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Crowd Goes Wild as the Lions Roar in their Hometown

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

"Do you like them?," asked the lady beside me. "Yeah, I do!," the guy on my right replied enthusiastically. "I love them! I always go to their performances and now it's near where I live, so this is great!," she continued. Hearing these words from random people is heart-warming especially when the performers are kababayans. It's nice to hear that Filipino performers in Queensland have been getting attention from Australian and Filipino audiences since there are few Filipinos to have such status in Australia despite the notion that there are a lot of good Filipino talents all over the world.

The Lion's Den Vocal Group has been performing around Queensland and interstate for many years now since they met together in 2002 and had their first gig on the Gold Coast. But since the pandemic started and literally stopped the world to witness live music, this is the trio's first time to entertain Gold Coasters after more than a year of not playing at their home base. The three Leos - Daniel Mallari, Lloyd Saniel and Joel Gonzales - were a delight to watch as they delivered songs with their diverse repertoire, musical versatility and wholesome entertaining humour. Dubbed as a tribute to the 'Legends of Doo Wop' at the Mermaid Waters Hotel by Nightcap Plus, the trio gave a taste and pleased the crowd with their revival of hits from celebrated artists from the 50s to the contemporary era. Starting with 'Sherry' and 'Walk Like a Man' (The Four Seasons), the stage is blasting with energy and excitement as their voices blend in unison and lively synchronised moves. And as they harmonise during the refrain of 'Smoke Gets in Your Eyes', you can feel how the various tones and textures of their voices meld together, telling the audience that crying is inevitable and allowed.

What I appreciate from them is that they do not only focus on singing but they enthusiastically interact with the crowd as well. They do not only talk among themselves but include the audience in the conversation. I also love how they take the time to talk about the songs and artists that they are giving tribute to. By recognising the greatness of the artists, it gives us a sense of how and why the song is important in the particular musical period and how such songs became a significant part of The Lion's Den repertoire.

Individually, the members also shared the distinctive characteristic of their voices in various pieces. Dan's eloquence in operatic tenor was showcased as he sang a version of Ed Sheeran's hit song with a touch of Luciano Pavarotti, (re)popularised as 'Perfect Symphony'. While this is not part of the Doo-Wop era, the group managed to convey their rendition, which captivated the hearts of lovers and beloved alike. Lloyd and Joel also had their share of main vocal part with an excellent soprano in 'The Great Pretender' (The Platters) and a captivating baritone in 'Cherish' (The Association), respectively. They introduced to the crowd a group called The Association, interestingly involving a Filipino member, Larry Ramos, and their hit song. Not too many people know about the group and Ramos but The Lions Den gave them a face that night by recognising the artists, the songs and the era.

And that was only the first set.

Other popular hits that were performed during the night that really resonated with me and certainly with the audience are 'Babe' (Styx), 'You're Every Woman in the World to Me' (Air Supply), and 'Unchained Melody' (Righteous Brothers). While these songs may not be strictly by boy bands of the doo-wop scene, The Lions Den Trio served it with finesse, confidence and appeal showing their versatile repertoire and ability to deliver their renditions. By doing this, they are able to demonstrate their vocal range, song choices and appeal across scales of audience.

Throughout the end of the second set, the boys reached the peak of entertaining the audience with classic hits from Earth, Wind and Fire, Village People and The Beatles. No doubt, the crowd roared and asked for more. Honestly, I even anticipated them to sing 'In The Jungle', which they performed in The Voice Australia. Thankfully, they did not! Because they proved that night that they have more songs under their belt that could unquestionably showcase their talent, vocal range, harmony and choreography. If only we got to see them perform songs by The Platters, The Drifters and The Jersey Boys on the telly.

After the second set, the lady in front of me exclaimed, "I just love the harmony, their choreography and of course the songs! They bring back memories and it absolutely makes me cry." I agree! The songs are nostalgic as they bring back memories of Sunday radio during my childhood and I cannot imagine what recollections the songs and the boys are bringing back to the audience that night.

The Lions Den Vocal Trio sure knows how to deliver performance and entertainment in a package. In their first show on the Gold Coast since the pandemic, they delivered songs from Frankie Vallie & The Four Seasons, The Platters, The Drifters, Bee Gees, The Beatles, and even Air Supply (one of my favourites that night). The guys are a delight to watch with their diverse repertoire, delicately curated playlist, and adorable stage presence, which certainly invite thunderous applause, evoke musical nostalgia and have the crowd roaring for more.

Be updated on The Lion's Den Trio Vocal Group's next gigs and activities through their website and socials at and

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1 Kommentar

Rubie Pagbilao
Rubie Pagbilao
04. Mai 2021

Well written review. We were at the show too. We drove from Brisbane and decided to stay the night at the hotel. Enjoyed the musical numbers, sang along, danced on our seats and in the end we have to find a space where we can dance our hearts out as if no one is watching! The venue became too small for us 😂😂😂. Just brought wonderfully memories with the songs!🕺🏻💃🏽🎶🎵🎤👏

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