Night Lights: Weekend Wrapup Sept. 16-19

First off, in industry news, there’s some good and some bad.

Traditionally, the bad news first: Apparently Level 4, known for its celebrities and packed weekend ragers, has closed its doors, as of the end of the night yesterday, with very little warning or fanfare. There have been whispers of financial troubles at the Royal Hawaiian Showroom since its two shows, Waikiki Nei and Heartbeat Hawaii, closed down due to poor sales and technical difficulties. Level 4 Nightclub, however, has been the most consistent thing at that venue, hosting everything from the Pro Bowl Players party to the Black Eyed Peas after-party. It’s unknown at this point whether the club will reopen in the future or call it quits for good. Either way, my prediction is that it’s going to have a noticeable impact for the worse on the Waikiki club scene.

On the brighter side, it’s been rumored for some time, but recently confirmed by Nick Yee (otherwise known as DJ Mr. Nick) who’s now employed by Lotus Soundbar, that Lotus is planning to expand its holdings by opening up a new spot in Chinatown, just down Hotel Street from The Manifest. What will it be like? We hear it’s going to be more of a lounge, but just wait and see!

On to the weekend…

I started my weekend early with the Nonstop launch party on Thursday at Ka. Just about everyone else has blogged about it already, so I won’t say much, but I will say that it was heartening and wonderful to see so many friends, old and new, come out to support us. Although Bryan Yoshida of Ka, the same place we held Metromix’s goodbye party, actually offered to host the party a month before we launched, as soon as the party announcement went out, I got offers from the owners of several different clubs who also wanted to host it. I get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside to know that so many people support us and what we’re trying to do, and I’ve heard so many good things on my weekend rounds… so thank you, everyone! It’s so good to know that what we do is truly valued by a scene, and it reinforces that my decision to continue covering Honolulu’s nightlife, whether or not I’m getting paid to do so, was the right one.

That said…

I started off Friday by heading down to Waikiki for DJs Hazukidz and Yoshi at Lotus Soundbar. Since the place doesn’t kick off until late, I found myself at Nobu Waikiki for a cocktail beforehand, where I got to spend some time with one of my favorite drinks, their peach and cucumber white wine sangria ($10). Then I walked over to Lotus, where DJ Hazukidz, an electro/house DJ from Japan and a former model was clowning around with some of her friends before hitting the decks at Good Life’s weekly Soul Heaven party.
Here’s the gallery:

Soul Heaven with DJs Hazukidz & Yoshi

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At the end of the night, I briefly dropped in on Chris Rice’s annual tribute party to the underground house/industrial club known as Galaxy, or 1739’s. Quite a few former patrons of said establishment (which has since been bulldozed) were partying at Russian Roulette at King’s Pub, so I said hi to some old friends before heading home for the night. Anyone who’d ever been inside the infamous club at 1739 Kalakaua Ave. will wonder how it’s possible to miss the grungy, blacklisted, possibly STD-ridden BYOB and BYO-drugs club, with its peeling black paint and sometimes violent clashes between patrons… but perversely, I do sometimes.

Saturday, I headed out (relatively) early for AlohaLauLea, a huge Island music concert that I’m pretty sure everyone’s been hearing about for months, due to the tireless efforts of Ray Jr. (from Hush Nightclub) and the boys from Artist Groove Network. By 10 p.m., The Waterfront at Aloha Tower, Don Ho’s and Gordon Biersch were packed with people bouncing back and forth from one stage to the next to see their favorite acts. It’s hard to be in three places at once, but I did manage to catch sets by Jimmy Weeks, Rebel Souljahz, Audissey (most everyone knows him as a DJ, but woah, can that guy sing!), Sheriff Brown and Ooklah. Here’s the gallery:


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On the way home for the night, I took a detour and ended up at Apartment3, right in time for a “Clockwork Orange”-themed performance by the girls from Cherry Blossom Cabaret. I do love the movie, and to viddy it while a gorgeously multitalented and scantily-clad Kitty Chow gyrated her hips from atop Apartment3’s furniture was a rare treat. No pictures, unfortunately… you’ll have to use your imagination for that one.

Another weekend down… now to figure out what I’m going to do next week!