Friday night while most of us were celebrating Seattle Pride, I get a text from Topher asking me the most random question: “Hey Donovan, do you and Brian want to go to the Jonas Bros. concert?” At first, I thought I was just drunk from all the birthday shots people were buying me. Then, the next day when I checked my texts, I realized it wasn’t a booze-enabled hallucination but rather fact. What was more interesting was the realization that I had said YES. EEKS!
Fast forward to Monday. I was feeling the effects of spending three straight weekends away from home (Portland, Toronto & Seattle). The last thing I wanted to do was be surrounded by 20,000 screaming tween girls hoping to catch the eye of one of the Jonas Bros. See, I’ve unfortunately had experience attending concerts where the majority of the crowd were Miley Cyrus look-a-likes. In my previous job at a kids/teen online magazine, I attended many events where I was one of maybe 5 guys in the audience. I either looked like a perv or a loser- either of which wasn’t very flattering. The only solace this time was the fact I was going with Topher, Patrick and Sous who had scored the free tickets from his sister.
While getting ready for the concert, Brian comes home after work and tells me there are thousands of girls already screaming and lining up outside. [Brian and I live directly across GM Place where most concerts in Vancouver occur.] As the boys arrive one by one to our place, each has an even more terrifying story than the next of how many girls are piling on the streets, with their glittered signs and even more glittered clothing.
After pounding a few, we felt we have enough liquid courage to face the throngs of prepubescent girls. To our dismay, the crowd outside our condo hadn’t dissipated yet and the line to enter the stadium was still quite lengthy. At one point we see two teenage girls who were maybe 17 or 18 asking if we’re going to the concert to which we reluctantly admitted that we were. They were so excited we were going because now they felt they weren’t the oldest people at the concert (chaperoning parents aside). OUCH! That one really hurt. If two teenage girls were embarrassed about going to the concert, how did that make us feel? Luckily for me, I was wearing a hat so I was able to pull of a bit of incognito.
While we were making our way to our seats, each of us tried our best to make sure people knew we weren’t fans. We would yell out everything from: “Oh I have to find my sister and her friends,” to: “Where are the seats to my free tickets”. Personally, I don’t think anyone was buying it as we continually got chuckles from the security guards or the people near us. Eventually, we got to our seats and make it just in time for one of the opening acts: Honor Society. None of us had ever heard of them but apparently half the stadium did as they were screaming at every little thing this pseudo Metro Station-esque band would do. Side note, the drummer, Alexander Noyes, was actually kinda cute so it made their four song-set mildly tolerable.
Next on the agenda was Jordin Sparks. I LOVE JORDIN SPARKS! But, SOUS LOVES JORDIN EVEN MORE! When Jordin came on stage, Sous literally jumped to his feet and began to sing each song to lyrical perfection. It was mildly disturbing. Haha. I kid Sous. Jordin was insanely awesome- especially during “No Air”. She sang the hell out of the four songs she sang. Weirdly enough though, she didn’t sing her new single, Battlefield, which you’d think she’d promote to this pop-friendly and easily manipulated crowd.
The third and seemingly unknown act to us was Korean K-Pop super group, The Wonder Girls. I have to admit, I kinda freaked out when I heard this. I was made aware of them a few months ago while surfing on YouTube. They have a single called Nobody, which is the Asian Single Ladies. There are hundreds of videos online where people would imitate the dance moves from the video or sing their own renditions. The funniest thing about these videos are most of them don’t even know Korean but sing it phonetically or just make up words. After the Wonder Girls gave an impromptu tutorial on how to do the dance to the GM Place crowd, they began to sing their catchy song. The four of us stood up and danced along with the ladies. Since the ladies plan on entering the North American market, they’ve recently done a more radio-friendly English translation of their hit single Nobody. [I will be doing a Saturday video post on the Wonder Girls with my favorite renditions. In the meantime check out this montage.]
When their set was over we headed to the beer garden five minutes before they shut it down. I guess at a tween concert, you are not allowed to bring drinks to our seats. BOO! The bartenders were hilarious as they were clearly not enjoying working this evening. They even informed us that Guest Services supplied free earplugs to anyone who wanted them! That’s brill. I wonder if they had any left over after this concert? Patrick, who couldn’t find his ID, wasn’t allowed into the beer garden so we drank our drinks by the railing while he stood on the other side eating his pizza. [Carbs three weeks before Vancouver Pride? Tsk tsk!] While chugging our drinks, we would yell out: “Don’t worry Patrick, we’ll be back in our seats to see your favorite band the Jonas Bros!” And: “If you behave, we’ll buy you a Jonas Bros T-Shirt“! to which Patrick in his childlike voice rebutted: “STRANGER” and pointed angrily at us.
While waiting for the Jonas Bros to start, we decided to play a little game. There were four adorable girls probably aged 9-12 sitting in front of us. They were decked out in their fanciest clothes equipped with their text pink cellphones and even pinker digital cameras. We coined them “Grade Six and the City” and collectively labeled each of the girls either Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha or Miranda. I think after a while, the Carrie of their group realized we were talking about them and turned into Regina George and scowled at us. You can tell this “Carrie” was in charge of her little clique. After listening to five Jonas Bros. songs we decide to leave early to avoid the crowd.
Overall, we had a great time and probably would do it all over again. It brought back memories of when each of us went to our first concert and how life-changing that experience was. Love them or hate them, the Jonas put on a pretty good show complete with an amazing light show. My definite highlights of the night were the Wonder Girls, Jordin Sparks and Grade Sex and the City. Thanks Sous for getting us free tickets. It was a night none of us will soon forget.