Let me indulge — the end of the Jonas Brothers

Okay, readers, it’s highly likely that this post will be uninteresting to you, but I kind of don’t care. This is more for me than it is for anyone else because I’m feeling sentimental and emotional and I need to put it somewhere.

The Jonas Brothers announced yesterday that they’ve officially split as a band after canceling a tour a few weeks ago just days before it was meant to begin. This announcement wasn’t altogether unexpected, but to those of us who’ve stayed (Nick Jonas and the Administration, anyone?) since the beginning, it’s still a heartbreaker.

I first saw those Jonas boys on February 24, 2008 with my best friend and two other good friends. I bought tickets to the concert knowing enough about the band that I went out bought the CD “Jonas Brothers” and listened obsessively until the show. I called myself a fan, but that night changed things. It became a real thing in my life. I cared about these boys. I knew them. I never picked a favorite because I felt that it would be unfair. I suddenly became an expert on Type 1 Diabetes because Nick has it (yeah, it’s weird, I know). They changed me.

That first concert (and the planning leading up to it) brought my best friend and I together. We’d been good friends before then, but this bonded us in a new way that I’ve never shared with anyone else. We spent far too many hours discussing the Jonas family, imagining what it would be like to meet them, how we would fall in love and everything would be perfect. We were the craziest of sixteen-year-old fangirls, and we loved every minute of it.

Katie and I also suffered because of our devotion to these boys, but I think it only served to bring us closer and make us more loyal to the band. We quickly became ostracized when we started wearing skinny jeans and talking about the Jonas Brothers all the time (yeah, I think we were probably kind of obnoxious, but we also were totally on top of the skinny jean trend, so take that, bullies). As far as I’m concerned, other people could hate us all they want to if their only justification was our infatuation with a boy band. High school is a cruel place, but we had something that made being made fun of totally worth it.

Our second Jonas show was July 23, 2008, when I was fortunate enough to win a meet-and-greet pass. Katie didn’t get to come with me, which is probably the biggest regret of this whole experience, but it was a magical moment. It all happened so quickly but I loved every second of it. I have a hard time imagining that there will ever be a time when my photo with the Jonas Brothers won’t be on display at some location in my home.

From that point on, we were just known as the Jonas girls, which was totally fine. We flipped out any time the boys had new girlfriends (sorry, Selena, we totally hated you) and obsessively watched their live chats and YouTube videos. We spent hours on Jonas secrets. We hung their posters on our walls. We bought and memorized their new albums immediately. We even went to school on the day “A Little Bit Longer” was released wearing the exact same outfits (Jonas concert Ts, skinny jeans, and green converse — sorry, world).

It seems like 2008 and 2009 were filled with Jonas moments, whether in our own discussions or going to concerts or watching them on TV. In 2010, we saw Nick on his solo tour and the Camp Rock 2 tour, after which the boys took a long break to pursue different aspirations. But fear not, world, we didn’t give up on them; Katie and I drove to New York City last summer with my mom to see Nick on Broadway in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and we finally got to live out our fantasies by sitting with the H2$ softball team at a game and going backstage after the show to meet Nick. Obviously, our dedication didn’t falter.

When the boys announced this spring that they’d be doing another tour together, I was ecstatic. Because we’re growing up, though, Katie spent the summer across the country interning, so I bought myself a ticket to see the tour in Indianapolis where I could join up with friends I’d met thanks to my beloved band. Being in that environment again after three years brought all those old emotions back; I was once again the crazy fangirl I’d been at sixteen, but I was disheartened to see the venue so empty compared to the shows of a few years ago. Most fans have stayed loyal, but there was definitely something lost in their years away.

The worst part of that show, though, was experiencing it without Katie. Before then, we’d been to six Jonas-related events together, and considering all we went through together for this band, it felt a bit surreal to be doing it without her. For the first time I cried at a Jonas concert, multiple times. I’ve never been a crier, but seeing them again coupled with missing my best friend brought out my emotions. (I was kind of a hot mess during “When You Look Me in the Eyes.” I don’t want to talk about it.)

Despite my emotions, it was so exciting to see the boys performing together again, and the promise of an upcoming album made it seem like I could relive some memories that have been the best experiences of my life. The announcement of the band’s split killed those hopes, though I don’t blame the Jonases for this decision. It makes sense that they’d go their separate ways, but did it have to happen at such a promising time? The sixteen-year-old in me is still hurt.

With the knowledge that these boys are done (for now) making music together, I just have a few things to say. First, thank you to my mom, who spent far too much money helping me live out these dreams. You never acted like I was crazy for wanting to follow a boy band around the country, so thank you. I absolutely wouldn’t be the same person without these experiences.

Katie, thank you for being my best friend and experiencing this all with me. Sometimes I can’t believe all the embarrassing things we did for these boys (remember the scrapbook? And the “green” photoshoot?), but I’m so glad we did. When we celebrate our best friend-iversary on February 24, we must toast to all those crazy decisions we made for this family. These boys will always be what connects us, and for that, I’m very grateful.

Finally, to Kevin, Joe, and Nick, thank you thank you thank you. You boys gave me my best friend and some of the greatest time we’ve ever had together. You inspired a sense of adventure in me that has changed the way I live and allowed me so many life-changing experiences. My memories of you may fade, but the feeling I get when I look back on all of this will never go away. Thank you for shaping who I am and giving me the best childhood I could have ever asked for.

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