Review: The Jonas Brothers in concert is the comeback you’ve been waiting for


The Jonas Brothers perform live at the Smoothie King Center on Nov. 12, 2019. The group performed in New Orleans as a part of their “Happiness Begins” tour. Photo credit: Emma Ruby

Emma Ruby

After their 2013 break up that rocked the musical world of every teen girl and a six year hiatus following, the Jonas Brothers are back and possibly better than ever before.

Playing hit after hit, new and old, the Jonas Brothers rocked the Smoothie King Center on Nov. 12, 2019. Before the show had even started, I looked around the stadium packed with what was surely every 16-25 year old female from the greater New Orleans area (and also Drew Brees) and I thought to myself: This is real. This is me. I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

The concert started out with a video on a big screen that showed the Jonas Brothers reunited and meeting three young actors meant to portray their younger selves. As the notes of “Rollercoaster,” one of the songs off of their latest album Happiness Begins started, the boys descended from a ceiling platform in a shower of sparklers. Immediately they were met with a thunderous wall of screams, the volume of which I have never heard anything comparable to.

Immediately following their opening number, the boys jumped into “S.O.S.” which is by far one of their most underrated songs from their early career. “S.O.S.” was my favorite Jonas Brothers song when I was a young fan, so needless to say, I was stoked to hear them throwback so early on in the show.

It was about this point that I realized that while the world may not necessarily be better just because the Jonas Brothers are back together, it certainly is not worse.

The New Orleans performance was also the start of the second leg of the tour. The boys were performing for the first time after a break, so they were obviously filled with energy and excitement that the audience seemed to mirror right back. The whole concert felt like two hours of adrenaline, excitement and genuine love between the brothers and the fans.

The entire concert was an even split between old and new music. After “S.O.S.,” the boys launched into a string of newer songs, all of which the audience seemed to thoroughly enjoy. “Cool” was certainly cool, “Only Human” invited the audience to scream their lungs out and by the time they played “Strangers” I had pretty much blacked out from excitement.

Just as the audience would get used to the newer songs being played, the boys would launch into a throwback. The whole time, videos on the big screen showed the trials, tribulations and celebrations of the brothers and their careers.

Nick and Joe Jonas both rocked out the vocals of every song, but unlike in their early career, Kevin stuck to the guitar. Anyone who has seen the Jonas Brothers documentary knows that guitar is where Kevin’s passion really lies, and it was awesome to see him finally get to just embrace his thing instead of worrying about keeping up with his younger brothers on the vocals.

In fact, Kevin stepped completely off stage when Nick and Joe launched into singing songs from their solo careers. “Jealous,” a Nick solo song, invited another massive wave of screams by women undoubtedly wooed by the sultry song. In complete contrast, it was followed by Joe’s hit “Cake by the Ocean,” which was accompanied by confetti, bright strobe lights and inflatable tube men like those that flop around in front of car washes.

The fact that Nick and Joe were able to come together to sing each other’s solo songs shows that the brothers have actually reunited emotionally and professionally. I genuinely love the brothers as a group and as solo artists, so seeing them embrace each other in this way was incredibly heartwarming.

After the solo songs, the video on the big screen showed the actor playing young Kevin lost in a forest. He follows a young girl in a white dress, who is soon revealed to be one of Kevin’s daughters. Real Kevin stands waiting for his younger self and heroically holds his two daughters. The whole thing implies that while Joe and Nick were finding themselves as solo artists, Kevin was finding himself as a father. I cried, the audience cried, I bet Drew Brees even cried.

This video ushered in the boys singing “Comeback,” the ballad of their latest album. This was immediately followed by the totally iconic power ballad “When You Look Me in the Eyes.” The tears seriously flowed for 10 minutes straight.

Following the ballads, the boys joined together to take a shot, saluting the audience. It was a sweet moment, but also felt like they were sort of trying to prove they aren’t the kids they used to be.

My one musical critique comes from the medley of songs from their old albums they preformed. While it was awesome to hear the songs of my childhood like “Mandy,” “Hold On” and, yes, even “Find You” from “Camp Rock,” I have to admit some of the greatness of those songs is lost now that the boys no longer have the endearing and young voices of 12-year-olds.

The concert wrapped up with the throwbacks “Lovebug,” which the entire audience sang nearly half of, and “Year 3000.” When it ended, I thought to myself “how am I to go on normally after today.” It was a truly life changing experience. Hardly a minute went by before the stage was engulfed in flames and the boys were back for an encore of “Burnin’ Up” and finally “Sucker.”

Overall, the concert perfectly walked the line between nostalgic and new. While the boys obviously loved playing their new music that brought them back together, they also seemed to enjoy playing their old songs just as much. A major heartfelt moment mid-concert was Kevin taking to the stage to thank the crowd for being there because he never thought he would be on stage with his brothers again following the group’s breakup.

The concert was probably the best concert experience I have ever had in my life. If you have the opportunity to see them perform at any other leg of this tour, I can’t recommend it enough.