I’m sorry for saying this, but if you weren’t at the Hawaii Convention Center Ballroom to see Kalapana perform live at the 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, you’ll never know the feeling of hearing the band play “Naturally” that night.
- In front of an audience who lauded (they were awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award) yet mourned for the band and its loss of an irreplaceable lead singer and composer, Mackey Feary, Kalapana was fullly spirited in laughter and love.
‘Mourn’ isn’t the right word. Rejoiced, these people were celebrating in the music of Mackey. Huge smiles filled the room, a warming aura swept us as we watched the band members — Kenji Sato, Malani Bilyeu, DJ Pratt, Gaylord Holomalia and guests.
Emotion and energy was so great at that performance… Even now, days after as I’m browsing through the photos and recalling the memories, I’m brought to near tears of joy.
I feel so, so lucky to have seen them perform “Naturally” live as a tribute to Mackey. I mean, they had tons of gigs in the 1970s all the way through the 90s, but I had no idea back then.
Check out the rest of my Na Hoku photos on Flickr.
By the way, someone recorded part of Kalapana’s live performance and posted it to YouTube!