Maui

Amazing fly date! Yacht Rock had a gig in Maui last weekend, and as usual, we had a great time, played only a little bit, slept a lot, flew a lot, and I took a bunch of pictures. Ready, set, go!

Friday: We boarded the plane from Atlanta to L.A. Friday afternoon, which actually wasn't too bad--I much prefer early afternoon to early morning. 

not too happy

Kip was squeezed into his seat. That's a 6'8" dude in a regular size seat.


Our layover in Los Angeles was supposed to be around two hours, but our next airplane was late, so we stood at the gate for an extra hour.

The Great Bencuya, poised to board another flight (and finished being my sax mule)
We got on the plane, settled in, buckled up...and sat there. In a rush to turn the airplane around, the baggage handlers had begun packing the cargo hold without scanning the bag tags, so all the suitcases had to be taken out, scanned, and repacked.


Our flight landed approximately two hours late. Ouch! 10:30 PM in Hawaii is 4:30 AM according to our body clocks.

To make matters worse, they hotel shuttle was looking for this strange David Bencuya person.


Zach, modeling his color coordinated lei in the hotel lobby

We got to our rooms around midnight. Almost time to get up again!

Saturday: 2 AM lobby call for our official band excursion to the top of the top of Haleakala Crater to see the sunrise. Also included in the package was a bike ride down the side of the (dormant) volcano. The ride up in the van took two hours. I slept through the whole thing.


The edge of the crater is almost 10,000 feet above sea level, so we are standing in the clouds; thus the rain gear. It doesn't help perk you up in the middle of the night, but it did stop some of the wind. 32 degrees up at the top!




Behold the sunrise.









Our guide claimed that this plant only grows at the top of this volcano. It looks like a Dr. Seuss flower.







On to the bikes! We gather back in the van and made our way approximately halfway back down, where we met up with the bike trailer. Mountain bikes on a downhill road...hmm...the wrong tool for the job! Anyway, it was pretty much twenty miles of coasting with a little bit of pedaling.





We were in and out of the rain the whole way down.


The best part of the morning--breakfast! It felt like 4:30 in the afternoon, but it was mid morning in Hawaii. Time for the Toast of France! Side note: beautiful waitresses.


We all went back to our hotel rooms and crashed. I woke up several hours later, and it was only 3:30 in the afternoon. Here's my room. Best hotel room ever?





my balcony

the view from my room

I was awake enough at the end of the day to go down and jump in the ocean.



Much like other tropical hotels, the lobby is open! At dusk, these trees would be screaming with birds coming in for the night.


Sunday: Work day! Our musical commitment for this trip consisted of an evening concert, and a talk show style performance (playing musical beds under awards announcements, playing as people came to the stage) for a corporate meeting. This day began with a line check for the latter.

Remarkably, when I powered up the Roland Fantom that had been backlined, it still had my sounds from our performance in Hawaii the summer of 2015!


All set. The Nord for this show was a little 61 key Electro 4 with weighted keys, so it felt a little strange. Someone had also programmed the sustain pedal to work backwards (it would only sustain when you took your foot off the pedal), which took me a few minutes to correct.


Cell phones are marvelous technology.



Our evening performance was a painless ninety minutes while the guests were eating dinner. At the conclusion, they were ushered off to another show. Same top keyboard, but a different bottom keyboard. This setup had a bad instrument cable that I swapped out.


Monday: Rehearsal for the corporate thing. Today's gear issue was an unhappy expression pedal. I replaced it with a giant Yamaha expression pedal that did not work, so I went without one.


Rehearsal finished pretty early in the afternoon, so after lunch, I killed off the afternoon with a run.









The hair dryer! I moved this off the sink when I first got into my room, but the person who cleaned my room put it back, mocking me.


Zach, Bencuya, and I went into town for Thai food, which was amazing after a couple of days of lame hotel food.

Tuesday: Gig number 2! We had a 6:30 AM lobby call (which at this point really did feel like 6:30 AM) for the corporate talk show/awards show gig.

I powered on the Fantom keyboard and got this error message!


NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Immediately, I had the backline guy (who probably hated me by this point) go to work on it while I set up my saxophones and EWI. He pulled the card out, put it back in, and got the same message. This happened a couple of times. Since that wasn't working, I pulled the DIMM card out of the back of the keyboard and turned it on.

MAGIC! Everything loaded correctly. I don't know what the DIMM card does, but its absence did not affect my performance. What a relief.

Replacement DIMM memory is $12.99 on Amazon.


This gig was as easy as anything we've done this year--little 20 to 30 seconds snippets of songs for the most part. The most difficult thing was remembering that the count offs were short ("3-4" instead of "1-2-3-4") and that most of the time we were just repeating one section over and over.



We finished around 10 AM, leaving us with the rest of the day to kill before our flight. I went for another run.


A dip in the pool.


We finally had to check out of our rooms at 2 PM, but our ride to the airport wasn't until 5:45 PM. The resort allowed us to leave luggage at the lobby.


Here's something cool...the entertainment for the night was STING! Unfortunately, we were flying home during his concert, but they allowed us to attend sound check. Wow!


That's Sting (with the backpack) and Dominic Miller (guitarist)
Pete and I had lunch at the Thai place again. I'm a sucker for white rice.

And we're off. It was a long, cold flight from Maui to Los Angeles, landing at 5 AM local time. We had a two hour layover. I ate a massive burrito at 5:30 AM, thinking to myself that this would be my last chance to eat until I was all the way home.



In all the gear issues, I failed to mention that I broke the drag handle on my fly-date box before we even set foot inside the Atlanta airport. It's not too heavy (30 pounds), but carrying it around Hawaii left a nice bruise across my left thigh. Calling SKB ASAP!


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