Shedding Light in the Darkness

Ringing in 2017 with Steven Tyler on Maui

vlcsnap-2017-01-02-21h34m14s115aIt was probably the best New Year’s Eve show ever on Maui when a bunch of famous full time and part time Maui residents celebrated the dawn of 2017 on Saturday night at the Wailea Beach Resort. Aerosmith’s lead singer Steven Tyler opened the show in full rock star fashion with a handful of songs from Aerosmith favorites like “Walk This Way’ to an incendiary cover of Them’s “Baby Please Don’t Go,” all backed by Alice Cooper’s band, which included mighty guitarist Nita Strauss (seen above).

Local stars paid homage to fallen idols last year – with Willie K igniting Prince’s “Purple Rain,” (Prince would jam with Willie when he was on Maui)) and Lily Meola with a powerful cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

The night was full of surprises including actor Jim Carrey donning Alice-like makeup to join the shock rocker himself singing “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and a medley of “School’s Out” and Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” Later on Wonder Woman Linda Carter teamed with Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie to belt out “Old Time Rock n Roll” with Bob Seger band saxophonist Alto Reed.

Canadian jazz pianist/singer Diana Krall delivered a moving version of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,” before picking up the groove with The Band’s “Ophelia.”

Other highlights included Michael McDonald and Doobie Brothers’ guitarist/vocalist Pat Simmons with a great funky cover of “Heard It Through the Grapevine,” and the Doobie’s “Takin’ It To The Streets.”

Remembering British legendary band Traffic, Dave Mason backed by McDonald and Simmons sailed through “Feelin’ Alright,” before launching into a Hendrix-style version of “All Along The Watchtower.” Dave talked about how he had actually recorded the song with Jimi Hendrix on the “Electric Ladyland” album.

The concert was a benefit for the Maui Food Bank and the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.  “It’s developed into a show,” said Alice Cooper. “I bring my band so that people like Steven Tyler can do two or three songs. We’ve all done charity shows and this one is so much fun because it’s very loose. When people think about Maui, they don’t think there would be a problem, but it’s like anywhere else, there are people in need. This is a night when you can really get something done.”

After the show Alice enthused, “It was the best musically.”


Doobie’s Pat Simmons with Bonnie Raitt Band bassist Hutch Hutchinson.


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