Because I clearly cannot get enough of the Jonas Brothers, I got a ticket to their show at the Allstate Arena as a birthday present to myself. Having already attended the show in Grand Rapids, where I had what were far and away the best seats of my life, I knew that if I were to go to another show, I wanted to be close to the action. Because of that, I opted to buy a B Stage VIP Bar GA ticket through LaneOne. I had never dealt with LaneOne in any capacity before, but the chatter on Twitter made it seem like you’d get a good experience, so I went for it. After all, I had already seen the show from the front of an arena. I couldn’t see much of what happened on the B Stage in Grand Rapids, so this seemed like the most logical choice (for going to the show a second time, that is).
LaneOne sold two types of B Stage tickets: general admission and seated tables. I figured the only way I could improved upon my Grand Rapids experience would be to be right up against the B Stage, since there was no real barricade separating you from the B Stage like there was from the main stage. In order to have a chance at that happening, I needed a general admission ticket. That being said, the area was pretty small, so it’s not like having a table would have prevented you from having a good view.
Doors opened for the show at 6:30, but because I wanted to be up against the stage and had PTO to burn, I got to Allstate at 4 p.m. Thankfully it wasn’t oppressively cold the day of the show! I came prepared, though, wearing my parka, a sweatshirt, my warmest glittens, a hat, and Cuddlduds. I also had hand warmers, but I never used those. I bought food at Starbucks ahead of time so I could eat “dinner” while waiting in line (to avoid having to leave the B Stage once I got there) and put all my valuables (wallet, keys, etc.) in my SPIbelt to avoid having to deal with a purse. I’m not gonna lie: I was pretty proud of my preparation, haha.
When I arrived at Allstate, there were only seven other people in the B Stage line, which made me feel pretty good about my chances of getting a spot up against the stage. From my extensive Twitter research, I knew that there was only space for four people on each side, and since I was the eighth person, I felt like I had a solid chance. As the afternoon wore on, we all started chatting, and it turned out that only three girls in front of me had B Side B Stage tickets: everyone else had A Side. With only three others in front of me, I knew I would get up against the stage.
I wasn’t particularly looking forward to waiting in line for two and a half hours, especially since I expected most/all of it to be outside (though they did let us into a vestibule 30-45 minutes before doors opened, which I appreciated), but I ended up really enjoying myself! I talked with the two girls behind me for a good hour or so, comparing Jonas stories and talking about life in general, and it was so much fun! I never got their names, believe it or not, but I still felt like we were great friends by the time we were able to go into the actual arena.
The girls behind me in line were on the A Side of the B Stage, so I latched onto the three ladies in front of me who had B Side tickets and chased after them once the doors opened. Since there were no other people immediately behind us with B Side tickets, the four of us had no problem securing stage-side spots.
Photos really don’t do it justice. It was truly insane how close we were to the stage. There was literally nothing but a thin plastic “wall,” about three or four inches tall, separating me from the actual stage. I had emotionally prepared myself to not be that close, so for it to happen was nuts.
The four of us along the stage spent the next hour freaking out over how amazing our spots were. Two of them were actually a mother/daughter pair! Let me tell you, my mother would not be caught dead at a Jonas Brothers concert, never mind up against the B Stage, haha. In fact, I didn’t even tell my parents I was going to the show, for fear of how much they’d judge me for going to another Jonas Brothers concert when I had already been to one in September 😛 The daughter in the mother/daughter pair stood next to me. She had woken up at 2 a.m., flown into Midway from Nashville, taken a bus from Midway to O’Hare, got picked up at O’Hare by her mom, and then got to Allstate – I don’t even know when. Before noon, I believe. To top it all off, she’s a college student, and had a final paper due the next day. I felt moderately dedicated to the Jonas Brothers for taking a half day at work, but I had nothing on her!
Jordan McGraw and Bebe Rexha opened again, and then it was time for the main event! Since I had already been to the show and knew any pictures I got from the B Stage could never compare to the pictures I got in Grand Rapids (at least while the Jonas Brothers were on the main stage, that is), I kept my phone away for the majority of the concert.
Prior to Thanksgiving, the show started with the Jonas Brothers up on the main stage, had them coming to the B Stage during Used to Be, had them sing Hesitate, a fan request song, Gotta Find You, and start Jealous on the B Stage, return to the main stage for awhile, then come back to the B Stage for the first half of the Mandy Megamix (a mashup of old Jonas Brothers songs) before finishing on the main stage. However, in the first two shows after Thanksgiving, the Jonas Brothers started performing their new Christmas song, Like It’s Christmas, on the main stage in lieu of the fan request. When my show rolled around (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving), I was pretty sure they had dropped the fan request, but came prepared anyway.
Alas, they did drop the fan request 😦 I was a bit bummed, not only because I would have DIED if they picked my request, but because that meant they were on the B Stage for less time. Lame. However, I did get to experience Hesitate, a song Joe wrote for Sophie Turner, with none other than the Queen in the North herself (and her parents!) all of like 15 feet away from me. I. KNOW.
When we were all waiting in line, there were rumblings that family was coming to the Rosemont show, because some people who had bought B Stage B Side (my side) tables had their tickets taken away due to VIPs planning to attend the show and needing those tables instead (I assume they got refunds? I wasn’t impacted, so I have no idea what happened to them). Turns out that was correct! Right before the Jonas Brothers came on, Sophie Turner and her parents showed up and claimed their spots at the tables on the other end of the bar area from the stage. It was WILD. I mean, yes, obviously the Jonas Brothers are famous, but I’d be willing to bet that there are a lot more Game of Thrones fans out there than Jonas Brothers fans. I mean, I never took any interest in Game of Thrones, and even I was agog at being that close to one of the stars of the show. I was pretty invested in the show, but I couldn’t help but look over from time to time and be like, “I CANNOT believe that Sophie Turner and I are in the same bar area of this show. Also, holy cow, she is STUNNINGLY beautiful.”
Speaking of beautiful people in my area.
I don’t know if I can really convey to you how close I was to them. These pictures aren’t zoomed in at all. Like they were RIGHT. THERE. It was insane. When I watch the videos I took while they were on the B Stage, I can literally hear Nick and Kevin’s guitar strings as they strum them. Not the sound the guitar makes: the sounds the strings themselves make when they’re hit. Like I said, insane.
When the Jonas Brothers come back to the B Stage the second time, Joe goes into a speech about the OG Jonas fans to introduce the Mandy Megamix. As I was proudly rocking my 07-08 tour t-shirt, purchased with, like, half of my monthly allowance at the Best of Both Worlds Tour in Grand Rapids in December 2007, I tried very hard to get them to notice that I had clear proof I was one of those OG fans (you know when an athlete does something impressive and then pinches the top corners of their jersey and shakes it to show off their team name? That’s what I was doing.) Joe was too busy giving his speech to acknowledge me (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself), but Kevin wasn’t! He saw me, smiled, and pointed, and I was so thankful that my seventeen-year-old self had the foresight to buy a t-shirt for…I don’t even know. Somewhere between $35 and $45, I’m sure…that was one size too big (and is STILL one size too big) so that my twenty-nine-year-old self could be recognized for my dedication to the band by Kevin Jonas. While it was no finger graze from Joe like I got in Grand Rapids, it was still EASILY the highlight of my entire night.
Now, the biggest advantage of being stage-side at the B Stage in my eyes (and, I’m sure, the eyes of most other B Stage ticketholders) is that you are one of very few people in the running for Joe’s tambourine. You see, during the Mandy Megamix, Joe plays the tambourine during the Mandy snippet, which is the opening song of the mix. However, when they transition into Paranoid, Joe doesn’t need the tambourine anymore, and for most of (all of?) the tour, has been handing it off to one lucky fan at the B Stage, who then gets to keep it for all eternity. I KNOW, RIGHT. Needless to say, I came prepared for this as well.
Frankly, I was so proud of my sign that I kind of just wanted to show it off, regardless of whether or not I got the tambourine as a result, haha.
Anyway, Joe finished the Mandy snipped of the megamix on the A Side of the stage, then wandered over in our direction to hand out the tambourine. For a second, I thought I was going to get it and panicked (“what am I going to do when Joe Jonas acknowledges my existence?!?!?”), but he ended up giving it to the girl next to me. I was SO genuinely happy for her! It was a weird feeling, to be honest. I really expected to be jealous and bitter over not getting the tambourine, but I truly think I was happier that the girl next to me got it than I would have been if I had gotten it. Plus, she let me take a picture with it after the show ended!
Soon after that, the Jonas Brothers left the B Stage and spent the rest of the show up front. I must confess that overall, I enjoyed the show less in Rosemont than I did in Grand Rapids. While I was closer to the action in Rosemont than in Grand Rapids, “the action” was by me for such a short time that it was a little bit of a letdown. In fact, I almost felt like I was too close to the stage – like the Jonas Brothers didn’t notice me because I was literally at their feet. That being said, B Stage was a really special experience. Even if the concert itself wasn’t as much fun, I very much enjoyed hanging out with other people who love the Jonas Brothers as much as I do. While I’ll always remember the Grand Rapids show for the concert, I’ll always remember the Rosemont show for the experience.
Now, if anyone would like to make a contribution to Bethany’s Future Jonas Brothers Tours Fund, I’m happy to accept cash and checks 😛