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A Tribute to Andy @ 3's this Friday!

November 19, 2010 - Trisha Smith

Maui talents come together in honor of Hawai‘i surf legend Andy Irons on Friday, Nov. 19, at Three’s Surf Lounge.

There’s nothing that can explain the emotion we as humans feel the moment we learn someone we adore has passed.

I never knew Andy Irons personally nor did I have the pleasure of seeing him live in action. Although I have a special connection to the water and a deep love for the ocean, I’m not an avid surfer by any means, but enjoy and respect the sport immensely. I even enjoy the growing pains and challenges of the sport when learning, and would love to have more time to put into it. It’s on the list… :o)

I guess you could say I “knew” AI like many of us did—through the surf films of him, the personal stories of those who knew him well relayed and through the countless gracious remarks about him from the surf community that I’ve heard and read about for years. Also, I’m a compassionate and loving individual that cares deeply for my friends, Hawai‘i and its people, and to experience the sadness draped across the isles the last few weeks following his death, is something I’ll never forget.

The day the news hit the Hawaiian Isles that one of its beloved surf legends had tragically died at the young age of 32, and from causes unknown immediately, a tear in the soul of Mother Ocean sent a wave of grief and shock through everyone and anyone with a heart. He touched so many lives, created so many smiles and an entire community mourned as one.

Learning that the three-time world champion was also soon to become a first-time father, sent a whole other jolt of pain into the mix, and once again really put in perspective how precious life is, at least for me it did. For my Maui Weekly job, I’d been working for months covering campaign news for the paper—I was tired, drained and overloaded with election jargon and false ideals, yet always hopeful that “this time things will be different.” I’m such a dreamer…

Hearing the news about AI on Election Day in the midst of my workload really made me take a step back to the reality and recollect on what really matters in life, and it wasn’t politics, that’s for damn sure…

Expressing love for life, my friends and family, nature, music, arts, literature and making a difference in this world—one kind thought and courageous action at time—were much higher on the list.

My heart remained heavy with sadness the days following the news, as I witnessed one friend after another break down after hearing the news: Andy’s gone.

It’s sad to hear the various allegations of his “overdose” while the world waits for his toxicology reports and verifies if Dengue Fever was truly the cause or not. It’s astonishing to learn the facts regarding how poorly the airline company tended to a severely sick passenger or why no one from his immediate family was contacted earlier. Why did God—or whomever—take the life of this young Kaua‘i man so early?

Nothing can be done now to make any sense of the responses we may receive, nor will AI’s legacy be tarnished by any bad decisions he may have made in the past. What is important now is to remember Andy for what a special soul he was, and how many leaps and bounds he made during his short time on this Earth, and how many he inspired by following his dreams.

During this time of mourning, our prays are with his loved ones, from family and friends to the countless fans across the world he affected. His extraordinary talents and phenomenal journey touched many lives and his spirit will continue to live on through each stride surfers across the globe make within their aquatic playground.

(If you haven’t yet, make time to check the YouTube videos shot on Sunday, Nov. 14, of the Andy Irons memorial paddle-out in Hanalei Bay of Kaua‘i near his home, where thousands came together as one to extend their aloha to a legend. Beautifully touching...)

AI would also love it if some stellar individuals got together to support good causes in his honor and just had an awesome time paying tribute to him, while celebrating their own lives as well.

Well, that’s the plan this Friday, Nov, 19, at Three’s Surf Lounge in Kïhei during the “A Tribute to Andy” event from 8 p.m. to close.

There’s no cover, but your generous donation at the door—along with silent auction proceeds and the 10 percent of its sales that Three’s is donating—benefits and Surfrider Foundation, two awesome ocean awareness organizations that do so much good, in and out of the water.

I'm honored to be acting as the evening's MC, and the always-charming singer/songwriter, Stef Lomeli, will kick off the fun around 8 p.m., followed by an eclectic and funky rock set from the Mary Jane Experiment (MJX) at 9 p.m.

Maui roots rock outfit, Arise, follows MJX and will no doubt deliver the kind of dynamic performance power you can’t help but get your groove on to.

On a sidenote: much kudos to the hardworking and stellar musicians of Arise—Lawaia Aweau, Chad Kaya, Michael Russell and Jasn Foghino—who never miss an opportunity to play out live, sometimes even making an appearance in two to three different venues in a single night. (Whether it’s the guys’ pure insanity or passionate dispositions that drives them to do so, I haven’t figured out yet, but I like it.)

And most importantly, all of the Arise guys are incredibly nice individuals and big supporters of the Maui music community. Whether it’s hosting open-mic nights, playing tech guy to testy sound systems, or organizing a grip of great bands to play for free and come together for a good cause, they’re unselfish with their skills, time and aloha, and it’s refreshing and much appreciated.

The headliner for “A Tribute to Andy” event at Three’s on Friday is Maui’s own roots and reggae soulforce—One Inity. This is a rare opportunity to see of the isle’s most popular reggae acts for free and in the intimate live music setting that Three’s unique venue provides.

The group has been making waves in Maui’s underground reggae scene for nearly a decade, and after entering the studios of Waiehu Records late last year, they released their debut One Life in 2010. (Check out their Website to learn more about these rising stars and to purchase a copy of One Life.)

The evening’s silent auction includes some rad items from Stella Blues Café, Maui Wave Riders, Maui Skimmers, A Make Believe Company (AMBC), Sergio Rio Photography, Maui Zen Day Spa, Dog ‘n Duck and more.

(Check out the design on the left by AMBC’s super-talented Noah Brittain who will have these one-of-a-kind T-shirts available for purchase on Friday. Also, AMBC recently opened the doors to its new store in the Ha‘ikü Cannery Mall, and I heard MOTH is playing a naked show there on Saturday, Nov. 20, starting at 8:30 p.m. Miss it if you dare… )

Come and celebrate the life of one of our beloved brothers, Andy Irons, tomorrow night, Nov. 19, at Three’s Surf Lounge located on the rim of “The Triangle” in Kïhei.

Many thanks for everyone who worked hard to make this event a reality so quickly—one week to be exact! Much love to the owners of Three’s, Michael “Hustling” Russel and the awesome Arise guys, along with Batise Promotions, all the silent auction donors and the amazing talents that donated their time and energy to make a meaningful night like this possible so quickly and easily.

Serving true aloha all night long during “A Tribute to Andy” tomorrow night. Don’t miss it!

Call Three's at 879-3133, or visit any of the bands above on Facebook to learn more.


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(Image courtesy of A Make Believe Company's Noah Brittain.) Grab your T-shirt this Friday @ Three's during "A Tribute to Andy" music benefit.


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