Editor’s note: Who better to write about the Jonas Bros. concert than a member of the boys’ tween and teen audience? This post-concert column was written by Mackenzie Brennan, a Scottsdale girl.
Standing in the dark, pulsating auditorium, one would never guess the band about to take the stage were pastor’s sons from New Jersey. The Cricket Pavillion is packed with screeching and sobbing teens, preteens and parents. As they jump around in anticipation, the auditorium is lit by blinding strobe lights and camera flashes. The three Jonas Brothers rise from trapdoors in the stage, and spotlights dance over the hysterical crowd.
There is, however, one thing about which I am still in the dark: Can the Jonas Brothers make the jump from “boy band” to “rock band” – a transition that has destroyed so many teen sensations over the years? I am hoping this concert will help shed some light.
The Jonas Brothers made their debut with 2005’s “It’s About Time,” a very young-sounding CD whose low sales caused the brothers to be dropped from their Columbia record label. Kevin, Jo, and Nick Jonas (ages 20, 18 and 15 respectively) were soon picked up by the Disney affiliate, Hollywood records, which apparently saw the potential of the brothers. Through Hollywood, they released a self-titled CD in 2007.
With platinum CD sales and a recent stint opening for the wildly popular Hannah Montana, as well as a TV show set to open the summer of 2008, the Jonas Brothers are poised for superstardom. So will fame will corrupt Disney’s resident emo group? Probably not. The boys already donate 10 percent of their earnings to charity; and unlike contemporaries, such as Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Lynn Spears, each of the Jonas boys wears a “purity ring” symbolizing a promise to remain chaste until marriage.
But the question remains, can the Jonas brother make the jump? The favor that the “Jo Bros” had with the 5-to-10-year-old set is unquestionable. But it seems that the basis of Jonas-mania may only be skin-deep. When six-year-old Nora Day was asked why she loved the Jonas Brothers, she immediately answered, “They’re cute!” This is worrisome, as this pretty boy appeal is what led bands like N-Sync and The Backstreet Boys to their demise.
However, the Jonas Brothers seem to be trying to move beyond this stereotype by playing their own instruments, writing most of their own songs and tackling difficult subjects- like Nick’s fight against diabetes. Unfortunately, the latter song, which was prefaced by an in-depth explanation of the subject matter, was still met only by oblivious screams of “I love you, Nick!” and “You’re sooo cute!”
Thus when the house lights come up, I have failed to be enlightened. What does fate have in store for the Jonas Brothers? Will their fans be just as loyal when little Nick turns 20? Perhaps, more importantly, does it even matter? The Jonas Brothers seem perfectly comfortable living in the moment, and for the time being are doing just fine getting ‘tweens on their feet with what Nora calls “fun, dance-y beats” as in their recent hit, "S.O.S."
Only time will tell whether they will persevere like the Monkees, or even the Beatles, or if they will endure a Disney-induced crash and burn like fellow performing brothers, Aaron and Nick Carter. One thing is for sure: although they’re no Hannah Montana (yet), these Jersey Boys have certainly made their mark on history.