11 November 2012
It was the usual kind of deal, only a bit extreme this time: 6 hours of time spent for two and a half minutes of fun. Playing with a band can be like that, with endless rehearsals, discussions, extra practice time, travel, setup, hanging around waiting for the gig to start, on and on, all worth it (up to a point) for the thrill that comes when the groove is deep and the dancers and audience follow you there.
In this case it was no band performance, just a ragtag gathering, whoever showed up, on the street in Lahaina at the Halloween event, and playing on the fly. One by one we assembled with our djembes and duns under the Banyen tree, shielding our eyes from the generator-powered floodlights and fielding interrogations from the security squad. Not allowed to play there, we headed to the other side of the main stage where a lame costume contest was underway.
Five in all, we did have familiarity with each other and the music, as we had jammed together for years at the Little Beach drum dance party on Sunday afternoons. So it worked, right off the bat as I set up a solid Senefoli on the duns (o - O - o - - M o - S - o - O O), drawing a crowd of costumed dancers, first three or four, then five, ten, thirty, away from the throng around the nearby stage. The djembes started heating up, the pounding duns drove deeper, and then ... a tap on my shoulder, mid-beat. Three cops behind me: “You gotta stop playing, right now. Orders from the Command Post.”