May 26th, 2011
"Acid Wash" is dead. Long live "Acid Wash!"
That was the line Nextdoor owner Chris Kahunahana and "Acid Wash" promoter Mike "DJ Vegas Mike" Licata agreed upon earlier this week while discussing one of the bigger moves to hit Chinatown in 2011. The weekly '80s party that originally started at Nextdoor in 2006 will return to Hotel Street in June after a stint on Pauahi at SoHo Mixed Media Bar.
According to Licata, the move wasn't deliberate. His own questioning of the party's direction in a venue that predominantly hosts 18-and-over events had him thinking about pulling the plug on "Acid Wash" altogether.
"It just got further and further apart," he said. "These kids don't give a f—k who New Order was, and they don't care."
Before he could plan a formal farewell, however, word of his plans got around to Nextdoor owner Kahunahana. When his club was forced to close in 2008 due to liquor license issues, "Acid Wash" was two years into its run there and regularly attracting hundreds of people to Chinatown on Wednesday nights.
"It's still to this day our most beloved party," said Kahunahana. "We get a lot of good shows, but every time you went to 'Acid Wash' you knew you were going to get quality entertainment and see all the people you liked being around. It was a good night to go out. For us, having that additional dance night back here on Wednesday will only help us improve what we can offer our clientele."
Added Licata, "'Acid Wash' was more about how dorky you could be, and I never expected that. It was never about the music after a while. It was more about where we could go and smile for the next three and a half hours."
Once the opportunity to return to Nextdoor presented itself, Licata was inspired to not only keep "Acid Wash" going, but to revamp it a bit and bring a slightly more current sound to the party. When the weekly returns on June 8, expect to hear some of the same tunes that remind you of your high school days mixed with music from the more recent past.
"There will still be plenty of '80s and '90s, but to have Depeche Mode mixed into Crystal Castles, mixed back into New Order, mixed into Madonna, mixed into Santigold ... that's making it to where it's relevant," Licata said. "If 'Acid Wash' took place 15 years from now, the music we'd be playing would include this. It's 'Acid Wash 2.0.' An updated version."
Kahunahana added that it's the talent of DJs like Licata, DJ Nocturna and fomer "Acid Wash" resident DJ ESKAE that will keep the party fresh, not just the music.
"It's necessary to evolve the sound of a particular event," he said. "Updating it with what Mike's more into now is a good idea. All of our tastes have changed.
"People still come up to me all the time and ask when the 80's party is — and now we've got an answer. June 8th."
The return of "Acid Wash" also means that live music showcase "Broadcast" will be switching nights at Nextdoor in June. The weekly, which will now be co-promoted by JetSetter Productions, moves to Thursdays beginning June 16.
Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.