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ONE, TWO, THREEEEEE!

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

BALTIMORE

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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!

EEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAGH!

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.

EEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAGH!

"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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