Music review: Nick Jonas and the Administration at Warner Theatre

LADIES' MAN: Jonas's set focused on his upcoming CD.
LADIES' MAN: Jonas's set focused on his upcoming CD. (Kyle Gustafson For The Washington Post)
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Friday, January 8, 2010

If the Osmonds and the Jacksons taught us anything, it's that the youngest brother ends up getting all the attention. Now the littlest Jonas brother, Nick, is trying to transcend the brood. At the Warner Theatre on Wednesday, sweet Nick, still wearing his purity ring, earned all the boiling-lobster squeals the fans threw at him.

The brothers' work schedule for Disney over the past several years -- constantly releasing CDs, going on tours, making movies and even acting in a TV show -- made John Henry seem like a slacker. The family band went on hiatus so oldest brother Kevin could get married and do all those impure things that married people do. So Nick, 17, put together a serious new combo, the Administration, featuring Prince's powerhouse drummer Michael Bland.

During a set heavy with material from his upcoming CD, "Who I Am," Jonas strapped on beat-up guitars and took at least one Pete Townshend-like leap. He favored John Mayer-ish sensitive blues ("Olive and an Arrow," "While the World Is Spinnin") and Justin Timberlake-esque lite funk ("State of Emergency"). Whatever spots of trouble his ambition got him into -- his falsetto faltered covering Michael Jackson's "The Way You Make Me Feel," and his voice isn't yet manly enough to conquer the Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" -- his teen spirit and fabulous band carried him through. The mostly 12-to-16-year-old female crowd got loudest during reworked JoBros titles ("Inseparable" and "Tonight").

He ended with his debut single, "Who I Am," which had him crooning, "I want somebody to love me for who I am!" You're a Jonas brother, Nick. And the kids still love you for it.

-- Dave McKenna

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