By Julia Barth, Features Editor
Last Saturday, Darien Lake and the concert scene in Buffalo felt revived by the appearance of the long-anticipated Jonas Brothers. Coming out of the coronavirus pandemic, the band was able to promote their new album as well as their freshly released singles on their “Remember This” tour, which started late August and goes until the end of October.
The concert was high-energy, with the crowd jumping and dancing to almost every song they played whether it was a throwback or one of their newer hits. After years of touring together, and then years of being apart, the Jonas Brothers still know how to get up on stage and transform their hits into pop rock masterpieces that keep the audience hooked on their every move.
The brothers’ impressive stage presence is undeniable, and fans could tell that their chemistry with one another is better than ever. With people of all ages filling the seats — some OG fans and some new fans — Nick, Joe and Kevin brought a rocker vibe to the amphitheater, their voices, dance moves and confidence evolving with time.
Hits like “Lovebug,” “Burning Up” and “Year 3000” were of course played by the band, hyping up the audience; some of whom may have not heard those songs live in a decade or more. Surprisingly, their newer songs held up against the cult favorites, and the brothers brought a certain charm to songs like “Leave Before you Love Me” and “Only Human.”
However, I was shocked to find that one of my favorite parts of the show lied in the songs that soared on the charts during their breakup, when their solo careers began to take off. To be completely blunt, something about these songs — hits that dominated the radio in the mid-2010s — sounded that much better when performed by the band as a whole. Nick and Kevin were able to add their flares to DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean,” and Joe took Nick’s “Jealous” to a whole new level (no pun intended) than Nick had ever done before.
Another aspect of the Jonas Brothers’ new brand that certainly has not gone unnoticed is their outfits and how they have obviously leveled up over the years. The three of them manage to keep their own, unique styles, but all of them are experimenting with fabrics, textures, silhouettes, colors, jewelry and just pieces in general that fans never thought they would see the Jonas Brothers in. It is a testament to the band’s confidence in themselves and how they have grown and matured over the years. And, let’s face it, it is also a testament to the incredible mind of their stylists, who just know exactly what the “look” is right now.
Getting to this point wasn’t smooth sailing for the Jonas Brothers, however. A documentary that they released before dropping their 2019 reunion album “Happiness Begins” went into detail about their childhoods, how they grew into their voices and music and how they became a mega-successful boy band after being signed by Disney.
The documentary also dove into their personal lives, their struggles as a band and ultimately their breakup, which left the brothers emotionally distant from each other for years. Through the use of home movies and hundreds of behind-the-scenes videos from their career, as well as interviews from the guys themselves, the audience learned more about what happened offstage and off camera and finally how they were able to come back together, which took a lot of group therapy, discussions and individual realizations.
All of their hard work in coming back together paid off. The band that was on stage at Darien Lake last Saturday was cohesive, close-knit and truly a family.
One constant I’ve noticed from other boy bands throughout the years is that when they have gone their separate ways, they always made sure to refrain from even talking about their time in the band let alone acknowledge its impact.
The Jonas Brothers never did that, and for that, the world has got to respect them. They never distanced themselves from their roots; they were never too embarrassed to talk about the band or even perform old songs. That element is what makes people come back to see them, even after all those years apart. Seeing how Nick, Kevin and Joe — all married now and the latter two with kids — light up when they start singing a song over a decade old, written in their vulnerable teen years, is what makes the Jonas Brothers truly special.