I recently experienced something I never thought I'd have a chance to experience. I got to see a Jonas Brother live! And better yet...it wasn't in an enormous arena, but in a tiny venue where most local emerging artists start out. I remember many years ago when I was little(r), and my friends "forced" me to go see Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (I acted like I hated it but I secretly loved it). They put on a killer show in the movie, one I could never dream of actually seeing in real life...Yeah, yeah, I know, Joe Jonas is turning over a new leaf. This is a fresh start -- and good for him! He doesn't want to hear about his old band anymore; this is about his new band, DNCE. So that's what we're going to talk about. I just need to get it out of the way in the beginning that it was so cool seeing a Jonas Brother play The Knitting Factory! Okay, I'm done.
Pop/rock band DNCE recently celebrated the release of their debut EP, SWAAY, last week at The Knitting Factory. Right when I walked into the venue, I noticed a DJ wearing a mask (rumored to be Joe Jonas himself but we don't know for sure) off to the side warming up the crowd. Some people were standing still in the front waiting for the show to start, but most people were dancing and socializing. It felt like a private party more than a concert, and that made me feel special for just being there. If the band was trying to set a cool vibe before they went on stage, they certainly succeeded.
When DNCE came on stage, it was a sight to see. Leadman Joe Jonas immediately showed off his easy-going sense of humor, introducing the band as "Selena Gomez." There were so many big personalities and bright outfits to take in. Bassist/keyboardist Cole Whittle had a outlandish haircut and wore some sort of vest which allowed him to show off his bare chest. Guitarist JinJoo Lee wore tinted sunglasses and a leather jacket, but it wasn't your typical leather jacket. It was eccentric, covered in studs and paper clips. Drummer Jack Lawless and Jonas were the two normal ones with Lawless wearing a t-shirt and Jonas sporting a white leather jacket. Before the music even started, the visual itself was a lot to take in.
They started with a song off of the EP, "Pay My Rent." Even as the band was playing, they still kept the cool, laid-back vibes, making it feel like half a concert, half a party. The crowd was dancing and singing the words already, even though they just heard it for the first time that day. Even when the band played an unreleased song, we already knew the lyrics by the second chorus, because that's just how damn catchy every single song was. The band did an incredible job of creating a party atmosphere sonically -- every song flowed right into the next, preserving the positive mood and making sure we could never stop dancing. The music was actually kind of funky. Jonas, being no stranger to the stage, looked extremely happy and comfortable. He constantly interacted with fans throughout the entire show. When they would raise their phone to take a picture of him, he would get really close to the camera, sometimes even take a selfie with them. At one point, when someone raised their soda can in the air, Jonas grabbed it from them, chugged most of it and then gave it back. That even triggered her friend to raise her can in hopes that Jonas would put his lips on it as well.
Now let's talk about JinJoo Lee, otherwise known as "The Guitar Girl" for a second. Yes, that's a pretty perfect description. The female rock guitarist absolutely killed it...in fact, she was probably the star of the night. With such amazing stage presence, Lee spent a lot of her time at the very front of the stage, confidently playing guitar in people's faces. She ripped several incredible guitar solos and every time she did, she'd brush it off like it was nothing. She made it look so easy. She owned the stage and made the crowd her b****. Her and the rest of the band also had a great chemistry altogether.
I don't think any of the members of DNCE are strangers to the stage. They've already played a lot of shows and they're about to embark on a tour all across the west and east coast, expanding to larger venues. Jonas was stretching out to all sides of the room and Whittle was rolling all over the place and they're already selling out most of their shows. I can't wait to see DNCE on a bigger stage.