Heels & Picks: Foxes at The Republik
BY ERIN SMITH / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Mele Kalikimaka may be the thing to say on a bright, Hawaiian Christmas day, but once January rolls around, there is a different phrase in the air on Oahu: Pro Bowl.
The annual pro football all-star game at Aloha Stadium always gets the island buzzing over a solid week of parties, events and athlete sightings. The nightclubs are full, the annual Waikiki block party goes off and visiting athletes and celebrities learn a thing or two about Hawaii, the Aloha Spirit and the culture of Oahu.
Another highlight this year? Getting to see Foxes, a singer from England who is about to drop a debut album that will probably be as ubiquitous as her hit single, “Clarity”.
You may not think you are familiar with this British recording artist, but it’s been nearly impossible to avoid her collaboration with producer Zedd. Having a song reach No. 1 before you’ve even released your debut album is a rare feat, and judging by the reaction of fans at The Republik on Friday, Jan. 24, her full-length release can’t show up on iTunes soon enough.
Foxes was the headliner at the “Pepsi Pro Bowl Concert” at the Kapiolani Blvd. nightclub, and make no mistake — Pepsi was king at this event. Their red and blue logo took over The Republik like Luke Skywalker on the Death Star.
Yes, I just made a Star Wars joke. Yes, I am not only a fashionista and a rocker, but a nerd as well!
NFL players dotted the VIP section at The Republik, ensconced on couches like broad-shouldered diamonds within a bottle-service-and-bustier setting. My boyfriend and I chatted with colleagues from both the liquor industry (for him), and the entertainment industry (for me). We enjoyed delicious signature cocktails in the Safehouse, the lounge inside The Republik, laughed a lot, listened to the DJs and waited for Foxes to get on stage.
Born Louisa Rose Allen, Foxes appeared between DJ sets to perform three synth-pop songs from her repertoire. Dressed in a cap-sleeved, form fitting, A-line pink dress, I was pleasantly surprised to see the 24-year-old in the role of lovely girl who can sing, her gorgeous mop of brown-to-blond hombre hair and wide eyes providing sex appeal instead of a pair of booty shorts.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the risqué factor for what it is, but it’s refreshing to see just a touch of sexiness. It can start to become insulting to the intelligence of our collective societal libido to suggest the only thing that’s sexy is a leather bra. Sometimes a teeny bit of midriff or some leg is way more exciting than just putting it all out there for the world to see. Am I right?
Of fine voice, with a strong ability to work the crowd, Foxes bounced around the stage without losing pitch. Her debut Oahu performance was a hit with the crowd. Female singers making guest appearances are a popular thing these days, with Sia and David Guetta’s “Titanium” and Hayley Williams and Zedd’s “Stay the Night” coming to mind.
Foxes and Zedd’s “Clarity” is of the same ilk, an instantly catchy song with emotional resonance for anyone who’s wondered why a bad romance can be so damn hard to get out of. Fans of Foxes can expect more of the same synth-pop gems, with the release of “Glorious” on March 3. Described as “pop with a dark streak”, it seems Foxes has found her niche and 2014 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for her.
Kicking 2014 off in Honolulu is not too shabby, either.
There is one other valuable fashion tip I learned last weekend. If you are a professional football player, there is no shame in rocking a T-shirt with roses and cheetah print in the club. This is information I will store away for use in the future, when my booty shorts are in the wash.
Erin Smith is a singer and guitarist who performs as a solo artist and with Maui-based Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated band The Throwdowns. Born in Canada, she moved to Hawaii in 2004 and now resides in Kailua. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.