Watching the Jonas Brothers work a crowd on a Friday night, it’s evident their formative years spent driving cross-country in their parents’ minivan and performing at malls for spectators more interested in getting their shopping done before rush hour than seeing three teenage boys sing did not go to waste.
As thousands cheered, the brothers were lowered onto the stage, each wearing a brightly-coloured suit: purple for Kevin, hot pink for Joe and green for Nick. Behind them, visuals of three young boys representing the brothers and their journey into the present played throughout the show, which from the start was an energy-filled dance party. The Jonas Brothers have not forgotten how to keep a packed arena entertained despite their six-year hiatus.
Opening with “Rollercoaster,” a track from their new album that reflects on the ups and downs of having found fame at such young ages, the audience was instantly enthralled. Most people in attendance were true ride-or-dies and sang along ecstatically to every song, from 2006’s “Mandy” to 2007’s “S.O.S.” and “Hold On,” all the way through 2019 hits “Cool” and “Strangers.”
The Jonas Brothers themselves stated in pre-tour interviews that a classic they were most excited to revisit live was “Lovebug,” and based on the deafening cheers that dampened its opening riffs, it’s safe to say their fans shared the sentiment. They even took audience suggestions, letting an audience member sing a verse from “Gotta Find You” into the mic. However, this was far from a sentimental throwback tour – almost half of their setlist consisted of songs from Happiness Begins.
Halfway through the show, a costume change left Nick and Kevin in white suits while Joe’s was black and sequinned. “If you had told us we would have been on this stage two years ago, I would have said you were crazy,” Kevin told the crowd. “But thank you for believing in us when we didn’t believe in ourselves. We love you.” They instructed us to raise our glasses – and then the once-squeaky-clean trio took shots of tequila.
Flames shot from the stage for encore song “Burnin’ Up” – Big Rob tragically did not make an appearance for his verse – and “Sucker” finished the night.