Walking into the Imperial Ballroom at The Atlantis, I was immediately struck by the strange mix of spectators: drunk adults stumbling to their seats, young children looking confused and teenage girls excitingly gasping every time they saw motion backstage. After a successful year since their latest album Happiness Begins and the conclusion of their sold-out tour, the Jonas Brothers wrapped up 2019 by playing one last show at The Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas.
Unlike arenas the band filled during their tour, the resort’s ballroom accommodated only a few hundred people and was filled with both locals and tourists. The band offered special seating for residents of the island, where one could catch a glimpse of the brothers peeking through the makeshift curtains, sending the audience into a frenzy. Twenty-year old fans sported their old Jonas Brothers merch and waved signs with pictures of their younger selves (specifically when the band last played on the island back in 2009). In the main part of the ballroom, the tourist section was an array of young fans and older folks in search of entertainment for the night, creating an odd mix of dancing fans and confused spectators who preferred to remain seated for most of the show.
While the show was not an official stop on the tour, the band incorporated a few elements from their American performances and mainly followed the tour’s set-list. They opened with “Rollercoaster,” a song off their new album, then immediately jumped into a throwback with their 2006 hit “S.O.S.” Much of the first half was dedicated to their newer music, including “Cool” and “Only Human,” two fan favorites off the new album. “I Believe” and “Hesitate,” two love ballads off the new album, were also sprinkled into the set. Also featured from the new album was “Comeback,” the epitome of the brothers’ reunion.
As they’ve done in previous shows, the brothers took song requests from the audience, showcasing throwback songs that haven’t been heard live in years, and Nick and Joe both showcased work from their solo careers with “Jealous” and “Cake by the Ocean.” Scanning the crowd, it was clear some of the audience members have never heard the band’s older music before as they remained seated and politely tapped their feet to the beat of some of the band’s most well-known songs like “When You Look Me in the Eyes” and “Lovebug.” Others, mainly women and young girls below the age of thirty, were on their feet for the entirety of the show, belting lyrics and attempting to dance along in the cramped rows of seats.
The band didn’t have much to say in between songs except that they were glad to be playing their last show of the year in the Bahamas. The brothers offered a toast before speeding through a medley of some of their older songs including “Mandy,” “Paranoid” and “Play My Music.” Kevin attempted to share a few words in the middle of the show, but his broken microphone left the audience confused, adding to the awkwardness of the night. They finished up the performance with three of their most popular songs, starting with “Year 3000” before breaking into “Burnin’ Up.” They came full circle wrapping up 2019 with “Sucker,” a single they released nearly a year ago and the impetus for their reunion and newfound success.
While the brothers’ island performance certainly lacked the same vigor and showmanship from their American shows, the trio was still able to transport a crowd of twenty-somethings back to their childhoods. Perhaps this show felt different because the band was not equipped with the fireworks and light show from their tour, or maybe it was simply because they were burnt out after a long year. Regardless, witnessing the reunion of the band that created the music I first fell in love with thirteen years ago will always be an experience filled with nostalgia, tears and lots of dancing.