Concert, club scenes active through down economy


POSTED: Friday, January 02, 2009

IF THERE'S one underlying message I got from covering Clubland in 2008, it's that local residents still like to have a good time despite the weaker economic situation in Hawaii.

Rising food and gas prices mean less money for drinks, and some promoters have raised their cover charges to $15 (and sometimes even $20) after asking for $10 or less the year before. Still, crowds are evident at a number of local nightclubs, and our concert scene remains active ...

WE CAN thank BAMP Project for bringing quality acts to Hawaii, as the promoters were responsible for more than 30 shows on Oahu and Maui.

I'm most impressed with their desire to both educate and entertain, bringing big-name acts and artists who have yet to break with mainstream fans. Before Incubus, Ween and the Plain White T's got here this spring, Motion City Soundtrack, Minus the Bear and Cartel had already made visits to Honolulu.

BAMP didn't slow down as the year progressed; Angels and Airwaves, Hoobastank, Sean Kingston, Lifehouse, former Hawaii residents National Product, Steel Pulse, Thrice and 311 all played here in 2008 ...

MORE CONCERT HIGHLIGHTS: The Police, Kid Cudi and Questlove in February, followed by Flo Rida, Collie Buddz and 50 Cent in April ... The Cool Kids killed it at Fashion45 in May, while DJ Q-Bert headlined Lotus Soundbar in June. Comedy was king in July, when Chris Rock performed at the Blaisdell ... And 2008 ended strong with Atmosphere and Hoobastank in November, followed by Q-Tip at Pipeline Cafe in December ...

SOME ARTISTS enjoy Hawaii so much, they decided to perform here twice in 2008.

Jason Mraz was the biggest star of the bunch, playing the Waikiki Shell in May before coming back as part of “;Band Camp VI”; in August. DJs Marques Wyatt and Dimitri from Paris made multiple visits to NextDoor and Lotus at different times during the year, while John Brown's Body played Pipeline in May and December.

Another reggae artist, Pato Banton, played three Oahu dates this year. He was at Boardriders Kailua and Bikini Cantina in June, followed by a Pipeline appearance last month ...

GETTING BACK to clubbing, multiple parties celebrated anniversaries in 2008.

DJ Jahson the 45 Revolver's “;Redda Fire”; marked two years at the Living Room in April, while DJ Eskae's hip-hop monthly “;Soul Clap”; reached the same milestone at thirtyninehotel in June. DJ G-Spot's annual “;Love Festival”; took place for the 10th year in July, and Pacific Sounds Outernational turned 10 years old with a party at the Loft in November. “;Livewire”; celebrated three years the same month.

In July, club kids got a taste of Las Vegas when LEVEL4 Nightclub and Ultralounge opened its doors, although most continue to sleep on nearby RumFire, which opened in February. And underground heads rejoiced when The Shop opened its doors in April, while the T-shirt-and-slippers crowd flocked to The Shack Waikiki after it appeared next to Zanzabar in August.

In September, local concert promoter and retailer Greg Azus surprised many (in a good way) with news that he bought Pipeline, and Beau Mohr's Pearl Ultralounge surprised some by making it to its second anniversary in October. That month also saw the openings of Bonsai Japanese Restaurant + Lounge at Restaurant Row and HUSH Boutique Nightclub Lounge in Waikiki, followed by Oceans808 in November and the transformation of Venus Nightclub and Lounge into Seven and V Lounge last month ...

WE ALSO said goodbye to a number of parties.

Do you remember: Cancun Thursdays at Senor Frog's ... Juicy at Longhi's ... Acid Wash at NextDoor ... What's Good Wednesdays at Indigo ... The Monkey Bar at the Hyatt Regency ... or Big Wednesdays at the O Lounge ...

ON THE music tip, Hawaii-based artists continue to amaze with quality work.

Hip-hop continues to evolve, as established MCs Creed Chameleon and Tassho Pearce both released new albums in 2008. I also enjoyed Jonah the Whale's new joint, along with DJ Compose's “;Can't NOC the Hustle, Vol. 2”; and DJ Packo's “;Mosquito Diesel: The Glitchtape.”;

In island music, new releases by Rebel Souljahz, Ten Feet, Amy Hanaiali'i and the Brothers Cazimero were favorites on my iPod. And when I needed to rock out, I listened to Pimpbot's “;Admit One”; and The Hell Caminos' “;Lust”; ...


Check out Jason Genegabus' blog: www.sonecessary.tv.