As a millennial who had grown up with the second coming the Disney Channel’s golden age, the announcement of Demi Lovato and Nick Jonas‘ co-headlining tour was pretty darn exciting. With their understandable veering into more adult themed music and the addition of Mike Posner as their opening act, I had a feeling that the young teeny boppers that everyone seems to associate them with would be sparse. Well, I must’ve had a strong gut feeling because their audience in attendance at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, CA consisted of an interesting mix of young high school girls, drunk frat boys, cougars, and the twentysomethings that have grown up with them.
Ex Glee star Chord Overstreet pleasantly (and surprisingly might I add) started off the show with his short country/pop-esque set filled with a blend of original tracks and covers (which included DNCE‘s “Toothbrush”). It was somewhat surprising that Mike Posner was chosen as the main opening act given the fact that he hasn’t really been a huge deal since his “Cooler Than Me” days in the early 2000s, but it also made sense as he has previously collaborated with Nick Jonas on a songwriting basis. His set primary consisted of heavy, more personal tracks from his new album rather than his past work and concluded his set with what I think was supposed to be a motivational speech that ended up turning into a long, drawn out and quite sad monologue revealing his struggles with depression, anxiety, and insecurities of whether his music would be accepted by new fan bases. Unfortunately, the crowd wasn’t too accepting of Posner talking for 5 mintues when they just wanted to see Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato.
With Jonas and Lovato being equals in star power, I think all attendees were curious to see how they would do their sets and who the real headliner was, which turned out to be quite interesting in what they chose to do. Nick Jonas started his set with the upbeat “Levels” and continued on with back-to-back-to-back tracks from Last Year Was Complicated that could best be described as “baby making music”. Suddenly, he decided to take a break from getting us all hot and bothered to play the OG “Who I Am”from his Nick Jonas and the Administration days. Jonas continued his set until “Chains” as a cloud of smoke and light flickers indicated a change in pace for the arrival of Demi Lovato, who started her set with “Confident”.
Lovato did a few upbeat tracks (with accompanying light shows) before performing her new seductive single “Body Say”, which led into an slightly awkward transition to a handful of ballads. For those of you who have known of Nick Jonas since his musical start, you’d know that he pretty much knows how to play every instrument. As Demi prepared to sing the emotional and raw “Stone Cold”, she unsurprisingly introduced Jonas on the piano and made it clear to the audience that he would be doing a short encore that included “Chainsaw” and “Jealous”. At this point, Jonas had yet to perform “Close”, his lead single featuring Tove Lo off LYWC, and there were only so many songs left that he could possibly do. He ended up concluding his set with, you guessed it, “Close” with extra special guest Demi Lovato (omg!) and handed the remainder of the show off to her.
Lovato’s encore setup was very much similar to Jonas’ as she began with the track that truly got her to popstardom – “Skyscraper”. Luckily, she continued on with fun upbeat tracks instead of the ballads that a majority of her setlist consisted of. “Give Your Heart A Break” got everyone on their feet and ready to take in more of Demi for at least a few more songs, but alas she focused on keeping her encore short and to the point. The night ended with “Cool For The Summer” and Demi made sure that she left a strong impression on not only her fans but the parents, significant others, etc. that may have attended the show with them.
Overall, I think both Nick and Demi performed their best for what their music allows them to do. I was so happy that Nick did one of his older tracks for us fans who have stayed with him since his Jo Bro days, but I kind of wished he took off more of his layers during his sexy songs to match their tone (I’m sure I’m not the only one that wished this). For Demi’s performance, I was a little surprised at how many ballads she sang and wish she had included some tracks from her past albums before Unbroken into her set. As co-headlining acts, I think their setup was impeccably clean for pop acts and their transitioning from Nick to Demi to back to Nick to back to Demi didn’t seem forced at all. Their show was entertaining to say the least and a must-see for longtime fans.