Close your eyes and imagine what comes to mind when thinking of Jonas Brothers fans. For me, it’s gaggles of young girls adorned in sequined tops and brightly colored merch screaming their heads off. But that’s not who showed up to the band’s surprise Los Angeles concert at The Theater at the Ace Hotel on April 25. Both the Jonas Brothers and their fans are all grown up.
The screaming fans weren’t exactly young. In the time since Jonas Brothers graced the covers of teenie bop magazines and went on talk shows to discuss their purity rings, their once young fan base grew up and got a jobs in corporate America — but they never lost sight of their fandom. While the crowd was overwhelmingly comprised of women (the venue even opened the men’s bathroom to women to help curb the lines), the majority of the concertgoers were in their late 20’s and 30’s. Sure, some still rocked sequined tops depicting who their favorite Jonas brother is (Nick was shown the most love out of the three), but most of the people there looked like they had come straight from their office job.
Just like their fans, the Jonas Brothers have come a long way since adolescence, as heard in their new music. Just a few weeks before the release of The Album, the band’s sixth studio album which drops May 12, the brothers took an opportunity to try out new songs in an intimate setting. After opening with their recent single “Waffle House,” Nick took over the mic to explain how the show was about to proceed. The brothers planned to play a “good amount” of new songs in the first half of the show, then return with all their hits after a short intermission.
Nick went on to share the story of how The Album came to be. Jonas Brothers began writing music for this project about a year and a half ago, a time when all three were hitting some major life milestones. Nick and Joe were in their first years of marriage to their partners — Priyanka Chopra and Sophia Turner — and both became first-time fathers. Because of that, their music has changed along with them. Where Happiness Begins was filled with jaunty tunes about relationships and sex, The Album takes a turn inward. Many of the songs they premiered for the crowd are more acoustic-leaning, and have themes of “family, and fatherhood, and love of course,” according to Nick.
What a night LA! Getting to play a few songs from THE ALBUM our first time at @theatre_acedtla was so special. Dallas-Fort Worth, you’re up tonight!! pic.twitter.com/i7DE4m2nG1
— Jonas Brothers (@jonasbrothers) April 26, 2023
Joined on the stage by six backup singers and a full band, they launched into performances of new songs. Songs like “Montana Sky” and “Vacation Eyes” were tender and soulful ballads, the latter Kevin said is about “what it feels like to be in love with a person who makes you feel like you’re on vacation every day.” Others like “Celebrate!” were more upbeat and got the crowd moving. After giving a rendition of The Album‘s lead single “Wings,” the lights dimmed and the boys brought out stools and acoustic guitars to sing “Little Bird,” a soaring lullaby which was dedicated to all the parents and children in the crowd.
Following a brief intermission, Jonas Brothers returned to the stage to fire off back-to-back hits. The crowd screamed along to “Leave Before You Love Me” and “What A Man Gotta Do,” two songs that dropped following their 2019 comeback. Then, both Nick and Joe got to have their solo moment. Nick took center stage for “Close,” his 2016 collab with Tove Lo, and Joe busted out the DNCE numbers “Toothbrush” and “Cake By The Ocean.” Speaking of DNCE, Joe’s side project that dominated radio in the mid-2010s, the band invited DNCE drummer Jack Lawless and guitarist JinJoo Lee to join them on stage. Lee absolutely stole the show with her guitar solos; at one point, she dramatically fell to the ground and continued to play on-beat as she was lying down.
It was clear throughout the concert that this intimate show was designed for the biggest Jonas Brothers fans. The crowd seemed eager to hear unreleased music and they would instantly recognize most songs after only one chord was played. Paying service to their day-ones, the brothers would throw t-shirts into the crowd and let us take over singing choruses. Their closing songs were perhaps the biggest example of how this show was a love letter to their fans. Though there was no encore, Jonas Brothers ended their set with three of their biggest hits back-to-back: “Year 3000,” “Burning Up,” and “Sucker.”
As the crowd filed out of the venue, still amped up on screaming along to their favorite songs, one thing became clear: Jonas Brothers, their fans, and their music have all come a long way. The Album is perhaps their most mature work to date, with songs reflecting their current season of life. It’s a season of life many of their fans are also in, judging by the number 30-year-olds, moms, and soon-to-be moms I saw in the crowd. But no matter how much work or family duties take over, Jonas Brothers fans will always have time to drop everything and show up for their favorite band on a Tuesday night.
The Album is out May 12 via Republic. Find more information here.