Only after 7 months, and the 7th time in under 4 years, the preeminent Hawaiian Reggae band, The Green were back in New York City, playing a sold out concert at the Gramercy Theater. Last November, in 2013 the band headlined a packed house also at the Gramercy Theater. This time however, they were here to support their Reggae “brothers”, Rebelution. Well, at least that was the initial plan.
The Green has released three albums and 43 songs, since their debut in 2010. Each of those 43 melodious songs is worthy of a concert set list. Understandably, since they were not the headlining band, The Green curtailed their set list. This however created some anxiety among fans in the audience. It did not help the situation that after just five songs, most of the band left the stage to allow bass player Brad do his thing. By this time, they had performed their single “Liar”, “Hold Me Tight” from their latest album “Hawaii ‘13”, and a quick succession of four songs from their first album, “Runaway Train”, “Rootsie”, “Never” and “Love I”. The Green’s first album won the iTunes Best Reggae album of 2010.
The Green has practically been on the road since the release of their first album, with short breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas. So it was no surprise when they got the call from Bruno Mars to open for him at his upcoming concerts in Hawaii, not only were they on the road, but also on the other side of the globe in New Zealand. Well, when “Hollywood” calls you drop everything. And, that’s what they did; they dropped everything, rescheduled some shows and hopped on home.
It turns out The Green and Bruno Mars go back a little bit. Bruno grew up in Hawaii and got to know some of the members of The Green and their friends. It was through this friendship-circle that Bruno Mars chose to have them open his three sold-out concerts. According to the grapevine, there may also have been talk of a possible collaboration.
The Green has only collaborated previously with one other vocalist, their hometown reggae-soul “sister” Kimie. No surprise here, given the band consists of four vocalists who each have songs in all their albums. No matter the competition for mic-time within the band, when Bruno Mars calls again, fans won’t be sad if some of the members are relegated to singing “oohs” and “aahs”. It’s Bruno Mars.
Back in New York City at the Gramercy, when the full band returned to the stage they performed the only song of theirs that prominently features three of the four vocalists, “Something About It” from their latest album. They are yet to release a tune with all four prominently featured. The band consists of Zion who is the main guitarists and a vocalist, Caleb who is the main vocalist, JP who is a guitarist and a vocalist, they have Ikaika on the keyboard who is also a vocalist, Brad, and Jordan the drummer. The Green wrapped up their set with Caleb’s sonorous falsetto in “Love and Affection” and “Good One.” Both songs are from their second and third albums, respectively.
After The Green’s teaser performance, next up was the headliner of the concert. As it would turn out, Rebelution never made it past the first few notes of the first song on their set list. A rude interruption: the theater fire alarm system went off before the first lyric was song. Maybe it was the “catch-a-fire” aroma in the theater that floated a little too high. Or, it could have been a disoriented fan exiting the wrong door. Either way, the concert was over. The Green had teased, and symbolically even the concert venue wasn’t having it. Rebelution would later come back, five days later for a make-up show.
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