Singing along, holding hands at an Air Supply concert

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From top: Air Supply after 40 years; a packed concert hall. Photos by RJ Ensalada/ DJ Filipino Events and Serendipity Hype

From top: Air Supply after 40 years; a packed concert hall. Photos by RJ Ensalada/ DJ Filipino Events and Serendipity Hype

By Grace Labaguis

I grew up grooving to ‘80s music.

Chicago; Earth, Wind and Fire, Bread, Journey, Cindy Lauper, Madonna, and the legendary Michael Jackson! Their music was incredibly varied and evoked emotions in me that are often romantic and inspiring.

So when I learned that Air Supply was having a concert in New York to celebrate their 40 years in the international music scene, I had to get two tickets for me and my husband, Ron. This Australian soft rock duo was very popular in the ‘80s, and how we’d love to listen again to their songs, such as “All Out of Love” and “Making Love Out of Nothing at All.”

On June 13, we were at The Town Hall in Manhattan with legions of other Air Supply fans. The concert, produced by Little John of DJ Filipino Events, had a lot of Filipinos lining up to get in. Everyone was eager to see the magnificent pair of Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock and their band live on stage! The messy, ‘down and dirty’ hair look is still there which only certified rock stars can pull off. The voice hasn’t aged a bit.

The concert was opened by the talented young singer Gail Banawis, fresh from her appearance at the Pacquiao-Mayweather match where she sang the Philippine National Anthem. Gail rendered a medley of classic love songs. That first number alone got the audience warmed up and swooning.

Air Supply came on stage with spectacular lights, and greeted the audience with so much energy.

The concert was palpable with excitement and emotion especially when the band started playing their classic hits. “Just When I Thought I was Over You,” “Every Woman in the World,” “Even the Nights Are Better,” “I Can Wait Forever,” “Just as I Am,” “Lost in Love,” “I’m All Out of Love” are just some of my personal favorites.


Forty years have passed and their voices sounded so fresh in the hearts of almost everyone in the theater. Ron and I would glance at each other when certain songs came on stage. When he was still courting me, he wanted to dedicate the song “Every Woman in the World” to me. As Air Supply sang it, we were singing along, laughing and holding hands. We heard again the songs that reminded us of the milestones in our lives together, from the time we were just starting to get to know each another up until we decided to get married.

Many of the songs had sentimental meaning for us and I guess for most everyone in the audience who were screaming wildly.

The mostly Filipino American audience knew all the lyrics and was singing along. As noted by Air Supply, “We feel like we are in the Philippines.”

I’ve never been to a concert where the performers and the audience totally connected and resonated in one another’s musical energy. They were enjoying the night with us, as much as we did while we reminisced our coming-of-age: our first love, our heartaches, and everything about growing up. It was a total treat – 90 minutes of ‘80s music down memory lane!

According to LJ, the producer, staging the concert was not an easy task but he was pleased that the show was a success. The turnout was great, he said, thanks to everyone’s “passion and determination.”

The 1980s was a decade of the good, the bad and the ridiculous: the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the rise in HIV-Aids, “Star Wars,” MTV, and Ronald Reagan are some of its iconic episodes.

Being a child of the ‘80s, I will look back on this era with fondness, especially its music which lives to this day.

Filipinos waiting in line to get in.

Filipinos waiting in line to get in.

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