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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Live Music or DJs

What do we know? by Jesse Acuna, Liliha

Dark, raw, sophisticated and sexy is the live music in the Night Clubs of  Oahu. They capture the essence of the original loved music perfectly without presenting their selves as just a carbon copy. Part intimate live music venue, part high-end nightclub, the local clubs use their space well to showcase both established and emerging musicians. It’s their music that has grabbed the dancer's attention.

“She says he says, but she could be lying to me, and he could be lying
to her, so I can’t believe her, even if I could believe her.”

The clubs have approached the subject of looking for and hiring entertainment regularly and it has been a hot topic at our present Nightclub establishments. The subject of music and volume has come up often and the general theory of the "oldies but goodies" has now been very well established on Oahu. Also the increase acceptance of Latin Dance and Music. While we haven’t yet really written about it, part of the pushback from bar and club owners when it comes to paying top dollar for DJs is the prevalence of prerecorded sets.

"At Last" by Ray Eberly with Glenn Miller

This criticism isn’t limited to just operators, either. Plenty of night clubbers, VIPs and even DJs themselves have a problem with high-priced acts (which usually lead to inflated cover, table and other charges.) They show up with a laptop or memory stick, plug it  in, and essentially pantomiming a party before collecting a hefty paycheck.

"Tiny Bubbles" by Don Ho

The question many owners, guests and other DJs seem to be asking is, “What are they being paid for?” Is just showing up to the venue a live performance? Is actually mixing songs together in the moment a live performance? They are even those who ask, “If the crowd doesn’t care, does it matter?” The club owners have gradually  come up with an answer to these questions with their changing agendas and there will be more changes.


Not only is an evening dedicated to DJ sets unique in today’s laptop-driven EDM world, it offers owners, operators, managers and promoters a way to stand out from other venues. Such a concept can also save dollars, attracting up-and-coming local turntablists looking for exposure. Venues can ensure entertainers aren’t cheating the guests out of a live experience by limiting and controlling the equipment available, generating credibility and a healthy dose of authenticity. This type of promotion can also reinvigorate slow nights and even reenergize an often too easily bored and unimpressed Oahu dance crowd. In this case, the old is definitely once again new.

  “For we have trained ourselves as social dancers and we are training ourselves always to be able to dance lightly in the service of thought”