Nobody Knows How To Party Like Penn State (Or The Jonas Brothers)
It might sound cliche to say that I have been dreaming for this day for the past six years, but it’s true. When I was seven, eight and nine years old I would eat, sleep and breathe everything Jonas Brothers related.
My friends and I used to get into fights during the third grade lunch period over who was our favorite. My self-proclaimed favorite to this day, I should note, is Joe. When the band broke up in 2013, I cried harder than I probably will over any actual break-up of my own, and in my pre-teen hormonal state, I pretty much shut down.
I’m sure thousands of other students feel the same way, but never in a million years did I think that as a sophomore in college the boys I grew up loving would be making a stop on their reunion tour to the place I now call home. This isn’t just any tour stop though, because the Jonas Brothers long-running connection to Penn State makes it that much more special.
The “Happiness Begins” tour stop in Happy Valley started off with a set from Jordan McGraw. McGraw wore a No. 19 Penn State jersey to support the Nittany Lions, and later did a meet and greet for fans afterward.
Bebe Rexha then took over and hyped up the crowd.
She played a selection of her own songs including “Meant To Be” and the crowds personal favorite, “Better Now” by Post Malone. At one point, Rexha brought a young fan on the stage to perform alongside her. She expressed her gratitude to the Jonas Brothers for this opportunity. Her set was fairly short, but with the Brothers just minutes away from taking the stage, the crowd was beyond excited.
Before the Jonas Brothers graced the Bryce Jordan Center with their presence, Nick’s wife Priyanka Chopra, snuck in and took a seat at the smaller stage along with some lucky fans.
The Jonas Brothers descended from the ceiling playing their hit song “Rollercoaster,” at exactly 9:24 p.m. It’s easy to say that the diehard fans were definitely shedding a few tears at this point.
They then transitioned right into “S.O.S,” “Cool,” and “Only Human.” Approximately 15 minutes after gracing the stage, Joe Jonas formally welcomed the crowd to the show.
“Happy Valley, welcome to the ‘Happiness Begins’ tour,” Joe shouted into the BJC as the thousands of packed fans erupted into cheers. Throughout the entire show, visuals from their old albums appeared on the big screens, giving fans the nostalgic flashback we all so badly desired.
“Thank you so much for having us back,” Kevin Jonas shouted to the crowd after playing “Fly With Me.” “If you had told me two years ago that I would be here doing this I would have thought you were crazy. But here we are…so follow your dreams.”
Shortly before 10 p.m., the trio made its way to the stage at the back of the BJC. As the brothers pushed through the packed floor crowd, thousands of fans lined the barriers screaming, crying, and reaching for pretty much any touch of the Jonas Brothers they could manage. Wouldn’t you have done the same thing?
At exactly 10 p.m. Joe Jonas kicked off the first “We Are” chant of the night. He then told the crowd, “This is the part of the show where it gets a little fun,” and scanned the crowd for signs requesting specific songs.
The Camp Rock smash hit “Gotta Find You” brought one of the largest cheers of the night. As my personal favorite, which I probably belted out a countless amount of times when I was younger, this was easily the point when I shed a few too many tears.
Close to an hour after the set began, Joe and Kevin snuck backstage and Nick was left solo to perform his hit single, “Jealous.”
“Did you come here to party with us?” Joe said to the crowd a few minutes later once he returned to stage. Needless to say, the word party and Penn State go hand in hand and the crowd had no issue giving off a resounding yes.
Nick and Joe joined each other back on the main stage for DNCE’s hit “Cake By The Ocean.” The first wave of confetti of the night shot out of cannons all around the BJC giving off an electric and one of a kind atmosphere. All three brothers were back on stage and rotated roles on the piano for “When You Look Me In The Eyes” and “I Believe.”
“Penn State has a very special place in our heart. Penn Staters were some the first people to believe in us, “Nick said. “Our manager is a Penn State native. Numbers of other important people in our life were shaped right here in Happy Valley. Penn State kicks ass.”
As the brothers continued to walk around the back circular stage waving to fans, Nick snuck in a slight dig at Pitt.
“Penn State knows how to party. Now, I know Pitt and Penn State are not the best of friends, so don’t tell them I said this but…you guys are louder.”
Giving a shout out to their classics, their setlist began to wrap up with “Play My Music,” “Hold On,” and “Lovebug.”
The band ended their performance with crowd favorites “Burnin’ Up” and “Sucker.” The BJC was yet again covered in rainbow confetti, and students in the crowd grasped for a piece that they could take home as a memento.
The night proved not to be over just yet, as Joe, Nick, and Priyanka headed off to their beloved Champs for their official afterparty.
For me, however, and for thousands of other fans, we left with a lot more than a small piece of confetti. We left with an overwhelming sense of pride knowing that we go to the best school in the country.
While your Snapchat may be backed up for days with endless stories from your friends, and you may not have a voice for the foreseeable future, what you do have is a sense of belonging in the most kickass school there is. As the Jonas Brothers said: Nobody knows how to party like Penn State.
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About the Author
The symbol of our best looks even better in overalls.
Dvir is a Penn State professor who has made revolutionary documentaries that have played a role in changing today’s world.
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