Truth from Dare: Back on the rock

Jun. 13, 2013 | 1 Comment

BY DERIN DEREGO / Special to the Star-Advertiser

Going on weekend jaunts to other cities usually leaves me a little jaded. No matter how awesome nightlife in Honolulu gets, it’ll never match cities like Los Angeles or Las Vegas. I found myself in both locales this past weekend, taking full advantage of the Tuesday holiday into an extended getaway.

But as the saying goes, the grass is always greener. I thoroughly enjoyed my visits to both party spots, but by the end of the trip all I wanted was a quiet beach to relax on. Of course, after a couple of days back I’m already thinking of where to go next. That’s always been the dilemma for me — it’s very Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” Luckily I work in an industry that allows for trips to keep my sanity intact.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will perform along with Neon Trees today at Kaka'ako Waterfront Park in a free concert sponsored by Microsoft. (Associated Press)

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will perform along with Neon Trees today at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park in a free concert sponsored by Microsoft. (Associated Press)

Another perk of the industry I work in is getting to attend some pretty stellar events. I’m stoked that a mere two days after returning from Los Angeles I get to see Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, plus Neon Trees, perform live. I missed the first time Macklemore was in town, as it was New Year’s Eve and I wasn’t quite a fan yet.

It’s not so much that I’ve become a fan of the current crown prince of hip-hop as it is that I respect anyone who has the courage to go against the grain. When his first single, “Thrift Shop,” came out, I thought Macklemore was an Eminem wanna-be trying to be gimmicky.

Then I heard the follow-up single, “Same Love.” Having grown up with hip-hop music, I’m well aware of the homophobia that exists within the community. So it’s refreshing to see a young artist who is on the cusp of superstardom share a point of view often marginalized in the very community he’s strived to be a part of.

It’s easy to say it’s popular for an artist to be pro-equality right now, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy for them to voice their opinion freely — especially in the hip-hop game where taking an unpopular opinion gives other MCs ammunition to disrespect you.

Hopefully the performance lives up to my expectations. I’m also looking forward to seeing Neon Trees, as the group hasn’t performed here before and it’ll be my first time catching both acts. With infectious hits like “Animal” and “Everybody Talks,” I’m sure the crowd lucky enough to score tickets for this free show will be on their feet.

Damian Marley, right, on stage at Kaka'ako Waterfront Park with Nas, left, in 2011. Marley returns to Kaka'ako this weekend for the second night of the Republik Music Festival. (Star-Advertiser File)

Damian Marley, right, on stage at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park with Nas, left, in 2011. Marley returns to Kaka’ako this weekend for the second night of the Republik Music Festival. (Star-Advertiser File)

If you opted not to wait in line at the new Microsoft store at Ala Moana Center (or didn’t get tickets to the show by other means), don’t fret. Tonight’s show isn’t the only huge concert going down this weekend. On Saturday, June 15, head to the Republik Music Festival at Kaka’ako Waterfront Park, where Damian Marley returns to headline the second night of this annual event with help from Santigold and Citizen Cope. All three are great performers so you can look forward to this one of the summer’s best concerts.

I’m glad there’s some great entertainment going on this week. At least for now, I can get both my nightlife fix and some quality beach time!
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When he’s not out and about at the hottest parties and other events in Honolulu, Derin “Dare” Derego works as an account executive at a local radio station group. Reach him via email at derinderego@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter.

  • Christa Wittmier

    you go to the beach!? we goooo