A Valentine Affair with Side A

My Valentine weekend kicked off with a late dinner/show at 19 East where a friend and I were excited to finally see Side A and our partners had no choice but to join us in our date.  I remembered when I was in high school I had a cassette tape of their album, By Your Side and I would listen to it over and over again along with Boyz 2 Men. Ah, isn’t reminiscing about the 90’s great?

We arrived just before the show started at 9 pm so we had some time for dinner and a round of drinks. The place was nice, spacious parking with it a big white fountain and a two story veranda overlooking Laguna Bay. If we did’nt want to pay the Php600 entrance fee for the show that night, staying at the veranda for dinner and drinks would have been nice as well.

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Fat session opened up the show and can I just say, they were so hilarious I almost forgot they were the front act and there was more to come. Some people were saying ‘More…more!’ after their set and they pulled off the memorable songs – Beyonce’s Love on top, Flashlight, Sirena (never heard this song before but they made it soooo funny), and Love me like you Do. They accepted requests and had no hesitation in announcing that they can do Mariah and Whitney songs…if anyone wanted them to.

One of the outrageously hilarious parts of that set aside from their jokes about their weight and why they were called Fat Session was when a guy volunteered to sing Total Eclipse of the Heart and he hit every note quite well. Could have been staged, but … probably not.

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I thought we would be waiting endlessly for Side A to go onstage but the wait was quite short because of the entertaining front act. When the band finally started playing ‘Set You Free’ it finally dawned on us that their frontman had been replaced. Well we might as well have lived in caves before that because it has been a year since Joey G. left the band.

Surprisingly, it’s not as bad as we thought it would be in that one minute of epiphany. They were still the same Side A. Same sound. Same passion igniting the stage.

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They played other classic hits like ‘Forevermore’, ‘Eva Marie’ (honestly I heard this song for the first time that night but they said it was their first recorded song), ‘I Will Always Stay’, ‘By Your Side’, and ‘Got to Believe’. They covered some songs like Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’ and Walk the Moon’s ‘Shut up and Dance with me’. Hearing their song, ‘I Believe in Dreams’ by their lead guitarist, Lee Von, just left me in awe. Ernie Severino’s drum solo was masterful.

Some parts of it we got up to dance beside our seats and these guys were just rocking on stage smiling while doing their thing when I got to thinking – Do they love they jobs or what?! So I just hate and love them for that.

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After the show we had some fangirling moments and took photos with some members of the band. Then capped the night off by conversations overlooking Laguna Bay.

I couldn’t believe I passed by 19 East so many times before and only know thought to go there. Anyhow, you can check out their list of gigs on their website for February – 19east.com and their facebook page. And Side A and Fat Session’s facebook pages by clicking here and here. Can’t wait to hear more from these bands!

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