What a night! I got to go hear Willie K and Amy Hanaiali‘i Gilliom at the Oregon Zoo Summer Concert series. It was wonderful. We went with 2 of our friends, and sat on the lawn area of the zoo, surrounded by hundred-year old fir forests, barn swallows darting over our heads, while the half moon rose lazily in the sky.
During the break I got to wala‘au with a bunch of my friends from da ‘āina… that’s always fun. Several of them I haven’t seen in quite awhile, so we talked stories until Willie K and Amy came on.
This is the first time I’ve seen Willie K in person; he’s an amazing musician and a fantastic entertainer as well. He kept us in stitches with his jokes, his “opera” singing, and his Patsy Cline/Willie Nelson impersonations had us rolling in the “aisles”. Amy’s voice is amazing; moah bettah in person than on her CD’s. At one point, when she was pau with one of her songs, one of the nearby elephants trumpeted as if in praise! She and Willie K played off each other beautifully. It was so good for this homesick wahine to hear the sounds of home, to mingle with other locals and to enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Northwest on a balmy summer night.
That said… I wish that I could go to more often to real “down home” Hawaiian concerts… the only ones I’ve been able to go to here in Portland was when George Kahumoku Jr, Led Ka‘apana and The Mākaha Sons came through. Now THAT was a concert! Pure Hawaiian all the way. Then I got to see Cyril Pahinui, Led Ka‘apana, George Kahumoku Jr and Bob Brozman.. I loved that one too. To me, those two concerts were the epitome of what Hawaiian concerts should be.
All in all, howevah, a great way to celebrate my birthday!