Concert Reviews

Demi Lovato with Nick Jonas at First Niagara Center

Photographs by Janine Van Oostrom.

On July 17th, 2016 Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato with support from Mike Posner brought the future to the First Niagara Centre in Buffalo with their Future Now Tour. Together all three of them put on a very minimalistic and vocally pleasing show.

Mike Posner, a pop singer who recently just reappeared on the music scene earlier this year with his second major hit ‘I Took A Pill In Ibiza’. While last year if you asked anyone about him they may sing a line of his overplayed hit ‘Cooler Than Me’ and have nothing more to say about him, all of the classic signs of a one hit wonder. Yet his opening performance screamed “I’m not done yet!” in all of the right ways. Backed with a full band he played a modest set full of catchy pop songs and of course he ended with his two biggest hits and a heartfelt speech about the pressures of fame. Yet his passion for performing is what strikes him as an artist to watch, it’s rare to see a performer run and jump around the stage the way that he did. That energy was also infectious as he had the majority of the crowd up on their feet during the later half of his set, which is nearly unheard of for an opener. He left the crowd energized and ready for the night that was to come. 

The show was ready to begin as the countdown appeared and the crowd counted down in unison as they waited for the curtain to drop and for their favorite Jonas brother to appear. He started off his short set with one of his biggest hits ‘Levels’. His set was simple with no flashy backgrounds or lighting, it was mainly focused on Jonas’ extremely powerful vocals. While that can be a tad bit boring to watch, especially in such a large arena show, Jonas had all attention locked on him. At any given time and in any given direction you could hear a piercing scream as teenage girls fawned over him. Yet I couldn’t help but feel that his set left something to be desired, whether it was because it was less than an hour in length or maybe it was the lack of pizazz we have grown to expect with arena shows. This lack of production was evident when Jonas finished his set with his hit ‘Chains’ and simply just walked off of the stage as the curtain dropped.

Within seconds of Jonas leaving the stage the curtain was quickly lifted to reveal Lovato standing proud up on a platform. She kicked off the set with her power anthem ‘Confident’ and kept the momentum going by leading into another one of her biggest hits ‘Heart Attack”. Again the flashiest thing about Lovato’s set was her black bodysuit and thigh high boots. Her visuals were very minimalistic and even her background singers were dressed in all white plain dresses. Yet when it comes to vocals she delivered with an impressive raw power, especially when it came to more of her emotional ballads such as ‘Fix A Heart’ and ‘Skyscraper’. 

Towards the end of the set Jonas rejoined Lovato on the stage where he played piano while she serenaded the crowd with her emotional anthem ‘Stone Cold’. Jonas was then alone on the stage again to sing his biggest solo hit ‘Jealous’, he was then reunited with Lovato where they delivered a powerful rendition of ‘Close’. Then it was all Lovato  as she closed off the show with three more songs, ‘Skyscraper’ ‘Give Your Heart a Break’ and ‘Cool for the Summer’. 

Collectively Jonas and Lovato performed a very minimal and vocally driven shown which although was great to listen to it did seem to be a little monotonous. They both also played half sets which left the show pretty short considering it was a dual headline gig. Yet overall they did shake out of the regular mold of flashy productions and subpar vocals that have a tendency of coming with big arena shows. So if the future is full of minimalist pop and superior vocals I guess I can’t complain. 

About author

Long suffering student by day. Music writer by night.