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Culture > Entertainment

15 Years of Fandom: How The Jonas Brothers Shaped My Childhood 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

I bought the ticket on a whim. It was an impulsive decision to try to make up for another dream concert falling through. In July, September felt like a lifetime away. I didn’t obsessively listen to their music leading up to the concert. In fact, I almost sold my ticket. I was still recovering from a cold and I worried I would regret going instead of resting and recovering. But in the end, I decided to stick it out, and I am beyond glad I did. 

“Mitchie, up! Last day of school!” The opening sequence of Camp Rock is one of the most nostalgic things I can think of. Mitchie jams out to “Who Will I Be” while getting ready for her last day of school, hoping that her summer will be spent at Camp Rock. The movie came out on June 20th, 2008 when I was 5 years old; almost exactly one month before I would see the Jonas Brothers in concert on July 19th, 2008: my first ever concert. 

My younger sibling and I were always obsessed with singing and dancing. When we were littler, the Wiggles were our inspiration, but once we graduated to Disney Channel, the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato ruled our world. We would duet “This is Me” and dance as hard as we could to “We Rock.” I remember being so excited going to the concert. I went with my mom, my older cousin Tori, and my younger sibling. I was so little, so I don’t remember much of the specifics, but I do remember the feeling of pure bliss and joy, jumping around and screaming along to the songs I loved so much. 

When Camp Rock 2 came out, Tori was babysitting my sibling and me. I begged her to let me stay up and watch the premier with her, and she did. I was 7 years old and it was probably around 10 p.m. I fell asleep about halfway through, but I tried with everything in me to stay up. I fought sleep as hard as I could, all for the Jonas Brothers. 

My parents split up around the time I went to the concert. Through all the chaos and sadness of my home splitting in half, I had the Jonas Brothers. Eventually, both my parents started seeing other people. Between the first and second Camp Rock coming out, I got four older sisters on my dad’s side, and they all loved the Jonas Brothers too. Rhyan and Malea are closest in age to me, and we used to argue over which of us would get which Jonas Brother. Malea and I always fought over Nick. I remember one time we had a cut-out picture of him and I ran into the bathroom with it and locked myself in there in an attempt to take him for myself. As silly and strange as it was, our shared obsession with the Jonas Brothers bonded us together. Adjusting to a blended family is challenging, especially when you’re little, but the Jonas Brothers did their small part in making the transition a bit easier for us.

I went back and forth between my mom and dad’s houses for most of my childhood. The Jonas Brothers were always a constant, especially in the early years. My mom would play the CD when we were with her, and my older sisters and I would rewatch the movies and scream sing the songs when I was at my dad’s. So much of the back and forth and my childhood, in general, was quite traumatic and difficult to get through, but when I think back to the good moments, the Jonas Brothers were part of a lot of them. 

My sister Rhyan got herself and my oldest sister, Mercedes, tickets to the Jonas Brothers concert for Mercedes’ birthday. I bought my ticket after them and was excited for the experience, but it didn’t feel like a big deal. Rhyan moved to Las Vegas in early August, the farthest we’ve lived from each other since we were 7. We’re only 10 months apart and have been best friends for as long as we’ve known each other. She flew back to Colorado for the weekend of the concert, and though it had only been a little over a month and I’d gone longer without seeing her, I was beyond excited for our reunion. Even though I stayed in state for college and my sisters didn’t live that far from me, it was always hard to arrange getting together, even before Rhyan moved. Concert aside, I was so excited to see Mercedes and Rhyan. The Jonas Brothers brought us together yet again, over a decade later. 

After a series of fortunate events, we ended up getting to sit in a box at the Ball Arena instead of our original seats. We were right in the center and incredibly close to Stage B. It felt really cool and lucky, but it still hadn’t set in yet. Once the countdown started and they came on stage, the reality of it all slowly crept in. Shortly after, a video montage of the three of them through the years started playing, and that sealed the deal. I started sobbing, and I didn’t stop sobbing for the entire first half of the concert. 

Mercedes and Rhyan looked at me like I was insane (in the most loving way of course) and seemed confused and slightly concerned. I was confused too. I had no idea what came over me and I wasn’t expecting it. I lost control, and I gave in. I closed my eyes and let the music take over. Though my music taste has shifted significantly over the past 15 years and I don’t particularly love most of their newer songs, the nostalgia and love I have for them still remains. 

After the concert, my eyes burning from the salt and barely staying open, we got back to Mercedes’ apartment. We all fell asleep almost immediately, completely exhausted. The next morning, Rhyan jokingly asked, “Would you wanna come see them again in Vegas?” I giggled, and curious, asked when they were playing. 

“October 27th.” 

There’s no way, I thought. That’s the Friday after my 21st birthday. When Rhyan first told me she was moving to Vegas, I joked about going and staying with her for my 21st, trying to hold onto something to make the distance between us more manageable. But I never actually started planning a trip. I had talked myself out of it over the logistics and buying a plane ticket, but the Jonas Brothers playing there only three days after my birthday? It seemed too perfect. I decided right then and there that I was going to make it happen. 

The flight is booked and the tickets are bought. I am seeing the Jonas Brothers for the third time in less than two weeks. My first ever concert at only 5 years old, and the first concert I’ll go to after turning 21–it feels like a pretty big full circle moment. As silly as it may seem, I can’t thank the Jonas Brothers enough. It’s nearly impossible to think about the happy parts of my childhood without thinking about them. Their music and their presence served as a positive constant for me and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. A loving supportive band of brothers that helped me to bond and connect with my siblings. I thank them for entertaining me, for teaching me, and for raising me.

JK. They canceled their show in Vegas 5 minutes after I uploaded this to WordPress and now I hate them. I take it all back. I guess it was too perfect after all. Now, I will sob myself to sleep.

Jadeyn Dugger

CU Boulder '25

Jadeyn Dugger (she/they) is an Outreach Liaison and a contributing writer for Her Campus at CU Boulder. As an Outreach Liaison, they help plan chapter events and connect the chapter to volunteer opportunities. They have been a contributing writer since their first semester of freshman year, and Her Campus has been a staple in their college experience. Jadeyn is a third year majoring in International Affairs and double minoring in Journalism and Spanish. She hopes to pursue a Five Accelerated Master's in Theatre and Performance Studies and connect her love of theatre with her passion for social justice. While studying journalism, Jadeyn has had the opportunity to write profiles, data stories, and audio stories. Her favorite pieces to write though, are the personal, reflective ones she gets to write for Her Campus. Outside of classes and Her Campus, Jadeyn loves to read, sing, do theatre, and spend time outdoors. They especially love rock climbing and camping in the mountains. They are a proud member of CU Boulder’s Impact Playback Theatre Ensemble and jump at any chance to be engaged with theatre and other performance based art forms. Jadeyn also loves cartwheeling around, doing handstands randomly, and diving into a crow yoga pose in almost any setting.