I had a great opportunity last weekend to watch one of Hawaii’s own rock the Blaisdell Arena and win over the whole state of Hawaii. Bruno Mars came back home and sold out 3 shows last weekend and proved why he is one of the top entertainers in the world right now. He put on a show that not only was musically amazing, but the production quality was off the charts. He didn’t just sing, he entertained. He inspired me to become a better entertainer.
I arrived in the arena right as Bruno’s Dad’s band was playing and rocking some doo-wop/latin music that was different from the norm but I really enjoyed it. Something about good conga players peaks my attention. After they finished their set, the proud father took a bow and waved goodbye to the crowd to make way for the next act to open. Back in high school I played in a band called “Pa’ani” and our bass player’s name was Brad Watanabe, who is now the bass player/keyboard player for the band The Green. They came on next to pave the way for Bruno and got the crowd up and dancing and loosened everyone up. They did a great job opening for Bruno and I know they have a VERY bright future ahead of them. It was great to catch up with Brad a little after he finished and I wish him all the best. We may collaborate on something in the future too…
After The Green finished it was a short wait till Bruno came up and holy smokes he did not disappoint! I knew he was good but he impressed me with his vocals and his overall ability to entertain. His band was amazing too! After the concert it really made me think about what I’m doing with my music career and how much harder I need to work to get to where I want to be. It’s so easy in Hawaii to be laid-back and fall into a slump because no matter what happens you’re in Hawaii and Hawaii is amazing. But after watching Bruno it made me think about how much work goes into this and he inspired me to want to get better and practice more to become a better entertainer and songwriter.
But like I said…there was someone else that caught my attention. Bruno’s brother Eric Hernandez, a.k.a “E-Panda” is his drummer on tour and this is not an over exaggeration, but he is one of the finest drummers I’ve ever seen in my life. It wasn’t because he could solo like a maniac (he could), it’s not because he could play fast and in time (he could), it’s not because he played with one hand while drinking water (he did), and it’s not because he made it look easy (he did)…it’s because of how tasteful his playing was. He didn’t try to bang around and over power the music, he played simple enough so the essence of the song remained familiar but also threw in perfectly timed fills and crashes. I might’ve watched him more than I did Bruno.
I went home after the concert and started reading about Eric Hernandez and his story. He originally moved to LA at the age of 18 to try and work as a drummer and ended becoming an LAPD police officer instead because he had to pay the bills. He pretty much put his drums in storage until Bruno moved up and things started to get exciting. He also took time to take lessons even though he knew he was good. That right there tells me a lot about him because you’re never too good to learn and he is a great example of how hard work will always pay off in the end. Go google him and read about him, great story.
E-Panda – if you ever read this, thanks for being an inspiration and not giving up when the going got tough. I would love to jam with you someday so keep a lookout for me in the future!
Thanks for reading peeps…got some exciting news coming in the next few months so stick around.