At this point, you may be only slightly familiar with guitar-pop boy band the Jonas Brothers. This is because you are probably not a 13-year-old girl from Long Island or New Jersey. I was only vaguely aware of them before I set foot in Z100′s pre-Jingle Ball event at the Hammerstein Ballroom on Friday, but I can assure you that when I left three hours later I was intimately–disturbingly–acquainted with all things Jonas Brothers.
The free event was essentially a venue for Z100′s deejays to stand on stage with microphones and taunt young girls with Jingle Ball tickets and meet-and-greet passes. The Backstreet Boys were also there and causing their fair share of mania, but nothing could compare to the J-Bros fervor perpetually rippling through the crowd. At one point I had to take a break from the heaving mosh pit of girls screaming for their chance to play Guess A Number Between 1 And 1000 To Win Jonas Brothers Meet-And-Greet Passes, so I headed towards the back of the theater and sat down on a ledge. Unfortunately, this ledge was the back of another stage where a deejay was presiding over a round of Scream Jonas Brothers Songs As Loud As You Can.
There was also an opportunity to have your picture taken with cardboard cutouts of the brothers, which I eventually decided was an invaluable souvenir.
Can you say “Jonas Brothers’ older sister’s creepy drunk friend”?
We were hard-pressed to find anyone who wasn’t there for Jonas Brothers purposes, but luckily Alex spotted one of the girls from the Pete Wentz meet-and-greet video and some of her friends. These girls were by far the highlight of the afternoon. They were there on a mission to win Jingle Ball tickets so that they could see Fall Out Boy perform live for the 18th time, and Boys Like Girls for the 37th. And, not surprisingly, they were enthusiastic fanfic readers, though they adamantly insisted that they had never, nor would they ever deign to write it. I ran into them later on by the stage, where they were frantically trying to compete in the Win Jingle Ball Tickets Singing Bee; unfortunately not even their desperate, screechy rendition of “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” did them any good.
The event was, in general, a massive, gaping portal to Hell. Menudo–whose merch table was predictably inactive–apparently played a short set, which we somehow managed to miss, and performances by One Republic and Ashley Tisdale were at least an hour behind schedule, much to nobody’s disappointment. Every ounce of energy in the room was channeled towards the opportunity to meet, greet, and potentially fondle the Jonas Brothers. Or else win tickets to the Jingle Ball, where one could at least gape at them from afar. Those Fall Out Boy fanatics were far and away the most genuine music fans in the entire place, which ought to tell you just about everything you need to know.
[Photo: Getty Images]