Let me set the scene, It’s 2008, you’re watching Wizards of Waverly Place on Disney Channel and the adverts pop up. (Two things that no longer exist: having to watch the adverts and Wizards of Waverly Place). You get up from the sofa to
get something fizzy from the fridge but stop in your tracks when you hear the powerhouse vocals of Demi Lovato singing their new song Get Back. Before you know it, you’ve collected your fingerless gloves and pink chequered Camp Rock hat and jumped up onto the sofa to sing into your microphone…I mean remote. This isn’t a rare occurrence. You’ve watched and loved Demi in Camp Rock, putting them firmly in the position of ‘role model’. The movie also gave you the Jonas Brothers- you’ve got a lot to be thankful for!
These 2008 days you’re getting ready to watch her debut in Sonny with a Chance and thanks to a little site called YouTube you’ve managed to watch some blurry snippets of the show. Next week you’ll rush home from school to listen to the rest of Demi’s debut album ‘Don’t Forget’. Soon you’ll be able to add these songs to your living room concerts which currently feature hits from the Jonas Brothers’ album ‘A Little Bit Longer’.
It’s not just the music that left a long-lasting impression. At the time, the Disney stars running the show were going through a pop-rock faze. This encouraged tres chic items such as fingerless gloves (and not the knitted kind from your nan), unisex waistcoats (guilty), wide belts over tops, plastic shuttered glasses (google it you won’t be disappointed!), large beaded jewellery and so many headbands. There were a lot of owl patterns too which now seems to have come from nowhere in particular. You were sure to be a hit on non-school uniform day with even one of these items! Demi and the boys were no exception. Scarves around the neck for any and all occasions (Kevin, we see you), bow ties and pocket squares. Demi was partial to a top hat, leather jacket and band t-shirt.
And thus an era of my childhood described!
Watching the video for ‘Get Back’ never fails to remind me of that time in my life when my likes were expanding. I remember feeling so enamoured by this style of music that I hadn’t been introduced to. For a Disney Channel-loving child, this was the first time that a slightly rebellious attitude was displayed as cool and acceptable to enjoy because…well, it’s on Disney Channel. I loved the energy and confidence Demi has in the video and I felt that a new side of myself had opened up. Already enjoying artists such as Aly & AJ, Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, the pop-rock Disney era was in full swing.
Now as an adult, I’m fortunate enough to be able to say that I’ve seen both Demi Lovato and Jonas Brothers live in concert. Let me tell you that hearing songs I loved as a child sung live as an adult is a heart-soaring feeling that I can only describe as pure joy. Even writing about those moments causes tears to spring to my eyes. ‘Lovebug’, ‘Burnin’ Up’ and even ‘Shelf” being sung during the Jonas Brothers’ current tour connects to a deep part of me that bounces back to life from all those years ago. 15 to be exact!- Goodness me that’s a long time! Best of all, however, is Gotta Find You from Camp Rock which took me by euphoric surprise. As dramatic as this sounds, it feels like the Jonas Brothers and Demi
Lovato-loving childhood version of me is being enveloped in the love and excitement I felt hearing them for the first time. If I could tell younger me that one day I’d have seen them live and be about to see them next year (whoop! whoop!), she would be as elated as I was during the opening of the concerts.
‘Don’t Forget’ and ‘Just a Little Bit Longer’ are incredibly nostalgic for me so I’ve compiled a list of personal favourites from each album. Underrated bops will feature an ‘*’.
‘Don’t Forget’ – ‘La La Land’, ‘Get Back’, ‘Don’t Forget’, ‘Two Worlds Collide’*, ‘Believe in Me’*.
‘A Little Bit Longer’ – ‘Burnin’ Up’, ‘Lovebug’, ‘Shelf’*, ‘Tonight’.
Burnin’ Up lives rent-free in the minds of fans across the world. Especially the iconic “ReD dResS” from Nick which he brings back for audiences each night. Never failing to evoke an eruption of cheers to this nostalgic nod.
Cheers to old favourites making a comeback in 2023!
Watch the music video for Burnin’ Up here, Via YouTube: