John Craigie, February 11, 2022 — The Republik, Honolulu, Hawaii
In late 2019, reports were coming into Hawaii concerning a virus which was rapidly spreading within China. The first confirmed case occurred in the United States on January 11, 2020, in Washington. Rumors quickly spread about the potential effects this virus could bring to the U.S. and the World. On February 20, 2020 the crowd attending John Craigie at The Republik, in Honolulu, Hawaii, was only looking forward to being entertained by this modern-day musical troubadour. Little did we know, live concerts would not return to The Republik for almost two years.
Almost two years later to the day, John Craigie returned to Honolulu as part of his Hawaiian Island tour which included stops on Maui and Kauai. Within these two years there have been some changes, but some things have stayed the same. Attendees now have to show vaccine cards to enter, a mask mandate is enforced when you are not actively eating/drinking and the sound/lighting systems have been upgraded. As expected, just as in the past, the staff at The Republik were phenomenal, making everyone feel comfortable and welcome.
Singer/songwriter, Desirae Garcia, from Maui, warmed up the crowd with her gentle style. Her passionate set was unfortunately not gentle enough for a couple guys who were escorted out of the venue after having a bit too much to drink. Garcia joked this was the rowdiest crowd she’s had in some time.
At 8:45 the California born, Portland, Oregon based John Craigie strolled onto the stage. Dressed in bell-bottom jeans, plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up, and a red bandana around his neck, Craigie looked every bit the part of the classic folk balladeer. With only his guitar and harmonica, “Dissect The Bird” reacquainted the audience to the laid-back cool of Craigie’s repertoire. At the song’s conclusion, Craigie greeted the crowd, thanking them for attending a concert during these crazy times and shared some of his experiences over the past two years. His storytelling, sandwiched between songs, offered the audience a humorous peek inside the songwriter’s world. Tales of playing the large stage of Red Rocks, performing to anti vaccination crowds in Idaho, touring England, and an attempted partnership with Blue Runner Beans engrossed the crowd.
John Craigie’s honest and truthful lyrics, combined with lively acoustic guitar transported the audience to a beachside “kanakapila” style get together. “Don’t Ask,” “Hustlin’,” and Part Wolf” off of the 2020 release Asterisk The Universe were introduced to the attentive audience. “Let’s Talk This Over When We’re Sober and Not At Burning Man” was reworked and the title changed to “Let’s Talk This Over When We’re Sober and Not In Quarantine.” “Lori Roll Me A J” poked fun at the left and the right.
During the last song of the set Jack Johnson literally jumped on stage from his seat in the front row. In the past Johnson has brought Craigie on the road and the duo shared stories regarding their time together. The duo joked they only had time to practice one song, “I Wrote Mr. Tambourine Man.” After a short break John Craigie encored with his beautiful ode to his home, “I Am California.”
Leaving the venue, it was hard to believe that two years had passed. Craigie’s laid back demeanor created a comforting vibe in which to attend a live music event with friends. On this night everything felt right. It was only fitting that John Craigie was the first live performer to return to The Republik.
Enjoy an earlier show review of John Craigie, here: Show Review: John Craigie was Witty and Satirical at The Republik in Honolulu