September 9, 2012 | Posted By: Liem Nguyen

Third times a charm! This is the third time I've seen the talented band called Ivy Rose perform live. There is something special about this all girl Filipina band based in DC consisting of four members: Martina San Diego (vocalist/guitarist), Isabelle de Leon (drummer/backup vocalist), Sarah de Leon (main guitarist/backup vocalist), and Kristine de Leon (bassist).  They are both talented, and they know how to rock it on stage like they've been doing it for many decades.  This is not the case though, these girls have only been together as a band for only three years, and they have progressed so much in the industry in just a short period of time as an independent band.  They have gone from a band that has opened for Weezer to being featured in the America's Got Talent, yet still being very genuine, humble, and down to Earth.


This special show in DC was not just their album release party for their second album called "Rain", but it was also a surprising and shocking short-term farewell to band member, Martina.  Martina, their lead vocalist, has made a tough decision to move away for a year to focus on other priorities in her education and her career.  The rest of the band of de Leon sisters will continue to play at show and do collaborations without Martina, while Martina will also continue to pursue music and perform shows in the Philippines until she makes her return in a year or so.


Their last show (for now) was at the Velvet Lounge in Washington, DC which took place on a Sunday night.  If people don't know me already, I hate driving to DC to watch a show and finding nearly impossible street parking or paying for super expensive garage parking. But if I do make my way to DC for anything, it is definitely for something special and worth seeing. When I arrived in the vicinity of where the venue is located, it took me over twenty minutes to find parking. I finally found street parking about five blocks away.


Once I got to the Velvet Lounge venue, it seemed like they were not allowing people in yet, and I was one of the first people there.  I thought I was running slightly late, but, in fact, I was one of the first people there.  It wasn't until about 8:15pm (half an hour later) when they allowed people to enter the venue but doors were still not open yet. Everyone had to wait an extra hour until they let people into the stage room upstairs.  It looked like there was a great turnout since the room was filled from the front to the back! The stage was also extremely low lit, so it made it much harder to take footage and take pictures, but I was still able to take some nice pictures since I was right up in the front while the video is a bit more rough.


The show started after 9pm, and there were three bands scheduled to play that night at the venue.  The first band to open the show is from New York City called Man on Earth. They performed a handful of songs including a cover of Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve.  The last band to play after Ivy Rose was The Sol Bandits.


Ivy Rose takes the stage to a roaring crowd of friends, family, and supporters after Man on Earth. I was able to get a very nice spot on the front left side of the the stage beside one of the videographers for the Music Mustache Pictures. These guys were pretty cool and really nice. They even have some impressive equipment for recording footage and highlights from the show. They were able to get an exclusive interview with Ivy Rose, and you can view it by clicking here.


Ivy Rose's set starts off with a montage video reflecting back on the band's three years being playing together which concludes with wishing Martina the best on her next journey for the upcoming year.Ivy Rose then opens up their set with the song called "Rain" which is also the title of their second album. They perform a total of ten songs and mostly were new songs found on their sophomore album.  Of the ten songs, they performed a couple of covers, and one of which, is "Halo" by Beyonce and the other is "What's Up" by 4 Non Blondes.  Half way through the show, they bring up, Carlos, the younger brother of the de Leon siblings, to perform their original called "Blind Instinct". Ivy Rose last song performed on the show was "Pilot" which is from their first album, "This Adventure".  Their set ends with the four girls embracing each other with kisses and hugs to wish Martina well on her next adventure.


This show was definitely a show that should not be missed. It was a very bittersweet show to say the least.  They put everything all in for this last show to make it a memorable show, and it will also be disappointing to not see them play together for a year or so.  Thankfully, all their devotion and dedication through  2012, they were able to give a precious gift to all their family, friends, and supporters, which is, their second album.  Two albums for this band in their junior year in the business with a national TV appearance is so huge in such a small period of time.  Ivy Rose has definitely captured the hearts of many people from in and out of the DC/Metro area, and I'm sure they will be back again in the future to jam just as hard for everyone to listen to.


I was able to shoot their whole set on video, and you can view it by either clicking on the links below to view them individually or by clicking on the embedded video to watch Ivy Rose's set in its entirety.

Prologue | Performance ] Rain

[ Prologue | Performance ] Loss of Secrecy

Prologue | Performance ] Go

Prologue | Performance ] What's Up (cover)

Prologue | Performance ] Hummingbird

Prologue | Performance ] Blind Instinct (ft Carlos de Leon)

Prologue | Performance ] Spirit of the Seas

[ Prologue | Performance ] Titanic

Prologue | Performance ] Halo (cover)

Prologue | Performance ] Pilot

Prologue | Performance ] 'Farewell To Martina'


After the show, I stuck around for a bit so that I can personally say farewell to Martina as well as to congratulate the band on all their successes and their second album.  I got a picture with them before heading home.  I can't say it enough, but it was a bittersweet showcase, yet very satisfying.  I've been so fortunate to have been able to see Ivy Rose perform live a couple of times this year, and glad to have become friends with these lovely girls! I will be counting the days until they reunite again to make great music together!


I also took a lot of pictures at the show, and it can be seen below by clicking on the collage below, or the links that will re-direct everyone to either my photography Facebook page or my photography homepage.

Untitled photo

Picture Gallery Links: LiemPhoto | Facebook


I will conclude this blog write-up by saying this was one of the most fun blogs for me to write up! Best of luck to Martina, Sarah, Isabelle, and Kristine on whatever plans they have in store until they are back together!


If you're interested to know more about Ivy Rose and would like hear more music by them, please do check out their website and social network pages below.  As always, go out and support Ivy Rose by going to their shows and buying their music.


Website -

YouTube -

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If you'd like to read up on more shows and see more pictures and videos I've taken at live shows, please be sure to visit

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