2014 Honolulu Ekiden and Music Festival
The Honolulu Ekiden experience culminated in a music festival held on the beach in Waikiki following the race as part of the Sunset on the Beach concert series.
Three popular Japanese bands and one local band performed on the beach at Waikiki.
Japanese pop/reggae duo from Kanagawa, Japan
In May 2005, Iseki (vocalist and guitar) and Kurei (vocals) formed Kimaguren. While performing live concerts at beach houses in Zushi, the duo started Otodama Sea Studio, which became known for producing outdoor music events with popular Japanese artists on the beaches of Zushi, Kanagawa. A major break came in 2008 when they debuted under Universal Music Japan and their second single “Life” was a major hit on the charts. That same year, they appeared on Japan’s annual year-end music TV show “Red and White Song Contest (Kohaku).” In 2012 they released an album and performed live at Budokan in Tokyo. One of their singles was the theme song for a Japanese movie that debuted in March 2013.
Japanese pop-rock girl band from Osaka, Japan
Formed in August 2006 by four high school girls—Haruna, Mami, Tomomi, and Rina—Scandal played live music on the streets until the group was noticed and signed to a Japanese Indie label. In 2008, the band released three singles and a mini-album while performing shows in the United States, France, and Hong Kong. That October, the band released its single debut under Epic Records Japan. In 2012, Scandal became the first girl band to achieve four consecutive top 5 positions in the Oricon Weekly charts in Japan. The band also held a concert in Malaysia in December 2012, becoming the first Japanese band to hold a solo concert there. After successfully performing at Budokan Hall in Tokyo in March 2012, they fulfilled their biggest dream since forming the group in March 2013 by performing on their own at Osaka-jo Hall in their hometown of Osaka. At present, they are considered to be one of the most powerful Japanese all girl pop-rock bands.
Japanese-Canadian pop-rock “hybrid band” from Sendai, Japan
A pop-rock band formed in 2000 in Sendai, Monkey Majik consists of Canadian brothers, Maynard Plant and Blaise Plant, on lead vocals and guitars, and two Japanese members, Tax (on drums) and Dick (on bass). The band rose to mainstream success after the 2006 success of their singles, “Fly” and “Around the World,” from the album Thank You, eventually reaching the top of Oricon charts in Japan. In January 2011, the band was named Goodwill Ambassadors and often visits and performs live acoustic concerts in Canada. The band also received acclaim in Japan after assisting hands-on with cleanup and rescue during the aftermath of the 2011 Great Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Their gesture of kindness was documented by MTV Japan and later broadcast as a part of the band’s “Send Ai, Send Love” movement. They continue to hold concerts under the “Send Ai, Send Love” theme benefiting those affected by the Tohoku disasters as well as performing live in other parts of Asia.
Opening Act: EMKE – A Hawaii teen rock band
Most of us can only dream about living on an island paradise or becoming a rock star. For the members of EMKE, that’s just everyday life.
Sisters Kira (vocals, guitar, keyboard, bass) and Ezri (vocals, bass, keyboard) Santos along with Mari Arakawa (vocals, guitar, keyboard, bass) and Payton Sekigawa (drums, percussion), burst onto the Honolulu music scene in 2005. The band members met while attending a real life ‘school of rock’ in Hawaii (Hawaii MusicWorks). While taking lessons, the group discovered they shared an interest in 80’s classic rock and decided to form a band. The choice of musical style proved to be a fortuitous one. Performing cover tunes from bands like Journey, Van Halen and Bon Jovi, EMKE quickly gained accolades for wowing audiences with their mature level of musicianship and vocal abilities.
In a short time, EMKE found themselves graduating from intimate local club gigs, to playing before huge concert crowds. To their excitement and surprise, the band was now doing opening slots for artist including BILLY RAY CYRUS, the legendary KANSAS, QUIET RIOT’S CARLOS CAVAZO, HOOBASTANK, and SWITCHFOOT and ONE REPUBLICK. EMKE has also received multiple invitations to appear at the music industries’ prestigious NAMM Show in Los Angeles, CA to perform with musical luminaries such as LEE RITENOUR, ANDY McKEE and (the band’s favorite gig) opening for JOURNEY’S NEAL SCHON. As a result of their LA concerts, the band was awarded a musical endorsement by Yamaha Music Corporation of America.
EMKE’s debut EP “Promises and Expectations” is a mixture of melodic “pop anthems” and “guitar driven” alternative rock. It’s a collection of tunes that echoes the band’s current musical influences such as, All Time Low and Go Radio with musical undertones that pay homage to their roots in classic rock.