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Jonas Brothers Scale Pianos, Deliver the Hits at New York Club

June 12, 2009 2:47 PM ET

Yesterday morning the Jonas Brothers caused a mini-panic by announcing a free surprise show at New York's Irving Plaza. By 4 p.m., when fans were permitted to line up outside the venue — after school hours, by design — the scene was hectic and the excited squeals audible. The band, in town to promote their upcoming Lines, Vines and Trying Times with Good Morning America and Late Show With David Letterman appearances, dashed into the building just before showtime and treated the crowd (mostly young, mostly shrieking females) to a full set featuring new tunes "Paranoid," "Poison Ivy" and standout "Much Better," as well as hits like "Lovebug" and "Be Be Good."

Kevin Jonas climbed on the baby grand for a guitar solo, and Nick revealed the first time they ever played the club he scaled a column of speakers. Of course, he was just 13 then. "We're all getting older" he murmured while seated at the piano, playing mash-up of "Black Keys" and "A Little Bit Longer."

The trio were eager to talk about how their sound and their live show have evolved backstage while running through practice sessions for their World Tour 2009. Check out Rolling Stone's sneak peek — a first look at the new stage, video and a chat with the band — in our Jonas Brothers tour rehearsal package. "We really tried to step it up this time," Kevin told us. "You might have to come more than once to see it all because you might not catch it all."

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Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

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