Feature Photo Credit: The Miami New Times
(Disclaimer: This post is purely about my love for the Jonas Brothers personally. I’ll talk about their artistry when they release more music, right now I just have so many feelings.)
2019 has been one of the best years of my life, but it definitely didn’t start like that. I can remember crying to “Impossible Year” by Panic! At the Disco in the beginning of the year while parked in my driveway after work. I remember it rained too, I think. Yeah, I felt pretty low.
But things started to turn around when on February 28, 2019 at 9pm PST, one single event set off a chain reaction of my life getting better.
THE JONAS BROTHERS CAME BACK.
I was totally thrown off my funk when I heard they were coming back. I was trying to be cool about it but 12 year old me rose from the dead freaking out. Before I knew it, I was sitting at my neighborhood Applebee’s with my dad and brother as we watched the premiere of “Sucker” on YouTube.
But the question hung over my head: how the hell would endlessly upbeat 12 year old me be reconciled with disillusioned, post-grad sales professional me? Who even was 12 year old me? Wasn’t I embarrassed of her? I don’t remember her anymore. I guess I should start by explaining how 12 year old me got to loving the Jonases and how deep these roots are.
The Jonas Brothers? Hmm…
I was a Disney Channel kid through and through. I started my obsessions with Raven Symone, Aly & AJ, The Cheetah Girls, Suite Life, and then High School Musical. Then Hannah Montana burst on the scene and I was like “Why not buy a blonde wig for Halloween?!” (Thank God there’s no pictures of that.) But I kept an eye on these three punky-looking boys that sang the theme songs to American Dragon: Jake Long, Meet the Robinsons, and Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board.
But I felt like they were really trying to win me over when they joined forces with Hannah Montana herself. They even toured with her and had a reality series about their first headlining tour. After that, it’s honestly a blur how I became so attached to them.
The Jonas Brothers???!!
The earliest of-the-deep-end-obsession memory I have is waiting for the premiere of the Burnin’ Up video on ABC’s Saturday movie night thing. Remember those? At that point, I was very vocal about my excitement and infatuation for Joe Jonas by straight up screaming when he would come up on the screen, “HE’S SO HOT.” I’ve always been a Joe girl.
The first concert of theirs that I went to was summer 2008 and because I was a small child with no money, my dad paid for it and accompanied me. It was at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (now known as the Irvine Meadows) and we paid $88/ticket to be in the lawn area all the way in the back. God bless my dad for putting up with the legions of screaming girls that I called my kindred spirits. I think that concert might’ve been where I truly fell in love with concerts. My dad even agreed: they put on a good show.
After that, I saw them for their 2009 world tour at the Staples Center, the Nick Jonas and the Administration tour in early 2010 at The Wiltern, a free concert at the Grove in 2010 (where I saw them walk by me), and then their Camp Rock 2-themed 2010 tour in Irvine again.
To speak to my mania for them, I like to think that the foundation for my love of research was laid in my young Jonas Brothers fan days. I checked the site Jonas World everyday, watched their hour-long livestreams on UStream, occasionally indulged in the gossip on OceanUp, and had a vast collection of pictures saved on the family desktop for absolutely no reason. Ugh, I can’t believe that was 10 years ago, so weird.
Apparently, my Jonas-mania was so bad that during one car ride, my mom told me a cautionary tale about a super fan of a popular music artist in Latin America tried to kill the superstar she idolized. Yikes, but I wasn’t about to do that, MOM. Offended, I put my headphones in to listen to the boys on my Hannah Montana mp3 player. Preteen angst at its finest.
The Jonas Brothers?
When I got to high school though, everyone seemed to say that they were too cool for them. Looking back on it, it’s so lame that I fell into that trap. By the time they broke up, I didn’t even remember hearing or caring. That’s really sad and teenagers that try too hard are the worst.
However, when I got to college at Pepperdine, I learned that A LOT of my friends loved them and thus came the throwback nights screaming the words to “Lovebug.” And of course, I jammed to Nick’s solo stuff and Joe’s band DNCE in a casual way. I’m more of a DNCE gal, but Nick’s got some bangers (Bacon is my JAM, don’t judge me).
It’s funny, on Valentine’s Day 2019, I took a video of me and my friends singing to Lovebug…little did I know that 2 weeks later I would be at my neighborhood Applebee’s in disbelief that I’m listening to and watching the premiere of a new Jonas Brothers song.
I love the Jonas Brothers!
My love for them came back strong. But it affected me deeper than I thought it would. For the first time in years, I started to feel hopeful about things that I never thought I’d be hopeful for again: love, romance, and family.
I love the Jonas Brothers because they’ve always been about love: love of music, love of performing, love of family. I latched onto that. I looked up to them because they too grew up wanting to “make their parents proud.” Down-to-earth, sweet, kinda scrappy in an indescribable way, and fun-loving, they exemplified the type of man I thought was worth marrying/chasing after at a young age. (They were also just absolutely adorable in so many ways, so there’s that too.)
“Yeah, you found me right before I’d given up…”-Strangers, Jonas Brothers
I started feeling hopeful about romance because when I was a kid, I had put them on a pedestal as examples of great men. They were vocal about their values and had genuine motivations but they also knew a thing or two about romance with the songs they’d write.
Kevin specifically would talk about romantic things he’d do for his wife Danielle and I know Joe and Nick looked up to that. In the comeback, their maturity really shined through in the songs off of Happiness Begins and it was truly amazing to see how they had grown in their ideas of what love is. It inspired me and set my heart on fire. (Also, they are the best modern love songwriters, you can quote me on that and put it on my tombstone.)
It’s kinda funny how the album came out right as I was in the midst of starting my first somewhat successful dating experience ever. The guy even texted me once that he was “a sucker” for me; like damn, if that doesn’t give a girl hope!
June 2019 was a very romantic time. I’ll never forget it and I thank the Jonas Brothers for not only being the soundtrack to that chapter, but reminding me that romance exists and I deserve it too.
“Wherever you are right now, know somehow
I’ll be on the way like a bat out of hell
Heaven knows I’m proud but I’ll turn ’round
Baby, if you stay then I won’t let you down, oh
Whatever we’ve done, whatever we’ll do
Baby, if you come back now
I’ll come back to you…”-Comeback, Jonas Brothers
I started feeling more hopeful about family after watching their documentary, Chasing Happiness, with my dad. They laid out their whole story and for me, all the pieces clicked together. I understood why I loved them so much: they too grew up with a family first mentality. I talked with my dad about how their story impacted me afterwards and how it made me hopeful that we could find healing in our family.
I realized that I needed to have a Nick Jonas moment and put my foot down about something with my parents. So I did and it wasn’t easy. I had never let myself get so sad and angry in front of my parents, but I think they needed to see how hurt I was by it. Over the course of the next few months, things got worse before they got better, but we’ve gotten to a better place. Now in this holiday season, I’ve come to understand that I’m still needed at home to practice healthy communication with every member of my family as we mature out of our nuclear family status. It’s really something I’m excited to see grow.
“Doesn’t matter anymore, now I got you here with me
Nothing matters any longer, now I got you here with me
I think about you every time I, every time I lose myself again…-I Believe, Jonas Brothers
The profound realizations of all this plus the fact that I refocused on my faith and found the church community I had been longing for triggered an intentional shift in how I wanted to live my life moving forward.
Like the reunited Jonas Brothers and my 12 year old self, I wanted to love my family again, to believe and practice the power of love, to celebrate everything along the harsh realities of life, and to have faith and hope in better days always.
And folks, in 2019, happiness began.