Review: Winter Mele begins year on positive note


Performer JBoog sings ‘Sunshine Girl’ alongside other reggae artists at Winter Mele 2012 held on January 21, 2012.

By Kelsie Chong, features co-editor

From its affordable entry fee to the quality performance line-up, the Winter Mele 2012, also known as the J Boog Backyard Boogie Tour, exceeded all expectations.

Held at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday, January 21, 2012, reggae fanatics made time to witness live in concert J Boog, Peetah Morgan, Wailing Souls, Fiji, Maoli, Siaosi, Joshua Tatofi, Hot Rain, Kiwini Vaitai, Laga Savea and Positive Motion.

Gates opened around 4:30p.m where a handful of early birds easily made their way into the stadium. The concert attracted a wide variety of age groups.

After recovering from a slow start in the beginning, the focus turned to a local group called Hot Rain. The group was exceptionally talented. The lead singer, Carl Noa or Capt. Gako, managed to alternate between leading the group through his sweet vocals, and jamming to his bass guitar.

The real fun begun as Joshua Tatofi appeared next, singing his hit song, “I Don’t Need You.”  The crowd rushed off the stadium bleachers and suddenly made their way onto the grass where most stayed permanently for the duration of the concert.

Maoli entertained the crowd through favorites such as “Breaking my Heart” and “No One.” Most teens began screaming and singing along with hands gracefully moving to the rhythm of the music.

Wailing Sail proved to be the most interactive with the crowd. The lead singer was hyped up the entire time on stage and made his way down to the audience a few times.

Finally, what the crowd waited all night for, the appearance of J Boog. Accompanying him on stage was Peetah Morgan.  The dual performance of the song “Sunshine Girl” was the best song of the entire night. Both singers’ energy and passion for entertaining came through during their pformance.

Fiji also shared the stage with them, celebrating his 20-year anniversary in the music industry. Popular songs like “Morning Ride” and “It Is What It Is” got the crowd screaming and skanking along.  A surprise appearance came from Irie Love who features in “It is What is Is.”

By the end, I was leaving the concert with deaf ears, a nonexistant voice, and fatigued legs. But really, what amazing concert does not leave you feeling this way? It was worth every penny.

All performers sounded just as good as if you were to listen to their songs on a soundtrack. It was astounding to see Peetah Morgan and Positive Motion reach for the high-pitched notes in many of their songs. The concert helped to demonstrate these artists naturally gifted voices.

Winter Mele 2012 has definitely raised the bar for any approaching Maui concerts.  Hats go off to Native 92.5, alongside with Cravalho Entertainment and Jon Yokouchi, for making the event possible.

Overall, it was an enjoyable concert with reggae music and talented bands singing right under the stars. Those who could not make it definitely missed out on a night of great music and wonderful memories.