The Jonas Brothers met an absolutely packed venue at the Oakland Arena last month for the Bay Area stop on the band’s “Happiness Begins Tour.” After spirited opening performances by Bebe Rexha and Jordan McGraw, anticipation rolled over the room as fans let out piercing yells for the Jonas Brothers.
Starting the show with “Rollercoaster,” off of the brothers’ newest record, Happiness Begins, Nick, Kevin and Joe descended from the rafters above the stage on a wide platform. All wearing dapperly tailored outfits, the brothers raised screams from fans up and down the new stadium.
Old hits like “S.O.S.” were mixed between performances of newer songs such as “Cool” and “Only Human,” with every falsetto slammed to a T. For most of the show, it seemed as if the night was going by quickly as song after song raced out of the setlist.
For “That’s Just The Way We Roll,” the stage background was filled with the same towers off of the cover art for the 2008 record, A Little Bit Longer. Much of the concert was a travel through time for the Jonas Brothers, playing songs from more than a decade ago and showing scenes of the brothers growing up on the screens behind.
A series of heartfelt, cinematic videos kept the night moving along, following three boys who appeared to be younger versions of each of the brothers. As the young boys went through different challenges — walking through deserts and rainforests — they gradually came face to face with their future selves, the current brothers, in moving moments that could make everyone in the audience feel at least a little old.
But it wasn’t all throwbacks and memories, as the brothers’ newest holiday song, “Like It’s Christmas,” turned the stadium into a Christmas party. The brothers grabbed Santa hats as fake snow fell from the ceiling, a charming pause in the set to get a little cheery.
While by himself onstage, Kevin shared a story of when he and his brothers “talked about doing the Jonas Brothers again” a few years ago. And 73 shows later, it seems that no mistakes were made when it comes to the bond between the brothers, with these portions of the concert recalling their good times in a family band.
The brothers later shifted from the main stage onto a smaller platform at the center of the crowd for a performance of “Hesitate,” the ground lifting them into the air as glowing orbs floated above the audience. The crowd was full of color, many fans holding up signs and sporting bright Happiness Begins merchandise as if they were in middle school again.
While the show celebrated the Jonas Brothers’ comeback, it also honored the solo careers Nick and Joe built during their time apart. With performances of Nick’s song “Jealous” and “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE, Joe’s other musical project, the room went wild alongside towering inflatable tube characters you might find in a used car lot — but much cooler.
Slower numbers included performances of “Comeback” and “When You Look Me in the Eyes,” but one of the standout love songs of the night was “I Believe” from the new record. The fresh take on maturity and romance from the Jonas Brothers was breathing throughout the audience, making it hard to forget how much the brothers have grown since their Disney days, especially as the shot glasses came out and crowd members could be heard screaming, “Oh, my god — they’re drinking!”
After a whirlwind medley racing through the brothers’ repertoire over the last almost 15 years — including “Mandy,” “Paranoid” and “Hold On,” among many others — the brothers ended with crowd-favorite “Lovebug.” Fireworks rose from the stage at the build of the song, leaping into “Year 3000” before the big finale hit.
The room went dark, but mighty flames shot out from the stage as the beginning chords of “Burnin’ Up” sent the room back to 2008. While nothing was really aflame, the room smelled like a barbecue pit from the intensity of the fire. In all, it seemed as though the Jonas Brothers ran through almost all of the band’s discography for this tour — new and old, all made waves.