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