On The Road With Katchafire

Last week we hit the road for a few dates with New Zealand’s Katchafire, who have a massive following worldwide (they’re always on a world tour), and especially in Hawai’i and amongst Pacific Islanders who made the big leap to the mainland. We started off the mini-tour right here in Seattle at Showbox at the Market, and then followed our Maori braddahs up to Spokane and Bellingham.

The Seattle show was like a homecoming, even though we were leaving first thing in the morning for Spokane. So many familiar faces, so many faces we haven’t seen for a while, and of course, so many new faces which we hope to see for years to come. Showbox at the Market is hands down the best room to play in Seattle, and we loved every minute of it, especially reconnecting with Katchafire since the last time we played with them at Snoqualmie Casino back in April 2011.

Minutes before they take the stage at every show they huddle in a tight circle and do a Maori chant together – knowing this, we were just about to leave the greenroom to give them space to get mentally prepared for the stage, but just as we were almost out the door, Uncle G put his arms around us and brought us into the circle, where they gave us an amazing shout out. Really special moment.

The whole story with Spokane is that is was really, really hot. So hot that on our way out there on the I-90, the passenger side rearview mirror of the Mahalo Tour Van literally melted off the mount and launched itself into the freeway all of a sudden. The next three cars to pass us weren’t happy at all. What could have we done? When we finally got up to Spokane, the temperature had peaked at 105 degrees. By the time we got to the van after soundcheck to head back to the hotel, the driver’s side rearview mirror was nowhere to be found. Our guess is that it also melted off somewhere in the city. Who knows? The Knitting Factory was a magnificent venue, probably top three for us, and we met a ton of Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders after we got off stage. Feels like we got ‘ohana in Spokane now!

Bellingham was the third and final date with Katchafire, and even on a Tuesday night, the Wild Buffalo was packed to the rim. We had a great talk with Katchafire’s management after our set, and got a lot of advice for the future. Then, when we went back upstairs to catch the end of the show, Katchafire brought Teo and Ahkeenu up to rock some percussion during an interlude, and then brought Pak and Chris up on stage to perform a cover of Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.” Magical finale to a magical mini-tour. Much love and aloha to our braddahs from Aotearoa! You guys are the best. A hui hou!

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