The stadium fades to black and the entire audience roars in a fit of cheers and screams. Neon lights begin to dance around the arena as a familiar beat blares through the speakers, rumbling the ground beneath your feet. All of a sudden, three figures rise up to the stage dressed in green, orange and blue suits. It’s happening: You are finally seeing the Jonas Brothers live.
If you’re alive and breathing, then you know who they are. In fact, if you’re between the ages of 18 and 28, then it’s very likely that you were even obsessed with them in the mid-2000s. The Jonas Brothers were one of the biggest bands out there, selling over 17 million records worldwide, headlining eight world tours and even starring in a few movies and TV shows.
If you were one of the lucky ones, then you might have even had the immense honor and privilege of seeing Kevin, Nick and Joe Jonas live and in-concert before their Earth-shattering break-up in 2013. The break-up that left millions of fans around the globe heartbroken and the dreams of those who always wanted to see the Jonas Brothers in concert shattered. For years, fans sat in a sort of purgatory, growing up and moving through a world without the Jo Bros. Sure, there were Nick’s solo career and Joe’s new band, DNCE, shortly thereafter. You might even remember that obscure moment in history where Kevin Jonas and his wife had their own TV show, but it just wasn’t the same.
Just when die-hard Jonas Brothers fans were beginning to give up and it seemed as though we’d have to wait until the year 3000 for the Jonas Brothers to ever return, something amazing happened. On Feb. 28, 2019, the three brothers announced their comeback and their brand new single, “Sucker,” was released the very next day.
For millions of fans, a long-forgotten dream was suddenly rekindled: There was the hope of seeing the Jonas Brothers in concert again. If you were anything like me, you were dead-set on finding a way — any way — to see your childhood obsession live.
The North American leg of the Happiness Begins tour kicked off in Miami at the beginning of August. Now, the Jo Bros. are on a cross-country journey, ready to give die-hard fans the night of their lives. I had the privilege of attending one of the two Madison Square Garden shows last month, and let me just say: What a night.
Quite the contrary from what a Jonas Brothers concert looked like in 2008, the hordes of fans streaming into Madison Square Garden consisted of hundreds of 20-somethings in search of beer and cocktails; some even had kids of their own that they dragged along to the night’s festivities.
Folks took their seats, many of them wearing vintage 2009 Jonas Brothers merch, or homemade shirts with popular Jonas-themed quotes like the ever-iconic “This weekend’s no good for me, the Jonas Brothers are in town” from “The Hangover.”
With each minute it got closer to the Jonas Brothers taking the stage, you could feel the collective excitement swell in the audience. It wasn’t necessarily a chaotic excitement, like one would expect from a Jo Bros. concert filled with preteens. It was a calm excitement, the kind you might feel when something that’s been a long time coming is finally about to happen.
That all changed of course when the concert finally started. It was Jonas Brothers-mania all over again. Suddenly, every single fan in the audience was 10 years old, ready to dance around like crazy and belt the lyrics to every single song.
The Happiness Begins tour caters to the fans by providing a wholesome mix of old and new songs, kicking off their set with one of their latest hits “Rollercoaster,” a track that details the New Jersey-natives rise to stardom. This nostalgic bop about the brothers’ past was only emboldened by the video that played in the background for the majority of the concert, depicting Joe, Kevin and Nick interacting with actors meant to be their younger selves. In a way, this was the brothers’ way of acknowledging that people grow up and things change, but some things will always stay the same — something every fan in the audience that night could whole-heartedly relate to.
Getting to see some of the songs off their new album rocked, don’t get me wrong, but the real magic came when they pulled out the oldies. Now, if you’re going to the Happiness Begins tour but think you’re above completely and utterly losing your mind as your 8-year-old Jo Bros. stan self would, then think again. From “S.O.S” to “Lovebug” to tunes from the seminal classic “Camp Rock,” the Jonas Brothers truly pulled out all the stops when it came to giving longtime fans what they so deserve. Believe me when I say I screamed louder and danced harder than I ever have in my entire life when “Hold On” started playing. Am I proud of myself? No. But do I have any regrets? None at all.
When it seemed like the night couldn’t get any more iconic, the concert concluded with a show-stopping performance of “Sucker” and of course, everyone’s favorite, “Burnin’ Up.” The entire crowd screamed out the lyrics in unison as pyro effects, fireworks, and confetti blew throughout the stadium. What really made it all perfect though was when I got one last look at the giant monitor projecting the concert before Kevin, Nick and Joe left the stage for the night. They were real. I was there. And everyone around me was experiencing the same sort of contentment and elation. It had happened. I finally got to see the Jonas Brothers live.
With their return, the Jonas Brothers gave every single nerdy little kid with a Jonas Brothers trapper-keeper and giant Joe poster on their bedroom wall their biggest wish: to see their idols live and experience a night where nothing else matters but the music. Things change, and people grow for the better, but as I’m sure every fan in the audience that night would say, some things always stay the same. Even if it was a decade late. One thing that has changed? I can say something that my 9-year-old self would never believe in a million years: I am now a “Kevin girl.”