Something to Shout About: The 70s Night Club Reunion

UPDATE: 2017 sees the return of 70s NCR with Mike Lundy and Aura! August 5, 2017 at the Ala Moana Hotel. 

Forty years in the making, the last reunion concert featuring Hawaii’s biggest disco, funk, soul and R&B acts from the seventies finally came to an end Saturday night at the Ala Moana Hotel Hibiscus Ballroom.

Pauline Wilson

Pauline Wilson captivated the crowd.

It was a blast, every band went all out, everyone was in high spirits. The dancefloor was jam-packed from the very first song to the last!

For now, some thoughts on this year’s 70s Night Club Reunion (the last of its kind, although we hope that isn’t totally true!). More photos and more stuff soon.

  • Nueva Vida was a surprise hit (for me, at least). Triple threat of singers, including Carla Young, Lil Albert and Pauline Wilson. Young did a stellar version of Us3’s “Cantaloop.”
  • Remember when I said Babadu was the Hawaiian Stevie Wonder? I was only partly correct. Lil Albert powered the house with smashing, Wonder-ful vocals. He was good.
  • And Pauline Wilson. Of the handful of songs she performed with Nueva Vida, the crowd went wild for her versions of Seawind’s most popular songs..
  • Power Point: another unexpected hit (probably because I had no idea what to expect in the first place). Super high energy, all smiles, very very funky.
  • Greenwood: first band up. Tight as ever. Dance floor filled in seconds.
  • Aura rocked the ballroom and it was almost impossible to move toward the stage. It was packed.

I met a lot of cool ‘club’goers who wondered why a 23-year-old was hanging out at the reunion show.

The stories they told me about Waikiki’s clubs, like The Point After and Hula Hut—packed every night with outstanding house bands that kept the night going on and on—made me wish my generation had something close to what 1970s Honolulu had.

Of course, it wouldn’t be the same if it happened today.

Lil Albert

Lil Albert belts it out.

Memory lane aka a half dozen display boards filled with memorabilia from tons of bands were out in the hotel lobby, featuring newspaper clippings, flyers and posters from: Natural High, Mackey Feary Band, Greenwood, Phase VII, Power Point and so many others that I need to go back and look through my photos again.

When Natural High reunited for the 70s NCR a few years back, tickets sold out in 5 minutes.

No joke: all tickets were gone in 5 minutes. Can somebody please play me one of their records?

And Phase VII. Last band up. The ‘horniest’ band around, I heard someone say. Every person in the crowd watched them with smiles of nostalgia while singing along to the songs of their youth.

Everyone had a good time, so much that the performance went over 30+ minutes—maybe an hour? Hotel staff eventually turned on the house lights for the last two songs of Phase VII, but people kept dancing and Phase VII kept singing!

Nobody wanted it to end…

UPDATE: Good news, the 70s Night Club Reunion will be back in 2012!

Aura

Aura brought the funk.

Power Point

Power Point funked it up big time.

Big thanks to Irwin aka ‘Supes‘, Candy Au of Ala Moana Hotel and Rob Kimura of Greenwood for organizing these reunions for the past seven+ years.

Missed out on the action? Buy the live DVD set of the 70s Night Club Reunion!

  1. fantastic shots. love the energy in the capture. and the lighting and composition really add to the photos. great work.

    Reply

  2. “hula hut” or “hawaiian hut”? i remember the latter.

    Reply

    1. Both, and you’ll see why in the next post, but I was confused about this for a while too.

      Whenever I hear “hawaiian hut” I instantly hear that Al Nobriga “My Last Disco Song” track in my head.

      Reply

  3. Yeah darqlabs… agree with you… lots of energetic pics here .. especially the one of Lil Albert.
    Wish i would have got a chance to attend such an event, with such fabulous bands, which make the show continued till more than a hour!!

    Reply

  4. mahalo Mumbai Night Clubs and darqlabs! I haven’t had much time to plow through the other photos, but stay tuned!

    Reply

  5. Actually, there was a Hula Hut and a Hawaiian Hut. Hawaiian Hut was at the Ala Moana Hotel.
    Hula Hut used to be located on Beach walk – but the building is long gone.
    Hula Hut was the home of Natural High. One of the 2 lead singers from Natural High – Roy Yonashiro – is the lead singer in retro band: Powerhouse. Natural High’s other lead singer – Rob Yamamoto – was singing jazz and contemporary music with a band called Infusion. But they have since dissolved. Hopefully Rob will be hooking up with another band soon.

    You wanted to hear some Natural High music?
    Here ya go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB6ukIM5J5E

    Reply

  6. Here’s an old blog post from the 70’s NCR event that Natural High played at. (sorry, it’s tucked in between the Star Advertiser’s front page). http://midlifecrisis.honadvblogs.com/2009/08/03/70s-nightclub-reunion-6-outstanding/

    Reply

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