The A.K.A.s and The Throwdowns teach Maui a lesson

Two nights, two shows, two amazing performances.

Since I arrived in Maui I have been exploring the rock scene here in an attempt to find out where we fit.  While I have come to appreciate the strange conglomeration and seemingly random mix of bands that is the Maui rock scene (and on top of that I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t explored the scene to it’s deepest depths yet), there is a noticeable absence of the kinds of bands that larger scenes produce.  It takes experience and demand to create the band that rocks hard, but still puts on a good show.  Smaller scenes tend to produce bands of one kind or the other.  And Maui has the extra issue of being both an isolated and a small scene (compared to Oahu who is isolated, but not small).  The last two nights have given the local scene a shot in the arm.  Let’s hope something comes of it.

The A.K.A.s are a Philadelphia based band, and yet they drug their asses all the way out here, fresh of Warped Tour, borrowed instruments, and put on a fucking phenomenal show to only about 60 people in Wailuku, but they brought the energy of a band playing to hundreds.  A lesser band with their experience would have phoned it in, but not them.  I was in Maui, watching and participating in a mosh pit in an theater designed to host play events.  It was crazy, but amazing.  I also discovered the band White Rose, who happen to be a LOCAL punk band.  This sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it’s not.  They were everything a small town punk band should be and they had the crowd properly warmed up.  Great fuckin’ show.

As if that wasn’t enough, I then had tickets to The Throwdown’s CD release party at Mulligan’s on the Blue last evening.  By 8:30 you knew it was the place to be.  That was probably the biggest gathering of people I’ve been part of for musical reasons since I arrived just over a year ago.  I’m not going to go into a huge breakdown of the band, ’cause that’s been done a bunch of times before (check out Maui Time Weekly’s recent feature here).  Instead I wanna talk about 1) what we can learn and 2) the repercussions of this show.  The Throwdowns are a rare treat around here as a local product band that are great performers who really understand rock and rock culture.  The have their fair share of local flavor (Marty Dread was on stage twice last night with them), but they transcend local-ness in a way that gives them rock cred at the same time.  People wanna believe that you have to be local to succeed here.  I don’t buy that and The Throwdowns prove it (and even White Rose to a lesser extent).  You can get accepted anywhere if you do whatever you do really really well.  That’s what we learned last night.  The Throwdowns…threw down and killed it (sorry about the pun).  What repercussions does this show have?  It opens the door.  It shows that local flavor, cover bands and Jawaiian, definitely king around here, aren’t all the Maui music scene has to offer.  And not only that, but the rock scene is a real contender.  Other bands can step into the space The Throwdowns are wedging open for the rock scene here.  There’s never been a better time to be a rock band on Maui.  Eventually someone’s going to have to take the mantel when The Throwdowns get too big for Maui’s britches…I’m psyched to see what happens next, and hoping that it’s us.

From Left: Ian Hollingsworth (drums) , Erin Smith (guitar, vocals) , Kimo Clark (bass, vocals) , Ola Shaw (guitars, vocals)

From Left: Ian Hollingsworth (drums) , Erin Smith (guitar, vocals) , Kimo Clark (bass, vocals) , Ola Shaw (guitars, vocals)