Wednesday, May 26, 1999

Discord rocks
show at the Shell

Poor scheduling by the city
had a blues-rock band at the zoo
clashing with a symphony pops
concert across the street

By Lori Tighe


What began as a breezy outdoor concert under Waikiki palms and moonlight ended in a duel between a symphony pops concert and a blues-rock band.

The Honolulu Symphony just finished its first set, when Broadway show tune singer and pianist Michael Feinstein began at the Waikiki Shell on Friday.

"And that's when we heard the other music," said Jim Mancuso, orchestra operation manager for the symphony.

Suddenly clashing with the razzle-dazzle Gershwin tunes was blues-rock guitarist John Mayall belting his classics from across the street at the Honolulu Zoo.

"It was a cacophony of sound, like the radio and CD player playing loudly at the same time," Mancuso said.

Symphony fans began to grumble. Feinstein began making jokes.

"Could somebody turn down the radio?" he asked, and the audience of 3,500 applauded.

The Honolulu Symphony had been booked at the Shell for six months and learned about the Mayall zoo concert that day, Mancuso said.

The city had overbooked its outdoor concert venues, said Carol Costa, spokeswoman for Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris.

"There wasn't proper oversight on the zoo schedule. They corrected it and it won't happen again," Costa said. "There will be no duplicative events at the zoo and the Shell."

The city Department of Enterprise Services met recently with the city's zoological society and reviewed the schedule for the rest of the year to prevent a dueling encore.

In the meantime, angry callers are still leaving curt messages at the symphony and at City Hall about their ruined evening.

E-mail to City Desk

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