Images courtesy of Kat Kaderabek
By Kat Kaderabek
Electricity. It’s the first thought that comes to mind when I recall that cold November night when I stood in the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hotel’s concert venue to witness the revival of The Jonas Brothers. The energy in the audience was alive and crackled throughout the place. Not only was the entire building a mess of screaming fans, but there was something more to it. It wasn’t until after I watched Amazon Prime’s Happiness Continues documentary that I understood that something more: family. The concert felt like a family. Kevin Jonas points out this same feeling in the documentary when he recalls their reunion tour.
Watching Happiness Continues brought back a swarm of emotions from that amazing night in Atlantic City. The full title of the documentary is Happiness Continues: A Jonas Brothers Concert Film. This is a very accurate title, as I felt like I was right there again. The film captures the essence of the Jonas Brothers reunion tour exactly. For fans who were unable to see them live, this is the perfect way to experience that same electricity I felt in November. Just seeing the film brought back chills from that night. What made it even more special and nostalgic is that the film gave so much more background to the show, right down to their intentions with every single song they performed on stage. From their costumes to the exact film played on stage as transition pieces, Happiness Continues transports fans to the front row of a Jonas Brothers concert. In addition to this, it gives fans what feels like exclusive backstage access into their development as brothers and as friends.
The film, like the concert, was extremely emotional. The brothers explore their breakup, their resentment, and how they found their way back to one another. Learning the stories behind their personal and familial development makes their music so much more real and heartwarming. The film can be amplified when the subtitles are turned on, so viewers can see the lyrics of the songs which create a full emotional effect. From children to marriage, the Jonas Brothers leave little out when discussing their journey back together. It is extremely touching to see Kevin Jonas’s story as he grew from a Jonas Brother to a father and to a performer again. He opens up about the loss he felt when the band split and how he was so unsure of his identity for a while. It is clear that his family was the guiding aspect of his life, and he expressed that he felt that same sense of family with the fans during their reunion tour.
The brothers all discussed how amazed they were at this collective love shared between them and the fans. There was a sense of nostalgia throughout the film, as they played all their old hits like “Year 3000,” “S.O.S,” and “Lovebug.” The brothers opened up about the emotional toll that those songs have taken on them and how their old sound has inspired the new, more mature sounds of their recent album, Happiness Begins. Another touching moment came when Joe opened up about the song he composed, “Hesitate.” He explained that he wrote this song as a promise to his wife, Sophie Turner, and that he closes his eyes for half of the song because he is envisioning singing it to her. The camera then panned to the couples in the audience and the tear-filled eyes that felt this song on a deeper, more intense level just like Joe Jonas.
Overall, the documentary offered an insightful, well-produced glimpse into the lives of the Jonas Brothers and their experience on their first tour since their breakup over six years ago. It highlights not only the struggles, but the triumphs of the three brothers in their attempt to reconnect with themselves and with each other. Most of all, it highlights the pure and unhindered sense of family among them, and among their fans that have been there since the beginning.