Saturday, April 24, 2010

Live from Honolulu: Day 1 of 2010 Kokua Festival sparkles with Jack Johnson in peak form


Aloha, from sunny and hot Oahu!

It's still breakfast time here and it's already boiling hot outside; my guess is 80-degrees.

There's already a line outside the Waikiki Shell and on the opposite side of the Ala Wai Canal here in Honolulu for Day 2 of the 2010 Kokua Festival.

Here's what Day 1 was like:

* Local ukulele standout Jake Shimabukuro was very impressive on a short set of instrumental favorites, including a cover of the Beatles' "In My Life" - a song he collaborated on with Bette Midler earlier this year. Dressed in shiny, slim black denims and white short-sleeve shirt, Shimakuro was easily the winner for best eye-candy on the performing lineup.

* Legendary blues artist Taj Mahal really fired up the crowd, especially with his island-tinged set of Southern numbers. He's been coming to Hawaii for 20 years and loves it here, and the locals love him in return.

* Ziggy Marley began his 45-minute appearance by bringing his mother, Rita Marley, to the stage. He played an acoustic set and later brought Shimabukuro back out for a duet, then later his two small keiki (Hawaiian for kids) joined him for a track off his Grammy-winning children's album Family Time. After his performance, Marley came into the orchestral pit of the Waikiki Shell and shook hands with fans and posed for pictures - he was very, very nice.

* But it was Jack Johnson, co-founder of this festival along with wife Kim, who stole the show. He was irresistably good on a set of mostly older material that included "Sitting, Waiting, Wishing", "Banana Pancakes" and "Staple It Together". Dressed island-casual in faded jeans, dark blue T-shirt with a full-grown, shaggy 'do', the Grammy-nominated guitarist-vocalist invited every single Kokua Festival performer out for duets and a grand ensemble finale of the reggae standard "Everything Is Gonna Be Alright".

Day 2 of the 2010 Kokua Festival takes place later today, and a full review of the event will be in the April 30 issue of Seattle Gay News.

1 comment:

GayFromChina said...

nice to meet you!