Jonas Brothers take over Freehold, NJ
Kevin and Joe, along with brother Nick, were the faces which comprised the mega pop group; The Jonas Brothers.
This trio from Wyckoff New Jersey first arrived on the music scene circa. 2005 and rose to fame on the strength of several Disney Channel television shows and movies; becoming hugely popular with the pre-teen and young teenage set.
“It’s About Time,” the band’s first release in 2006, followed by “Jonas Brothers” and then 2008′s “A Little Bit Longer;” garnering the group a Grammy nomination for “Best New Artist” and resulting in the winning of an American Music Award for “Breakthrough Artist.” “Lines, Vines and Trying Times,” their fourth release in four years also marked a turning point in their career as they took a brief hiatus from the rigors of recording and touring to refresh and pursue solo projects.
Reassembling in 2012 with plans on recording a new disc, their crazed faithful were totally unprepared for what occurred next; an October 2013 break up. Siting a need to “…move forward on individual career paths,” the talented trio of heart throbs dissolved the group and pursued various other TV and film careers; leaving record sales of over 20 million behind them.
Recently, whether it might be nostalgia, financial or just an overwhelming desire to reconnect with their fan base; the Jonas Brothers have resurfaced. In what may be either a novelty, an attempt to reconnect as a feeling out process for a possible reunion or just a stroke of sheer marketing genius; the Jonas Brothers are back on the road but this time sans Nick as he is in Los Angeles with other commitments.
“Off The Record an Evening With Kevin and Joe Jonas” is a unique slightly more than hour long show featuring the two mainstays of this once super power pop group. Narrated by their childhood friend, this initial show of what is only three scheduled, took place recently in Freehold, NJ at iPlay America.
Two empty director’s chairs on stage greeted the capacity crowd made up mostly of teenaged and early 20 something young women and their mothers. Kevin Jonas appeared to huge applause only slightly after the 8 p.m. scheduled start and began assuming the role of the “less popular” brother as he spoke briefly then introduced Joe to a crowd reaction normally seen in old Beatles and Elvis film.footage. Next, Kevin’s good natured ribbing of himself and his brother continued as the first of multiple videos were shown on the two large screens on either side of the stage; depicting Kevin as a “Regular Joe” and his more flamboyant brother as iconic. It was during this time, as all eyes were focused on the screens, that a quick stage change took place. The directors chairs were replaced with a leather chair, couch, fireplace (complete with brother Nick’s picture on mantel), plants and several other comforts of home in preparation for the ensuing Q & A session that would prove to be wildly popular.
After several more cute and comical videos, including home movies, and early individual performances; the Q & A began with this still unanswered question, ” Why did you break up?” This question came up several times throughout the evening and was deftly evaded by the duo on each occasion.
Next, the thrill of a lifetime for two young women who were chosen from the audience to participate in a “Family Feud” style game show called, “Know Your Bro” where they were pitted against Kevin and Joe in an attempt to see if they, or the brothers, knew more about one another. Each contestant was called upon stage, receiving a hug from each of the brothers before taking her place at a small garden center column turned podium. A best two out of three format ensued with questions geared towards making a winner out of the fortunate challenger. The prize? Santa Claus arrived on stage and each lady adorned his knee along with a Jonas on either side in what was billed as “This year’s Christmas card.”
Earlier in the evening, the suggestion had come about that since the stage props were made to have that “at home” feel, perhaps we should order pizza. A quick call to a local pizzeria was met with expected laughter as the ensuing call took place over Kevin’s cell phone, speaker function fully on; “Pizza for one, two, three, oh I don’t know a hundred and twenty or so?”
More Q & A and corresponding video from passed Jonas tours showing the phenomena that the band had become, none more evident then when they attempted to do some unannounced sight seeing in Rio de Janeiro. As word quickly spread and the gathering of a flash mob forced a security situation, there was a temporary closing of the famed statue which they were observing.
A wide range of more questions ensued, chosen from a large fish bowl of audience member inquiries as Kevin’s cell phone rang from his pocket, “Oh yeah, great! Pizza’s here!” Within seconds, iPlay America employees were pacing the aisles handing out plates and pizzas for all to enjoy courtesy of the brothers Jonas.
Another game show style contest “Two truths and One Lie” invited two more young ladies up to the spotlight as their knowledge of Jonas trivia was tested; once again the prize was a photo on the sofa with one or both Kevin and Joe.
More video and more audience questions were fielded as the night was both light hearted and informative. The brothers poked fun at themselves as well as seemingly enjoyed others doing so too, as one of the videos displayed was that of numerous programs, comics and talk show hosts who have lampooned the group.
Once again, the night’s final inquiry was, “So, why did you break up?” Again no direct response was given, however, the door was left open for a potential reunion of sorts when it was divulged that they had been working on some new material; details, like Nick were left out of this particular affair but the mere mention of Jonas working on new music, whether it be as a group or individuals, drew loud approval from this still enthusiastic crowd.
Shortly thereafter, both Kevin and Joe were genuinely gracious and sincere in thanking the fans who were in attendance and those who were not. They beamed as they offered appreciation for years of support both then and now and no matter what the intent of the program they succeeded in piquing the interest of fans both young and a bit older.
Three shows and only three shows here on the east coast; were they testing the waters? We can only wait and see what the future holds but for now we know they are still out there and so is their ravenous fan base. Stay tuned….