of being in a band with two guys who tend to overshadow him.

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