Bands to pack Brian’s for Crossroads Music Fest
BY ELIZABETH KIESZKOWSKI / firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the past two years, pool hall Hawaiian Brian’s has undergone a transformation — adding a state-of-the-art stage at Crossroads, a room holding up to 500, and small-show venue The Studio in a former showroom up front.
The venue has steadily drawn an expanding lineup of local bands in multiple genres — rock, metal, punk, reggae, even jazz.
CROSSROADS MUSIC FESTIVAL
» Where: Crossroads and The Studio (two stages), Hawaiian Brian’s, 1680 Kapiolani Blvd.
» 7 p.m.: Mike Love Duo, roots reggae
» 6:45 p.m.: Above Reproach, alt-rock
Growing the venue was a costly commitment: Co-owner Lee Anderson said the price of a required sprinkler system alone was upward of $60,000. But Anderson, 26, who returned to Hawaii from a stint working as a hedge-fund trader and bond analyst to join his dad in the business, said support from bands and their fans is helping to make the improvements worth the investment.
Reggae acts are booking shows at The Studio, which holds about 50 patrons; touring metal bands regularly sell out Crossroads. DJs book either stage, depending on the draw.
So Anderson hatched the idea of celebrating Crossroads’ anniversary with a music fest.
“I’ve been around classic rock my whole life,” he said. “We have an appreciation for live music.”
HEADLINING band I the Mighty is fresh off the Warped Tour. The band’s earnest, all-out approach matches up pretty closely with the Crossroads ethic.
The guitar band balances its approach between melodic song and screamed/shouted exhortation, energetic rock and metallic onslaught. Some label the group post-hardcore, with a fair measure of pop-punk and progressive rock in the mix.
“We don’t want people to just listen to our music on a surface level. We want people to dive into the songs and dissect them and to really feel them,” vocalist Brent Walsh says on the band’s website.
I the Mighty’s debut LP “Satori” came out last year.
Anderson said he set out specifically to book a Warped Tour band — one that would get people talking. Coincidentally, one band member has family here — an aunt and uncle who stopped in at Hawaiian Brian’s to thank Anderson for booking the band.
Hawaii bands on the schedule include dynamic and highly original duo Sing the Body, punk rockers Anti-Matter and Knumbskulls, aggressive surf rockers Roofie Roulette and alt-rock/metal travelers Ignite the Red, A Shot at Sundown and Above Reproach.
Rockin’ guitar blues is represented in Cradle 2 Grave, while Nesta flies the metal flag.
Reggae, which has found a welcoming home at The Studio, is represented on both stages. Listen for powerful, amplified reggae from the Mike Love Duo and The Hydrolites as well as roots reggae from Cultural Movement, Kapu System and Mystikal Vibez.
It all comes back around to the owners’ love of music. The Crossroads Music Festival was put together in memory of Brandon Tucay, an ‘Iolani classmate of Anderson’s (class of 2006) and a talented musician in his own right.
Tucay died in an accident in 2012.
“He brought everyone together through music,” Anderson said.
It could happen again on Friday night.