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Jonas Brothers REVIEW: Chapter 2 of their journey gets off to a great start

The Jonas Brothers’ return with a sophisticated pop album, produced by Adele collaborator and One Republic frontman Ryan Tedder, in the year 2019 was a move not many people anticipated. Fewer still expected it to go down as spectacularly well as it has. In the Year of Jonas, the former teen sensations have stormed back into the charts on both sides of the pond, with the lead single, Sucker, which perfectly blended brothers Joe and Nick Jonas’ solo styles in the years post-hiatus, debuting at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, their first ever chart-topping single.

Back from their break, having healed the rifts the split created between them, Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas set the tone for their O2 gig with a poignant VT, introducing the theme for the night as young actors play younger versions of the band.

The Jonas Brothers open their packed out O2 gig with Rollercoaster, the emotional, reflective belter which ignited both their comeback album, Happiness Begins, and the Amazon Prime documentary of the same name, which explored their history and provided a frank look at the break-up which tested their familial bond.

From there, it’s straight in with the crowd pleaser as the boys bring back S.O.S.

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This is what the fans came for — a throwback and proven pop punk banger which stands the test of time far beyond its nostalgia.

READ MORE: SOPHIE TURNER REACTS TO UNEARTHED JOE JONAS VIDEO

Jonas Brothers tour review: The band returned to UK soil for their first tour post-hiatus (Image: GETTY)

Jonas Brothers tour review: The band reunited last year (Image: GETTY)

Reunited on stage six years after guitarist, singer, songwriter (and actor) Nick broke the news to his brothers that he wanted out, the band are comfortable and synchronised: the performance is polished and the harmonies are pitch perfect.

Cool, the second single from Happiness Begins, is much better live, bringing more swagger than its slightly bland recorded counterpart. It also allows Nick to show off his superior vocals.

While the old days used to see Joe struggle through what few verses he was allotted, finding more success as the band’s go-to chorus guy, part two of the Jonas Brothers’ career has more cohesion: parts are better tailored to his register, allowing the middle brother’s talents to flourish.


The Happiness Begins Tour is heavy on new material, which — while it grounds the Jonas Brothers’ return in authenticity and proving a genuine interest in pushing forwards rather than squeezing more cash out of previous success — is just a bit flat.

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Only Human chalks up a small victory for the new album, but the setlist is also peppered with the likes of Strangers and Used To Be where old favourites would’ve packed a more powerful punch.

Jonas Brothers tour review: The brothers looked delighted to be back performing together (Image: GETTY)

Sweet to see is the joy which bubbles up from under a carefully curated stage persona on the part of Joe, the only one who goes whole shows unhampered by a guitar, instead strutting enthusiastically around and feeding off the crowd.

While Nick maintains his attitude as the cool, aloof one, it’s clear his older sibling is utterly consumed by delight at being back performing live with his brothers.

On a rare occasion, a brooding Nick hitmaker allows himself a small smile, but it’s brief in comparison to Joe’s unselfconscious joy.

Kevin, meanwhile, the eldest of the three, thrives in his old spot, stage right, rhythm guitar firmly under his control.

The show is interspersed with three instalments of the video story, one for each brother, as the young versions meet their older counterparts in a display of the journey each has travelled over the past 15 years.

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Moments of togetherness punctuate the night, like Nick and Joe sharing a heartfelt handshake handover as the former hands his solo single Jealous over to his brother for the second verse.

But there’s a distinct lack of any spontaneity, with every interaction with the audience and every link precisely scripted and choreographed.

For a band who accumulated such a passionate and sizeable following in no small part thanks to their personalities and fan engagement, as one of the first acts to ride the viral wave through YouTube videos and MySpace, it’s a missed opportunity to share a genuine connection with their audience.

The one interaction which really cuts through arrives mid-set after the band disappear for a quick breather.

Kevin returns to the stage first, taking in the magnitude of London’s O2 Arena before proceeding to share a moment of vulnerability, looking back on the tentative conversations the group had about getting the Jonas Brothers back together six years after the start of their hiatus.

After much healing between the bandmates/brothers following his youngest brother’s decision to leave the group, they were finally ready to make music together again but, Kevin admits, the first question he asked was: “Do you think anybody will care?”

Robotic itinerary aside, the Jonas Brothers put on a warm show packed full of energy, though not the backflipping kind they used to demonstrate in their (even) younger years and what’s overwhelmingly clear is the love which fills the cavernous room for the boys many have watched grow from keen teens to polished popstars.

The saving grace is that even their rehearsed spiel feels authentic; there’s a sense of real affection there, even if it is a little muted.

The band bring the show to a monumental crescendo with a relentless medley of vintage hits, shouting out the fans who have been there since the beginning and cycling through Mandy, Paranoid, Got Me Going Crazy, a nod to Camp Rock with Play My Music, World War III, real old school favourite Hold On and then Tonight.

After a brief interlude, the screens show the three young boys morphing into the Jonas Brothers today: right where they’re supposed to be having navigated the recent twists and turns of their story.

The band returns for an encore of epic proportions as they follow Burnin’ Up with Sucker and, as the trio hold hands and bow out, one thing’s abundantly clear: plenty of people care the the Jonas Brothers are back.

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