Super Love Jam Made a Worthy Showcase for Pioneers of San Antonio's West Side Sound

click to enlarge COURTESY SUNNY OZUNA
courtesy Sunny Ozuna
There was a packed house at the Alamodome’s Illusions Theater on Valentine’s Day. Couples, lovers, sanchos and sanchas packed into the Super Love Jam showcase for a trip down memory lane featuring some of the pioneers of San Antonio’s West Side Sound, a Chicano take on soul and R&B.

A gold glitter-clad Joe Bravo kicked off the night with much adoration from hometown fans. He was followed by Rene y Rene. The duo's Rene Ornelas was carrying on the pop duo's name despite the 2005 passing of musical partner Rene Herrera. Ornelas put the spirit in everyone’s heart that night with a rendition of the duo's 1963 American Bandstand hit “Angelito.”

Next, the Delfonics wowed the crowd with effortless vocal harmonies straight out of Philly. The group hit the high points of its lengthy career, including “La-La (Means I Love You)” and “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time).” 

Anyone in the audience who leaned over for a sweetheart's smooch or got up to get a drink likely missed a beat or two. The sets were short and sweet, showcasing only 20 minutes or so from each performer. 

Next on the bill came the mighty Sunny Ozuna of Sunny and the Sunglows and Sunny and the Sunliners fame — definitely a hometown favorite. The San Antonio native showed off his skills as a bandleader with much precision and even a little improvisation on hits such as “Should I Take You Home” and “Talk To Me.” Not once did the band skip a beat.

After a short set change, El Chicano took over the spotlight, starting with the slithery bass line that kicks off its 1970 Chicano soul hit “Viva Tirado.” Hailing from the City of Angels, El Chicano has been together for more than 50 years and is still going strong with three of its original members — Freddie Sanchez on bass, Mickey Lespron on guitar and Jerry Salas on guitar.

The rest of the night was filled with an array of hip-hop and freestyle artists including Amanda Perez, Baby Bash, Frankie J and MC Magic, pleasing the hearts of younger fans of love on this year’s Valentine’s Day.

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