Japanese singer-songwriter Dai Hirai performed a solo-headliner in Honolulu for the first time on Monday (Dec. 3) as part of his WAVE on WAVES tour supporting his latest album.
The 27-year-old musician’s U.S. show follows a gig in February at Whiskey A Go Go in Hollywood, where he delivered his signature soulful, melodious pop sound based on surf and roots music.
Hirai sang the official Honolulu Festival image song in 2011 and has performed with other artists in the festival before, but this was his first solo-headlining concert in Hawaii. He took a different band from his current domestic tour and played a special set showcasing his popular songs old and new for the locals that flocked to The Republik in Honolulu.
After the main set, Hirai returned for the encore and invited Kalapana frontman Malani Bilyeu onstage as the special guest of the evening. The two artists first performed “ONE LOVE - Pacific Harmony,” Hirai’s song for the Honolulu Festival, then delighted the local crowd with their impeccable harmonies for a captivating rendition of the iconic Hawaiian band’s classic “Lover of Mine.”
Malani said he was honored to share the stage with Hirai and his band, noting that it didn’t take long for them to understand each other. “A fabulous artist and fabulous band. What more do you need?” he shared. “Their music crossed oceans and borders and landed straight in my heart. That’s what real music does.”
Dai Hirai is set to perform his final and biggest concert of the WAVE on WAVES tour at the Makuhari Messe Event Hall in Chiba, Japan, on Dec. 15.
Text: Billboard JAPAN / Photo: Courtesy Photo