Demi Lovato and The Jonas Brothers: A Concert Review From a Dad’s Perspective

Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Fairgrounds

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is a Texas tradition. The month-long event includes a rodeo competition, livestock show, carnival (which featured outlandish foods such as fried White Castle burgers and chicken fried bacon) and concerts.

My children somehow used Jedi mind tricks to convince me to purchase tickets to the Demi Lovato and Jonas Brothers concert. While I earned points in the cool dad column, I lost major points in the music snob column. Oh, the things dads do for their children.

This is Our First Rodeo

This was the first time that my children had attended a rodeo or a concert so everyone was excited.

However, my 8-year old daughter’s excitement waned as soon as the Calf Roping competition began. She was horrified after she watched the cowboy jump off the horse, tackle the calf, and tie its legs together. She nearly hyperventilated as the calf lay motionless on the arena floor.

“Mommy,” she screamed. “Why did he kill that calf? It’s only a baby.”

KayEm assured her that the calf was okay. Nee was relieved when they untied the calf’s legs and the animal ran off.

Yes, everything is bigger in Texas

After that initial scare, we watched the remainder of the rodeo events, Team Roping, Steer Wresting, Bronco Busting, Bull Riding, and Barrel Racing without incident.

There were two events that we really enjoyed: The Calf Scramble and Mutton Bustin’.

If you’ve never seen Mutton Bustin’, it is a sight to behold. In this event, 5-6 year old kids straddle a sheep and hold on as long as they can while the sheep races across the arena.

In the Calf Scramble, a group of about 30 teenagers chase a herd of calves in an attempt to capture one and bring it to the center of the arena. Easier said than done. As these kids can attest, calves are much faster and stronger that you would expect.

Demi Lovato and The Jonas Brothers Take the Stage

When the rodeo ended, the stadium crew prepared the arena for the concert. The anticipation was thick as screams filled Reliant Stadium.

The concert began with a pyrotechnics show that startled and upset my two-year old son, X. Needless to say, he didn’t enjoy the concert at all. He covered his ears and screamed, “Too loud! Too loud!” throughout the entire show.

Demi Lovato opened the show with a four-song set. Based on her performance, I doubt that she could make it to the finals of American Idol. Her singing was often tuneless and inaudible at times except when she was screaming. She has a way to go before she will be a credible artist.

When I asked my daughter what she thought about Lovato’s performance, she shrugged her shoulders and said, “It was fair. I think I preferred the rodeo.”

Photo by Myra Beltran – Houston Chronicle

She was much more enthusiastic about the Jonas Brothers’ performance. So were the thousands of tween and teenage girls who never stopped screaming throughout the entire show (my ears are still ringing).

Joe Jonas, dressed in a stylish gold suit, worked the crowd into frenzy by mugging for the camera and jumping off the stage to interact with the legions of fans.

The Jonas Brothers ran through the set of their popular tunes. They surprised and delighted the crowd with duets with Demi Lovato and a twangy cover of Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You” complete with cowboy hats. However, one of the brothers was close to getting his Texan credentials revoked for wearing his hat backwards.

After the song ended, my son N turned to me and asked “When are they going to sing ‘Single Ladies‘?”

“I don’t think they will sing that song tonight, son.” I said. I guess I need to keep him away from YouTube.

I have to admit that I didn’t hate the Jonas Brothers performance as much as I thought I would. In fact, I was impressed by Nick Jonas’ talent. He bounced between lead vocals, lead guitar, drums, and piano with ease. The highlight of the show was his performance of “Who I Am” from his album with his new band Nick Jonas and the Administration. My son N and I even stood up to accompany Nick with some air guitar licks.

Before the show ended, we were all caught up in the contagious energy. Even though I’ll have to make amends to music snob society, I’m glad that I was able to expose my kids to a new experience.

Stay Strong,

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Questions: What was the first concert you took your kids to? What was the first concert you attended?

About author

Frederick J. Goodall

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at or on Twitter at