Date: Saturday, October 19th. 2013
Line Up: The Green & Kimie
Venue: The Republik. Honolulu, Hawaii
The Green celebrated their exclusive album release show at the Republik in Honolulu before they leave the island to kick off a fall tour on the mainland. The local Hawaiian boys played two sold out shows on Friday and Saturday in support of their new album, Hawai’i ’13, which was recorded and mixed with Danny Kalb (Ben Harper, Beck, and Jack Johnson) at Hurley Studios and released on Easy Star Records.
They are no strangers to a grueling tour schedule having the Vans Warped Tour, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, and the California Roots Festival on their resume. Internationally, they have traveled and toured in Japan, New Zealand, and Guam. The band will take a few days off and head to Arizona on October 23, 2013 where they will make their way around the mainland by touring through Texas, Florida and up the East Coast before making their way back west through Colorado on to Washington before finishing in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Before we left to see The Green, photographer Adam Cole Barber and I were given a friendly warning – Make sure we only talked to girls with a flower in her right ear, which means she is single, and to not stare anyone in the eye for too long. With the nerves racked up a little bit I somewhat anticipated showing up to the Republik in Honolulu being the only ‘ha’ole’, (a Hawaiian word for tourist that means “without breath”), surrounded by a bunch of native Hawaiians ready to jam to their hometown reggae sextet. This couldn’t be further from the truth as the fan base that showed up was ethnically diverse and ready for a good time. Bartender, Jessica, mentioned how refreshing the diverse crowd in attendance was, but Adam was given a term of endearment by being called a “ha’ole boy” as he was snapping pictures for the first time since he arrived on the island.
Local girl, Kimie, who opened up the show with her acoustic skills and soulful, symphonic voice, supported the Green. Kimie graced everyone with her rendition of Barrington Levy’s song, “Black Roses”; along with her radio hit “Make Me Say” which was the first song I heard when I moved to the island last April. She received a heart-felt ovation from the crowd who were anticipating the Hawaiian hometown heroes.
The crowed exploded with cheers when the background music shut down and the chants of the first track, “He Mele No Ku’u Hawai’i”, from the new album came through the PA. “Chanting has been a part of our culture,” says guitarist JP Kennedy, “When we chant, we ask for blessings, knowledge, and guidance so that we can be righteous in whatever we do.” The atmosphere of the Republik seemed to resonate a spiritual calm as the six members of The Green walked on stage.
“If you feel the music tonight let me hear you scream” yelled lead singer, Caleb Keolanui, “We feel it tonight, I know you feel it too” as the band continued their harmonic and melodious set. The Green sets an example for musicians everywhere by each member contributing their instrumental and vocal skills, in addition to five of the six band members show off song writing skills and vocal talents.
It felt less like a group of fans anticipating a show with their favorite rock stars, and more like a gathering of ‘ohana’, or family, showing up to see their cousins off to the mainland. Almost everyone in attendance showed his or her appreciation of the music by following along to almost every word. As each song came to a close, the ovation became louder and louder.
When The Green began to play the single “Take Me On” from Hawai’i ’13 the energy expanded into a dance infused mêlée of smiles and cheers. As I stood off to the side I noticed some in attendance getting a little too rowdy needing to be carried out of the venue by security. Throughout the set, various crowd members emerged from the packed herd of fans exhausted, sweaty and full of smiles. Stepping away to catch your breath was a perfect opportunity to check out the diverse beats of drummer, Jordan Espinoza, on drums. His use of his drum kit works in perfect synchronicity with the harmonic vocals of guitarists JP Kennedy and Zion Thompson.
The Green ended their set with the song “Power In The Words” from the new album as the sold out crowd danced the night away. Giving ‘mahalo’, or thanks, to everyone in attendance, The Green walked off stage and no one budged and immediately called the band back with chants of ‘hana hou’, the Hawaiian phrase for encore. The band appeared back on stage and changed the tempo by serenading the audience with “Chocolates & Roses” and “Never” before closing the night with “Good One” to get one more opportunity for the groovy bass lines of Brad “BW” Watanabe and the soothing keyboards of Ikaika Antone.
Cheers of joy and admiration filled the venue and the band stayed after the show to hang out with their ohana and fans. “I haven’t seen them in a long time,” said local Hawaiian, Rain, who feels the band plays their best when they are at home in Hawai’i, “It won’t be the same on the mainland”. Although many people will not be fortunate to see The Green on the islands, they will be able to check them out as they make their way across the country from October 23, 2013 through the end of November. Don’t miss your chance for positive vibes and make sure you pick up their latest album Hawai’i 13.
The Green Set-List:
2.) Hold Me Tight
3.) Good Vibe Killah
5.) What Will Be Will Be
6.) Forgive Me
7.) Love I
8.) Runaway Train
9.) Keep On
10.) Rootsie Roots
11.) How Does It Feel
12.) Take Me On
13.) Something About It
14.) Come In
16.) Love & Affection
18.) Gotta Be
19.) Power In The Words
20.) Chocolates & Roses
22.) Good One
The Green Links:
The Green Website
The Green Facebook