A new twist to an old act

By Bert Eljera

LAS VEGAS – The Society of Seven returns to an old haunt, the Suncoast Casino, for  concerts on Saturday and Sunday in a nostalgic reunion with a new twist.

“American Idol’ star Jasmine Trias will join the group as a featured singer with guests Martin Nievera and Bert Nievera in a performance that will bring together once again singers with Hawiian roots.

Both shows begin at 7:30 p.m.

Formed in the early 1960s as a pop group named The Fabulous Echoes, Society of Seven has undergone various transformations through the years as new singers join and leave.

One of the early members is Bert Nievera, who still remembers with fondness the 10 years he spent performing with the group in Hawaii before he went solo.

“I spent some good times with these guys,” said Nievera, now a semi-retired Las Vegas resident, who still come out to perform, as when he guested for his son’s concert last Sunday at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino. “It’s always fun to perform with them.”

American Idol star Jasmine Trias

According to Wikipedia, early in their careers, the Society of Seven released a number of records in Asia, recording with the Hong Kong-based Diamond Records. Their version of “A Little Bit of Soap” was #1 for 32 weeks on the Hong Kong charts, as well as being a hit in neighboring countries.

That started a string of recordings, and they had a double hit with “Dancing on the Moon” and “Sunshine.” They won awards for their innovative style as they became fixtures of the Hawaiian entertainment scene.

They brought their act to the Mainland and formed Society of Seven LV as they came to regularly perform Las Vegas. In May 2009,  the group performed with Lani Misalucha at the Flamingo Las Vegas, and in November of that year, Trias, a finalist in the American Idol talent show was added to the group.

Their act include comedy, impressions and dance, whuch they perfected at the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii. They also had a one-year run at the Gold Coast Casino, a  Las Vegas sister company of the Suncoast.

In their guest appearance at Martin Nievera’s concert, SOS sang “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” and “Lift Up Your Hands,” inspirational songs the group is known for.

The 25-year-old Trias finished third on the third season of
American Idol, and has so far recorded one album. Along with Camile Velasco, she is the first two people of Filipino descent to ever advance to the American Idol finals.

Bert Nievera joins old buddies Society of Seven

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