By MIKE CHAIKEN
It’s interesting and satisfying to watch music artists grow and mature over the years.
When I went to the July 6 Mohegan Sun Arena stop of the Future Now tour with Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas, it was not the first time I had seen either artist.
I first caught Lovato in her Disney days in concert in Hartford’s XL Center. Then I caught her in her post Disney days at the Toyota Oakdale Theater in 2013. And I saw her once before at the Mohegan Sun, back in 2014.
I saw Nick Jonas when his band The Jonas Brothers was merely a garage band opening for a now forgotten act at the Webster Theater in Hartford. I then was on hand when The Jonas Brothers did their first headlining tour at the Toyota Oakdale. I also caught Jonas solo a few years later when he dropped in for a couple of songs with Lovato at her 2013 Connecticut gig.
So, as the years passed, I have seen their evolution.
And I can say truthfully that I like them both even better each time around.
The format for the Future Now tour was unique because both artists easily could have headlined their own tours (and have). Jonas came out as a solo for 30 minutes. Then, without a break, Lovato stepped out onto stage following a blackout. Then Jonas returned an hour later to sing by himself. Lovato then returned to the stage to duet with her friend Jonas. Finally, Lovato wrapped up the show as a solo artist.
In Jonas’s set, he showed that he has grown into a great soul singer. As he worked through his songs such as “Chains,” “Jealous,” and “Bacon,” Jonas’s voice was entrancing. He reminded me of John Legend, Usher… and really going old school, his falsetto reminded me of a one-man Bee Gees.
Throughout his set, Jonas showed he has become a consummate showman. He clearly has learned a lot through the years on how to keep the audience’s attention.
Lovato also has turned into a first class entertainer. As a musician, her voice is the strongest it has ever been. I remember her tour during her “Sonny With A Chance” days. Although she was great, her voice still needed to mature. For this tour, Lovato proved to be up there among the best singers in today’s pop scene.
I also appreciated that this time around Lovato focused on being a performer. Lovato let the music do the talking.
And she does have a great catalogue of pop music. “Cool for the Summer,” “Neon Lights,” “Skyscraper,” “Warrior,” “Heart Attack,” and a new song “Body Say.” Lovato shined on every song she sang.
Opener Mike Posner offered up a confident set and although the audience was there for the headliners, they clearly dug his songs like “Cooler than Me” from 2010 and the new one, “I Took A Pill in Ibiza.”
I give the Future Now tour with Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato at the Mohegan Sun Arena four out of four stars.
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN