The singer stuck with her hits for much of the set, including “Heart Attack,” “Skyscraper” and “Really Don’t Care,” offering a boisterous, energized performance that showcased her skill for live vocals. Clad in shiny black shorts and a white crop top, Lovato bounded around the Avalon’s stage, which was set with a brilliantly lit cage of fluorescent light tubes. Her second choice of cover, Frozen’s “Let It Go,” was a strange juxtaposition to her newfound grown-up pop aesthetic, even as it paid homage to the singer’s Disney roots. The real moment of truth came at the end of the set as Lovato unveiled her new single “Cool for the Summer,” noting her excitement that “every time I get in my car I hear it on the radio.”
Jonas, who watched Lovato’s set sidestage as fans shouted and waved for his attention, opened the evening with a 30-minute performance of tracks from his recent solo album, as well as a few abridged covers. He strutted onstage in sunglasses and a white leather jacket, both of which he eventually tossed aside, rolling up his T-shirt sleeves to reveal biceps he continually flexed throughout the performance. The singer opened with “Chains” and offered up “Numb” before swaggering through his latest single “Levels.” “You’re actually the first audience I’ve played that song for,” Jonas noted, “so you should feel very special.”
His choice of covers veered from The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face” to Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison,” held together by a retro soul vibe infused throughout. Between songs, as Jonas’ band raised the level of funk, he shouted encouragements like “Pick it up, pick it up” as he danced around the stage. “Now listen,” he told the crowd at one point. “I see a few of you have drinks in your hands and seem to be having a good time. So if you want to move and act like you’re at a concert, by all means.” Jonas concluded his quickie set with “Jealous,” his sleeves fully rolled to showcase his arms by this point. “I’m looking forward to this weekend,” he said. “Thanks for starting this weekend perfectly with all of us.”
Jonas is nominated for best male video for “Chains” at the MTV Video Music Awards and will perform “Levels” during the show.
Demi Lovato & Nick Jonas - Avalon / Hollywood / Aug. 28 Album Review