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I first heard Anuhea in the winter of 2011 while vacationing on Oahu and I was blown away by her amazing voice. She’d been through SoCal a few times since then, but I’d managed to miss her performances (this always seems to happen with people I’ve been wanting to watch). The cards played out correctly this time around and I was able to catch her performing to a sold-out crowd at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana.

Justin Young was scheduled to open for Anuhea but had become sick and couldn’t perform. So local Hawaiian transplant Tini Grey took a last minute call to fill in. With a stripped down setup of only an acoustic guitar and beats provided by his percussionist, Jeff, Tini Grey immediately won the crown over with his slick voice and personal lyrics. One thing I’ve always noticed about people from Hawaii is how quick they are to interact with others. Tini took every opportunity to spout out playful banter and converse with the audience to enhance an already relaxed music atmosphere. Tini was very humble on and off the stage, but his music and voice spoke far more than he needed to. Check him out!

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With a completely packed room (trying to move from one end to another was not going to happen), Anuhea stepped on stage with a huge grin on her face. After having to cancel a show due to illness, you could tell she was itching to perform. Even with a hoarse speaking voice, her singing sounded just as beautiful as it did the first time I heard it driving up the west side of Oahu. With drinks flowing and the tunes blasting, the entire room was moving and you could see the genuine happiness on Anuhea’s face. Just like Tini Grey before her, she frequently spoke to the audience and shared stories associated with her songs.

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To add to all the fun, Anuhea would break out into raps and even freestyled introductions for her band members. The audience was grooving and singing along throughout the entire set, but the biggest response came when Anuhea pulled out her Ukulele to close with the crowd favorite “Simple Love Song”. If she hadn’t mentioned being sick, you never would have noticed. Anuhea put on a great performance and I can’t wait to catch her on her next time around!

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Thanks to Warren and Jennifer for helping out with this show, especially with the last minute door issue! Happy Birthday Reece!