When SB19 debuted in 2018, they expressed their desire to create music that’s entirely their own. It seemed like an impossible goal for a rookie at that time, but their sparkling eyes showed their determination.
Fast forward to 2021, the five-member boy group has made a name in the local and international music industry. Their latest EP “Pagsibol” is a labor of love where they finally have full creative control.
Last night’s “Back in the Zone” online concert, however, was a dazzling reminder of how far they’ve come as artists and individuals.
The much-awaited concert is a culmination of SB19’s journey and why they’re considered as one of the biggest names in P-Pop. Every stage was performed with passion and desire—it almost felt like a crime to not witness it live.
Before Josh, Pablo, Stell, Ken, and Justin appeared onstage, fans were treated to exciting pre-concert performances by Alex Bruce, Mona, and 4th Impact (Almira, Irene, Mylene, and Celina Cercado). The rising acts are stars in the making and it’s exciting to see how far their music careers will go.
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SB19 proved they’re experts in keeping A’TIN on their toes when a recap video of their journey flashed on the screen. It’s a heartwarming way of looking back at the group’s humble beginnings where they expressed their hunger to make a name in the music industry.
The five members then emerged in black outfits with intricate gold detail—looking like royalty—to perform their record-breaking single WHAT?. The performance was spectacular and picture-perfect, it can almost rival the energy in the track’s music video.
Before the concert, the group revealed in a virtual presser that they’re also involved in the styling of their outfits.
“Wala po kaming partner na designer pero may stylist po kami. Kausap po namin siya sa styles, nagsa-suggest din kami ng mga pwedeng gawin,” Ken added.
The group also performed their older hits such as Tilaluha, Go Up, Alab, Hanggang Sa Huli, and an acoustic cover of Love Goes. Every stage featured impressive choreographies and jaw-dropping displays of the members’ live vocal skills. It also showed the group’s strong sense of self where they refuse to be limit themselves as artists.
“Lagi naming sinasabi na it will take some time para ma-appreciate kami. Pero sana, maging open tayo at hayaan natin ang mga tao mag-express ng sarili… May standards tayo, pero nag-iiba rin ‘yan. Huwag nating pigilan ang mga tao na mag-grow at mag-discover,” Josh said during the concert’s virtual presser.
“Innovation doesn’t happen without change... dapat hindi kinakahon ‘yung mga bagay-bagay. Kung mag-stick tayo sa kung ano lang ang alam natin, wala nang bagong dadating,” Pablo, the group’s leader and main rapper, added.
After a short intermission, the concert showcased the individual talents of SB19. Justin was the first member on stage, where he looked back on his childhood with an emotional performance of The Scientist by Coldplay. Up next was Stell who did a phenomenal cover of Celine Dion’s All By Myself which showcased his vocal chops.
Pablo expressed his frustration with the pandemic with an original song called Kelan. It also featured a surprise collaboration with his brother Josue who is also a fellow rapper. One of the most shocking stages of the night, however, was Ken with a sensual performance of Palayo which was also an original song.
Josh was the last of the night’s solo performances where he sang Drag Me Down by the English-Irish boy band One Direction.
The final stretch of the online concert featured songs from SB19’s latest EP “Pagsibol” like Mana, Bazinga, MAPA, and Ikako. According to the members, Ikako is a song that’s dedicated to the frontliners.
Before the concert ended, SB19 expressed their appreciation to their loved ones and A’TIN. After a few minutes, the group returned for an encore of WHAT? where the members adorably switched parts with one another.
One of the highlights of the night was the unexpected interviews where SB19 recalled their early days in the spotlight and shared their plans for the future.
The “Back in the Zone” online concert is an image of SB19’s unique identity and fearlessness to break barriers in the local and international music scene.
With a record-breaking concert such as "Back in the Zone," it feels like the perfect path for the group to move towards world domination.
Banner and thumbnail photos from ShowBT Philippines and Isaac Bañuelos on Pexels