Once a niche teenybopper act found on Radio Disney, the Jonas Brothers are currently crossing over from the kid's table and taking a seat alongside those financially viable enough to garner adult interest, thereby joining the ranks of the Olsen twins, Hilary Duff, team High School Musical and the ubiquitous Miley Cyrus.
In case you missed it, last night the three wholesome teen-age boys from New Jersey performed on ABC's hit reality show "Dancing With the Stars," days after playing Monday's annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House. ("How about the Jonas Brothers?" said President Bush, introducing the shaggy-haired boys with their skinny ties all akimbo.) Earlier this year they helped draw in the pre-teens with a cameo in the surprise box office juggernaut, "Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour" in 3-D.
And much like the Cyrus concert ticket mayhem of last year -- remember the moms who stretched the truth to get their kids tickets? -- when the brothers put tickets for their Summer 2008 tour on sale Tuesday the newly released Jonas Brothers Fan Site was on the verge of crashing.
Fondly known among their core audience as "the JoBros," New Jersey-raised Joseph, Nicholas and Kevin Jonas seem to have blossomed into America's boy band du jour. Although they take their fashion cues from popular indie bands like The Killers and Hot Hot Heat (tight jeans, vests, foppish military jackets and unruly hair), it hasn't hurt that the boys are the sons of a pastor and got their start in the recording industry singing Christian music. Their current songs aren't particularly religious, but the lyrics are squeaky clean and likely beyond even the most devout parents' objections.
The Jonas Brothers grew up in Wyckoff, N.J., a bedroom community of Manhattan, where Nicholas cultivated something of a child actor's career on Broadway (think go-to boy for everything from Tiny Tim to Gavroche). Soon, his brothers joined in and they began touring in 2005, later opening for the Cheetah Girls, and most recently Cyrus. Three years later, they are one of the best-selling touring acts in the country.
Earlier this month, the Disney Channel ordered up a reality series about the boys ("Jonas Brothers: Living the Dream"), an original television movie ("Camp Rock") and there is a scripted series in the pipeline. With the full weight of the Disney empire behind them, the brothers are racking up guest television appearances as well, from more mature network specials like ABC's American Music Awards to kiddie cable mainstays like Disney's "Hannah Montana."
JoBros madness hit fever pitch this week when they launched a fan club site, Team Jonas, mostly to make it easier for fans to buy tickets to their summer tour which went on sale Tuesday. (Their last concert, at an 18,000-seat venue, sold out in two minutes).
Despite the snazzy new site--done mostly in black, white and yellow with an unexpected goth-meets-Juicy Couture feel--buying tickets was still problematic for most Jonas Brothers fans and those adults overseeing the family credit card, even those willing to pay the $35 membership fee to join the fan club.
"We kept at it, we cried, we laughed, we did 'campfire' until our fingers ached, we did the 'Jonas snap' until it felt like our arms were going to fall off," wrote one fan of her family's ticket-buying experience. "It took us over an hour of clicking and re-clicking and refreshing and starting over to finally get our code, but we ended up 10th row Nick's side in Sacramento. Woot!"
Another fan wrote: "It took an hour but I got tickets to 3 concerts!! The tickets [aren't great] but it doesn't matter cuz I am seeing the jo bros!"