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Musical Mayhem at Mulligan’s

June 30, 2010 - Trisha Smith

Creative forces come together to support Surfrider and the arts, and deliver an exciting night of music, leaving some dazed; others elated.

Surfrider Foundation and Kona Brewing Company put together a tour across Hawai‘i in June with Maui’s hard-working foursome, The Throwdowns, headlining and a different cast of characters to support each isle’s show.

After hearing that The Throwdowns captured Moth and transported them to the Kaua‘i show—with hometown “hybrid-rockers” Skunkdog playing as well—I was thrilled to hear that such aggressive and fun rock had developed right here in paradise. I was pumped to experience the tour’s finale at Mulligan’s On the Blue on Saturday night, June 26.

I remember sitting in for my bro Scott Johnson of Dogtowne Design as a judge during the Battle of the Bands at Mulligan’s this May, and looking over at local music greats Vince Esquire and Kaulana of Kanekoa—who are usually quite mellow dudes—just animatedly explode during Moth’s debut on Maui. All of us judges became bright-eyed and our spirits were exhilarated by this metal duo’s fresh new sound. This was something special…  

Prior to taking the stage that night, my curiosity was peeked as I conversed with one-half of Moth, James Bowersox—an extraordinary drummer and one hell of a nice guy Maui is blessed to have—who was wearing a country western get-up and a sly smile. "What's he up to?" I pondered.

Last Saturday, as winners of May’s music competition, Moth slid into the time slot just before The Throwdowns. While many were there to enjoy The Throwdowns’ popular performance power, some were intrigued about who exactly these Moth guys were and what was so interesting about their live shows.

Emerging from a zany party bus, the duo of James Cotton and Bowersox—cloaked in ninja attire—snuck onstage amid a thick cloud of smoke, and flashing colored lights, and began its chaotic showcase.

The best part, I don’t think most of the guests at Mulligan’s that night find metal nor psychedelic rock very appealing, yet they could not take their eyes off of the stage.

Instant fans of Moth were invigorated and screamed in delight, while others cowered 20 feet from the stage in shock. “What the f#@k is this?” I heard one young gal say to her friend. “I don’t know—but I’m scared” was the response. Awesome.

Moth invited a lovely and naughty geisha dancer on stage, followed by a enchanting belly dancer that complimented the trippy music quite deliciously. (Lose the barely-legal erotic dancers...Unnecessary and took away from the solid musical performance.)

During some moments, I felt as though I had traveled back to the free spirit and drug-induced days of The Doors and The Velvet Underground, then slammed in the face with the technical prowess and dark antics reminiscent of Tool. Awwwwweeesssoommmme!

John Densmore of The Doors and Danny Carey of Tool would be proud to have Bowersox channel them, and may even learn a few tricks from his commitment to the music during a song.

As for Cotton—I gotta hear/see more of this cat... The man is a machine! Hiding behind a multi-hued fake fog, Cotton killed it on his guitar. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what happened or if what he did was even legal.



**Stay tuned for more on this cool evening, including why The Throwdowns are super-duper…   :0)

(I have some deadlines to meet! Ha!)







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Blog Photos

Modern metal duo Moth, James Bowersox and James Cotton, emerged from the darkness—and a party bus—and dazzled many, including myself, while the timid were left disturbed of the unknown. Photo: Trisha Smith