One of Hawai‘i’s Under-Appreciated Spots for Live Music is in a Small Studio
The Atherton Performing Arts Studio is one of Honolulu’s hidden musical gems.
PHOTO: COURTESY OF HAWAI'I PUBLIC RADIO
Big concerts are all right once in awhile, but, let’s face it, most of the time, you’re so far away from the stage, and so crushed by the crowd, you can barely enjoy the performance. Give us a tiny venue any day—a Ward’s Rafters, a Downbeat Lounge. One of our favorite under-appreciated spots for live music is the Atherton Performing Arts Studio, tucked into the Hawai‘i Public Radio headquarters on Kāheka Street. It seats about 75 people, and the acoustics are fantastic. “It’s cozy,” says Gene Evans, HPR community outreach manager. “It’s very intimate. Because you don’t need amplification, artists adapt to that setting. Even if they’re normally a louder act, this is their chance to do an unplugged set. It’s not something you’re going to hear anywhere else.” HPR has a full summer of performances scheduled, generally Saturday evenings at 7:30—everyone from local jazz/hip-hop group The Deadbeats to rising soul star Maryanne Ito—and while you could wait to listen to the performance broadcast on HPR six months down the line, it’s much better to see these artists up close and personal.
Did you know? The Atherton boasts a Bösendorfer concert grand piano for visiting performers. To see a full summer schedule, visit hawaiipublicradio.org/athertonconcerts