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Truth from Dare: A look back at 2012
BY DERIN DEREGO / Special to the Star-Advertiser
As we turn the page on an amazing year, I thought I’d take some time to recap some of my favorite happenings of 2012. As you get older the years tend to go by quicker and quicker and everything just kinds of blends together. There were a couple of marquee events though that stood out in the supersonic blur of the past 12 months.
If one thing dominated the nightlife scene in 2012 here in Hawaii — and across the globe for that matter — it was the continued rise in popularity of electronic dance music. There was no shortage of EDM DJ appearances this year.
There were large scale festivals that brought some heavy hitters together for one night of amazing music. The most memorable, for me, was the Electric Palms Music Festival in September. This event took place at Kakaako Waterfront Park and featured Steve Aoki and Feliz Cartel.
Of course the biggest dance party of the year was the Love Festival, which also took place at Kakaako Waterfront Park after years at the waterpark in Kapolei. This year’s event was headlined by MSTRKRFT, but also saw sets by Switch, Junior Sanchez, and a number of notable local DJs. There was some concern about moving this event, but apparently the move was a hit as the attendance was in the area of 10,000 people.
We also saw big name DJs making cameos at popular night spots. It’s no secret that the highlight for me was Diplo’s appearance at M Nightclub. The popular DJ is used to playing arenas, but still kept the capacity crowd at the M in awe playing for more than two hours without a break.
Other notable appearances included Dash Berlin at Aloha Tower, DJ Kutski at SoHo Mixed Media Bar, DJ Krush at NextDoor, Dirty Vegas at The Republik, Superstar DJ Keoki at Hula’s Bar and Lei Stand, Josh Peace at Bar 35, and Devin Lucien and DJ Vice at Addiction Nightclub. It certainly was a great year for infectious dance music in Honolulu.
2012 also saw a smorgasbord of live music acts as well. No matter what genre of music you’re into, chances are one of your favorite artists played here this year.
Topping my list of concerts for the year has to be Elton John. The legend played early in the year and kept the audience singing along to his laundry list of hits for nearly three hours. I was super impressed that Sir Elton continuously alternated between slamming the keys of his piano and belting out all my favorite songs. Indeed, the Rocket Man is still standing.
2012 also saw live performances by frequent Hawaii visitors like SOJA, Sublime with Rome and Melissa Etheridge. We also got to see some non-regulars like Lady Antebellum, Smokey Robinson, Foster The People, Bone Thugs ‘N’ Harmony, Jimmy Cilff, Morissey, Erykah Badu and Journey. There definitely were some great shows on the music tip these past 12 months. Luckily, some of my favorite events of 2012 are annual ones that I get to enjoy again in 2013.
Pro Bowl (and all of its accompanying parties) is usually the first major celebration I get excited about. Last year’s NFL Block Party in Waikiki was crazy, and I expect nothing less from this year’s incarnation.
Pow Wow Hawaii took over Kakaako in February with its huge murals scattered throughout the burgeoning area. From the buzz I’ve been hearing this year’s event will definitely not disappoint.
The MDA “Spring Soiree” at the Royal Hawaiian is a great way to celebrate early in the year. The food is amazing, and it’s always fun to watch some of Honolulu’s power players cut up the rug when the band starts playing.
This past year saw the expansion of all three major film festivals as well.
First out the gate was the Rainbow Film Festival in May. I always enjoy this one mainly because of the intimate viewing area of the Doris Duke Theater at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.
The Hawaii International Film Festival and EuroCinema Hawaii both touched down in the fall and were equally amazing. I didn’t get to see as many films as I would have liked to, but all the ones I did catch were great. The best part of the festivals for me is always the parties. The HIFF opening at Halekulani and the EuroCinema Hawaii gala at the Moana Surfrider are two of the best parties of the year. They’re a little pricey, but definitely worth it with their unbelievable culinary delights, upbeat entertainment, and actual celebrities in attendance.
That’s just a sliver of the many things that shaped 2012 for me. I’m anxiously awaiting this year’s edition of all the reoccurring events, and am sure I’ll be stoked on some of the new things that 2013 will have to offer.
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 email@example.com or follow him on Twitter.