"It feels good to be home, thank you for believing in us," Kevin Jonas told the sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden Thursday night (Aug. 29), the first of two Jonas Brothers shows at the famed New York arena. With the show being just across the river from where the siblings grew up in New Jersey, the sibling treated it like a homecoming — and it sure felt like one.
There was an undeniable energy in the room both thanks to the brothers and their fans, and it never died throughout the entire 90-minute set. It seems this may be the vibe in every city, considering the tour's title, but the first MSG show was special because it marked the brothers' first stop in their hometown area on the Happiness Begins Tour.
Though they were just in town the week prior for the decidedly more intimate Pandora Live concert at Manhattan's Webster Hall, the guys recognized what their MSG show — the trio's first since 2008 — meant. "We came back here while we were filming Chasing Happiness, which is the documentary we put out," Nick told the crowd. "And we sat right here, in this exact spot, the three of us, and we looked at this big empty arena, and Kevin actually asked the question, 'Do you think we'll ever end up back here?'"
They made it back, alright. The Happiness Begins Tour feels like a celebration of everything the Jonas Brothers' career, but also the beginning of their larger-than-life new chapter, and they were clearly pumped to bring it to the place where it all began.
Check out some of the highlights from night one at MSG below.
The goosebump-inducing opening
The JoBros appropriately kicked off the show with their feel-good Happiness Begins track "Rollercoaster," a meaningful choice in itself thanks to the evocative lyrics. But the performance was as nostalgic as the song's story, as the guys descended down to the stage on a platform together surrounded by fireworks, reminiscent of the epic opening of their 2008 Burnin Up Tour.
Their brotherly love
While it's no secret that the guys are happier than they've ever been — and, in turn, closer than they've ever been as brothers — their excitement to be on stage with each other was practically tangible. They shared several moments smiling and laughing together, putting their arms around each other almost every time they were near one another. Their group hug after "Rollercoaster" was particuarly adorable, after hearing them sing, "It was fun when we were young and now we're older" and "I'd go back and ride that rollercoaster with you."
The #TBT moments on "That's Just the Way We Roll"
Always a fan favorite, you could feel the energy in the room spike as soon as the band started playing the undulating guitar riff. It was especially fun because of the throwback moments, including Kevin's "ha ha ha ha" ad lib and the swaying and clapping parts of the bridge (if you've been to a Jonas concert before, you know exactly what this part is — and that it's important).
"Please Be Mine," where it all started
As the guys were listening for song suggestions during their fan request part of the show, they decided to take things back to the beginning. "I feel like it's only fair that because we're coming home with this show… we grew up right across the bridge," Nick said, "that we play the song that got us to this point. The time where it all began." It was a special, very full-circle moment for the brothers and the fans alike.
Their family affair
Papa and Mama Jonas, Kevin's daughters Alena and Valentina and all three of the guys' wives were all in attendance, hanging in the front of the B-stage pit the entire show. Though none of the bros called out any of their family members, they high-fived their fam on the way to the B-stage, and those who noticed the Jonases caught Mama and Papa J jamming to "That's Just The Way We Roll" — as if it'll never get old, no matter how many times they've heard it.
Joe's take on "Jealous"
If you've ever wondered what Joe would sound like singing Nick's songs, this tour has your answer: incredible. After Nick takes the first verse on his solo hit, Joe joins in, and almost makes you forget that it's technically Nick's song. Of course Nick sounded great on the falsetto-heavy chorus, but Joe's grit added even more sex appeal to the sultry tune. Can we get a recorded version, please?
The crowd's dedication
From the second the lights went down, fans shot out of their seats, and stayed up for the show's entirety. The energy during the classic JB tunes was electric, as practically the entire arena was jumping. But even the new songs received a roaring reaction, with the sing-alongs to Happiness Begins songs like "Hesitate" and "Strangers" sounding almost as loud as one of their biggest hits.
The back-to-back tear-jerkers
Following a quick outfit change, the guys returned to the stage in white suits, with Kevin taking the piano — a surprise to even the biggest of Jonas fans — for their emotional Happiness Begins cut "Comeback." Joe and Nick's harmonies at the end of the song were enough to make fans teary eyed, but then they followed it with "When You Look Me in the Eyes." Needless to say, make sure you bring your tissues.
During the Jonas Brothers' second trip to the B-stage, Nick reminded the crowd that they're all grown up, as are the fans. "One thing that's different at a Jonas Brothers show from back then is that y'all are drinking with us," he said. They proceeded to toast the crowd and take a shot together, with Nick deciding that the MSG show called for a second shot. "I've said this for a long time — Jonas Brothers fans are a force to be reckoned with," he added, which resulted in an outburst of screams. "Y'all don't quit! And we love you for that, we thank you for that. Cheers to all of you."
The shout-out to the OGs
Joe mentioned that the Jonas Brothers have around 200 songs among the three of them, so they had to figure out a way to incorporate as many as they could. But their 8-minute medley wasn't just a run-through of hits, as they included A Little Bit Longer deep cut "Got Me Going Crazy," Lines, Vines and Trying Times album track "World War III" and "Play My Music" from Camp Rock (the second Camp Rock track of the night, as they played "Gotta Find You" earlier in the set). And they made sure to acknowledge those who know every word during the medley, which also included "Mandy," "Paranoid," "Hold On" and "Tonight." "We're talking about the fans that slept in the rain, the snow," Joe said. "All the parents that supported, thank you. This is for you."
The dynamic finish to "Lovebug"
"Lovebug" is always a wild time in concert, as the cutesy acoustic tune turns into an electric guitar-heavy rock-out. They've amplified the ending this time around, though, as Joe draws out the last line with a power note that makes you feel all the feels.
The flaming finish
Though the JoBros closed the show with their Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper "Sucker," their first song of the encore was 2008's smash "Burnin' Up," which included all of the flames one could imagine. Fire shot out from behind the guys every time the beat dropped, making for an awesomely dramatic ending that proved the Jonas Brothers are, indeed, still very much burnin' up.