In The Mix
Hawaii knows how to party
A PAIR OF concerts last weekend provided yet another reminder of why we're so lucky to party in Hawaii.
I started off the night at Blaisdell Arena with Wilikinia Costa-Barrett for the Makaha Sons' annual "Take a Walk in the Country" extravaganza. Sons staffers sported "MSI: Konfidential" T-shirts and handed out plumeria lei to those seated at VIP tables, and I discovered that my high school classmate Jack Nagaishi is now in charge of Centerplate's food and beverage concession at the Blaisdell.
Na Kama got a great reaction when they started their set with the intro to "Mehameha / White Sandy Beach," then quickly transitioned into the much more upbeat "Paliakamoa." I also enjoyed the performances by HAPA, Natalie Ai Kamauu, and the Brothers Cazimero, and of course the Sons didn't disappoint. Guest appearances by Aunty Genoa Keawe, Fiji and Barry Kimokeo kept this year's show fresh.
Pretending to be Brickwood Galuteria (his reserved seat was vacant) allowed me to sit next to HARA president Alan Yamamoto and Outrigger's Mary Lou Foley for a bit, and I also spotted OC-16's Kim Lehano, MidWeek columnist Roz Makaula and Tiny Tadani ...
FROM THERE it was off to Pipeline Cafe, where Talib Kweli finally made his return to Hawaii after a couple of cancellations.
It was definitely worth the wait, as the emcee attacked his set with a vengeance. We got to hear joints from the Blackstar days all the way to unreleased songs off his upcoming album, along with a number of freestyles. The best was his take on Young Joc's "It's Going Down," a backhanded commentary on commercial rap that went over the heads of some in the crowd.
The Usual impressed as the night's local opening act, especially when High Chief XL, Big Moxxx and Intaleck the Reject joined them on stage. I also ran into Cinnamon Red Entertainment's Darryl Hill at one point, and Hot 93.9's Pomai needs to stop changing her hairstyle so often -- I always embarrass myself by not recognizing her ...
CONCERT NEWS: The Black Eyed Peas play the Blaisdell on Aug. 14, with tickets on sale this Saturday at 9 a.m. ... Yellowman performs at Pipeline on July 6 ... 808shows.com reports that Tool will be in town Aug. 18 and 19 ... And yes, that was Stevie Wonder on the Big Island last week. The legendary artist was hired to perform at a private wedding ...