Come on along and listen to the Jonas Brothers on Broadway! Throughout last week, the superstars took over the Marquis Theatre in midtown Manhattan for an exhilarating five-night residency on the very same stage where Nick Jonas made his Broadway debut as Little Jake two years into the 1999 revival of Annie Get Your Gun.
Each night, Nick, Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas shone the bright lights of Broadway onto one of their past albums — starting with 2007’s Jonas Brothers and moving chronologically through 2008’s A Little Bit Longer, 2009’s Lines, Vines and Trying Times and 2019’s Happiness Begins.
“It really is kind of an emotional experience because you’re walking through different chapters of your life and your journey, both as a band and also as family, and kind of where we were at those pivotal moments when we released those albums,” Nick dished to Billboard at SXSW ahead of the residency’s first night.
But those first four shows, filled with songs some of which the siblings hadn’t played in over a decade, were all leading up to Saturday night (March 18), when the JoBros debuted their forthcoming sixth album, The Album, live for the very first time for a select audience of friends, family and superfans lucky enough to snag a ticket. (Yes, Danielle Jonas, Sophie Turner and Priyanka Chopra were all present and accounted for to cheer their husbands on for the evening, as were Mama and Papa Jonas.)
Billboard was also on the scene to hear The Album ahead of its May 12 release via Republic Records. Read on for all the best and most exciting moments from the special, one-night-only occasion.
“Wings” is the One, the Sun, the Light of Day
It’s been less than a month since the Jonas Brothers kicked off their latest era with lead single “Wings.” But that was, of course, more than enough time for fans to memorize every word to the soft rock-laced bop. And though they performed it as part the set during each of the four preceding nights, “Wings” certainly hit differently in context with other songs from The Album. With Nick and Joe trading vocals and a theater full of Jonatics gleefully singing along, the earworm went all the way to the rafters.
It’s Always Love at the “Waffle House“
“Waffle House,” which the siblings have already started teasing on social media, just might be their most personal song yet. “One of the things that we used to do back in the day before we were old enough to go and decompress post-show at a bar, was we would just go to a Waffle House,” Nick explained while introducing the song, “and sit there and spend hours talking about those experiences on stage, life on the road, and it really became a foundation for our relationship as brothers outside of the music that we did together.”
As evidenced by the JoBros sneak peek on TikTok, the surefire highlight — which would be perfect as The Album‘s next single — jitters with a funky groove and harmonies fit for a gospel choir as Joe and Nick preach, “No, don’t get stressed, it’s gon’ get figured out/ Oh, deep conversations at the Waffle House/ Headstrong father and a determined mother/ Oh, that’s why some nights we try to kill each other/ But you know it’s always love.”
The Rest of The Album Is Going to Slap
Nick wasn’t kidding when he declared that the band’s sixth album would be pulling influences and musical inspiration from ’70s acts like the Bee Gees, America, Boston and Stevie Wonder. Track for track, the sneak peek of The Album was an instantly nostalgic thrill ride filled with plenty of harmonies, guitar and the most mature, intimate songwriting from the brothers to date — from the disco-lite pulse of “Sail Away” to the melodic, sensual “Vacation Eyes,” which Kevin adoringly dedicated to Danielle in the orchestra.
Tender ballad “Little Bird” — which the trio wrote from their newly shared perspective on fatherhood (“we’re all dads, but we’re girl dads,” Joe stated to an explosion of cheers from the crowd) — is primed to be a father-daughter dance of choice at Jonatic weddings for years to come, and the horn-infused “Celebrate!” earned the exclamation point in its title by getting the party started as the very first song of the night.
“Montana Sky” (the first song the brothers wrote for The Album) was perhaps the most immediate album cut outside of “Waffle House” thanks to its dueling America-style guitars, shoutouts from New York City to George and a lovestruck refrain of “You’re the one, you’re the one walkin’ in my head.” And even without its promised guest feature from Jon Bellion — who also serves as the studio set’s executive producer — the album closer brought the theater to a state of euphoria as it morphed from a thoughtful plea into a bombastic, arena-ready finale.
Took a Ship to the Year 3000
After a proper, Broadway-style intermission, Act 2 of the show played out like the greatest of greatest hits collections, including the requisite forays into Nick’s solo career and Joe’s work with DNCE. Especially for the occasion, the former resurrected the gospel version of his 2014 single “Jealous” to divine effect and the latter happily shared the spotlight with DNCE guitarist JinJoo Lee on fan favorites like “Toothpaste” and “Cake by the Ocean.” (DNCE drummer Jack Lawless was also behind the drum kit for the evening.)
But nothing could top classic JoBros hits like “S.O.S.,” “That’s Just the Way We Roll,” “Lovebug” and “Burnin’ Up,” complete with Nick’s iconic delivery of “red dress” which elicited Beatlemania-level screams of adoration from the audience. And yet, no other song from the band’s ’00s-era catalog got quite the same reaction as “Year 3000.” Every fan scream-sang every single word of the 2006 single, filling the Marquis Theatre with an electric energy that could’ve super-charged a Flux Capacitor.
Kevin’s Lullaby of Broadway
Hysterically, much was made throughout the evening of Kevin finally making his Broadway debut years after his brothers. It even started with Broadway actors Sis, Alex Boniello and Andrew Barth Feldman reading from “The Book” as Nick, Joe and Kevin, respectively, at the start of the show. (“Yeah guys, we know you all did theater! We get it!”) But the running gag turned serious and sentimental when Joe — who took his first Broadway bow in Baz Luhrmann’s 2002’s production of La Bohème — paused the show midway through the second act to properly celebrate Kevin’s debut on the Great White Way. And naturally, he did so by singing the hook from Hilary Duff’s “What Dreams Are Made Of,” giving fans the Disney Channel crossover they didn’t know they needed for the night.