Truth from Dare: Quality over quantity

Mar. 21, 2012 | 3 Comments

The scene near at the corner of Nuuanu Avenue and Merchant Street on St. Patrick's Day 2012. (Star-Advertiser File)

The scene near at the corner of Nuuanu Avenue and Merchant Street on St. Patrick's Day 2012. (Star-Advertiser File)

BY DERIN DEREGO / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Remember your early nightclub experiences? Whether as an “under” or of legal drinking age, the gauge of a good night was usually how crowded it was. I remember hearing radio commercials touting that there were “over one thousand party people last week.” Things have definitely changed.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to appreciate the caliber of people I’m in the presence of more than the sheer number of them. The thought of a crowded nightclub conjures thoughts of bar lines four or five people deep, and 10-minute waits for the restroom. Doesn’t seem long, but in the moment it’s an eternity! Indeed, it’s definitely become more about quality than quantity for me.

Case in point was last weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day Block Party. I always look forward to this event, but for some reason it was almost unbearable this year. Perhaps it was due to my being another year older, or that more people attended because it was on a Saturday; whatever the reason, lines seemed longer, people seemed more intoxicated, and organization seemed to be lacking. It baffles me that some of the attendees were there at noon to start things off — and were still standing after dark!

After making my way through various bottlenecks of partygoers and jockeying to get a cocktail, the liquor area announced they had run out of vodka, so we ducked into O’Toole’s. We quickly realized that being in the thick of things wasn’t the best idea, so we headed over to Bar 35. Around 11 p.m., we headed up to thirtyninehotel for “Shake ‘N Pop.” Considering the mob gathered on the streets below, this party was relatively mellow and quite comfortable. I did notice a number of people waiting to get in as we left around midnight, so I’m sure a crowd ensued. We closed our night out at Addiction Nightclub. It’s a safe bet most people you see out will end up there by closing time.

Foster the People performs at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace on Sunday, March 18. (Star-Advertiser File)

Foster the People performs at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace on Sunday, March 18. (Star-Advertiser File)

On Sunday, I braved yet another crowd to see Foster the People at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower. My expectations for the show weren’t very high — not to say they were low, but the band only has one album, so I wasn’t holding my breath.

I was pleasantly surprised at how great they sounded live. Every song sounded as it does on the album, including their biggest hit, “Pumped Up Kicks.” My only complaint (and it’s a minor one) was that in some areas of the 21-and-over section there was no view of the stage. I suppose that’s the beauty and flaw of the setup at the Waterfront. The space can be expanded to accommodate more people, but it’s at the expense of an unobstructed view.

Because this past weekend was spent among throngs of people, I’m planning on keeping things a little more intimate this weekend.

Tomorrow, March 22, is the return of the monthly social shopping experience known as “Art and Flea” at Fresh Cafe in Kakaako. The event combines the treasures you find at flea markets with unique, handmade items such as jewelry, artwork, and clothing. There’s also live music and other forms of off-the-wall entertainment. The last time I was there, they conducted a raw tuna-eating contest I couldn’t take my eyes off of.

This week also marks the fifth anniversary of “Shop a Le’a,” the annual shopping event at Ala Moana Center that ushers in spring. The main event is “Passport To Luxury” on Friday, March 24, a private event usually marked by flowing champagne and delectable appetizers.

By Saturday, I should be ready to celebrate with the masses again. I’m feeling a little nostalgic, so I’m planing to see Ziggy Marley and Inner Circle at Aloha Stadium. The lineup, coupled with the show’s location will be the perfect throwback to when I first saw Inner Circle at Richardson Field. The concert is going to take place outdoors in the stadium’s parking lot, however, so it won’t be exactly the same, but I’m excited nonetheless.

After the show I’m hoping to stop by Vice, a new nightclub that opens this weekend in the old Paparazzi/Brew Moon location at Ward Centre. More than likely, I’ll end my night at Addiction for their spring break kickoff party.

As we ring in spring, I’m sure there’ll be a lot going on as we slide into the season of pool parties, barbeques, and concerts. Hopefully there’ll be an equal balance of quality events and those raging with a thousand party people!

  • Anonymous

    This writer is either new to Hawaii or very young.  The St. Patrick’s day block party has not changed in over five years since its last big uptick in attendance – the orgainization of the booths and area remained the same.  The high level on intoxicated party goers has also remained the same.  (Typically the businesses in the chinatown area suffer damage to their store fronts and signs on this evening).  I am pleased to report that there was no damage this year..  As a reminder the proceeds of the block party are donated to charity.

    • Anonymous

      i’d say he’s very young!

  • Bill

    Who cares what this weirdo thinks or where he’s going?