Thousands upon thousands of people swarmed the Chinese Cultural Plaza in Honolulu's Chinatown on the night of the Summer reunion show. Crowds filled the open space, food stands lined the walkways, strings of flags floated above the courtyard, and on stage was the biggest act of the night. No, it wasn't Summer, the cool, contemporary Hawaiian band that played alongside Kalapana at the Toppe Ada Shoppe venue near Ala Moana Shopping Center in the 1970s. Instead it was one of the biggest celebrations of the year—Chinese New Year—and it was all happening in Honolulu on the night of Summer's reunion gig at Terry's Place, a small bar located directly above the Chinese dancers, dragons, and drums. Very loud drums.
See the Coors Light neon sign? That's Terry's Place. It was the running joke of the night, those Chinese drums, but nobody really cared (well, maybe drummer Bradley Choi, he was seated directly next to the windows!). The crowd at Terry's Place came to see Summer. What they got was just what Summer is all about: harmonies that have stood the test of time, smooth songwriting, plenty of smiles and lots of happy memories.
Two original members of the group, Ron Yuen and Tim Hurley, fronted the band that night, with the help of guitarist Pete, drummer Brad and a handful of enthusiast percussionists who jumped in on the fun.
Even if those Asian drumbeats bled through the windows during a song like Kalapana's "Juliette", the band masked the exterior noise and dedicated every effort to their music. "Juliette", written by Mackey Feary and Ronald Yuen, brought the women sitting next to me to tears. They hugged each other, sad and nostalgic at the sound of Mackey and Ron's eternally beautiful song.
Summer used to perform at a nightclub known as Toppe Ada Shoppe ("Top of the Shop"), where bands like Kalapana and the Mackey Feary Band played, as well as a number of other local artists. Terry, it turns out, was (and still is) Summer's biggest fan. Near the end of their last set, she pulled up a chair and sat in the 'front row', just like at Toppe Ada Shoppe!
Follow Terry's Place on Facebook and you'll discover a ton of great videos shot by Terry with her iPhone. Terry's Place books talented Hawaiian musicians every night of the week—from Dave Toma, Richard Natto, Gordon Freitas, Danny Couch, and even Mike Lundy. Come here any night of the week and it's a hit, guaranteed. (Which reminds me, I need to get back to Terry's Place soon!)