Easy Honey Tours Hawaii (Photos + Recap)

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    Easy Honey Tours Hawaii (Photos + Recap)
    Published: March 21, 2024

    Easy Honey at Sunset Skates Oahu. Photo by Grant Matthews.

    “Forged in the mountains of Tennessee, born from the drip of the honey tree,” Easy Honey describes themselves. Formed in Sewanee in 2016, Selby Austin, Darby McGlone, Charlie Holt, and Webster Austin have been rocking the Charleston music scene since 2017.

    Last weekend, on March 9th, the stars aligned and graced me with the opportunity to see these guys in Kahuku, Hawaii, on the North Shore of Oahu. Spring break had brought me out there, while Hawaiian legend John Cruz brought the band out there. 

    Cruz is a Hawaiian native, who has been telling his story through Hawaiian culture, blues, folk, R&B, and more. Most notably, he has worked with Trey Anastasio of Phish, Jack Johnson, and Jackson Browne. Check out Jack Johnson & Friends: Best Of Kokua Festival to hear some work between Johnson, Browne, and Cruz. 

    Last summer, Easy Honey embarked on a “surf tour” up the East Coast from Charleston all the way to Portland, Maine, playing shows, working with nonprofits to clean up the beaches, and surfing the waves at each stop.

    Throughout their journey up the coast, they created a mini-documentary outlining their travels called F.U.B.A.R (Fucked up beyond any repair). You can watch that here:

    John Cruz caught wind of that documentary, enjoyed the environmental work, surfing, and music, and reached out asking the band to come play with him out in Hawaii. 

    The mini-tour kicked off in Maui, where the boys played three shows; March 6th at the Pro Arts Playhouse, March 7th at Paia Coffee and Bar, and March 8th at Request Music Store. On March 9th, they traveled to Oahu to play at Sunset Skates, an indoor skate park on the North Shore. On the 10th, they flew to Kona, the big island, to play at Blue Dragon. 

    I was fortunate enough to attend the show in Oahu at Sunset Skates. We arrived at the venue, grabbed some drinks from the brewery across the street, and then headed into the skate park that was already filled with Charlestonians and Hawaiian locals, the show was shaping up to be a unique experience.

    Easy Honey at Sunset Skates Oahu. Photo by Meghan Veino.

    Easy Honey opened the show with their newest single, “Homesick,” and went right into a fan favorite, “Leo,” the second single they ever released. Other setlist highlights include “Calling It Off,” “All In,” “Steady in Vertigo,” “Gotta Get Back,” and “Orbiter.” They performed on the downstairs ramp, while the upstairs ramp was alive with local skaters. The entire skate park was brimming with energy, as people danced and sang on the lower ramp. It was the perfect ambience for the surf rock show. 

    It is truly incredible that Easy Honey had the opportunity to tour in Hawaii. Though there is a small, yet growing local music scene, the islands are starving for mainland artists. The absence of Hawaiian tours is rooted in the continuously rising expenses associated with touring.

    Photo by Grant Matthews.
    Photo by Grant Matthews.

    Touring across the mainland United States is already challenging, let alone extending to the Hawaiian islands. This could not have been possible without John Cruz and Hawaiian Airlines who sponsored the band’s trip. 

    “Playing with John was refreshing and exciting,” Charlie Holt, the drummer of Easy Honey, recounted. “Every show brought new energy; even the acoustic ones (partly because we had just learned his tunes the day we landed in Maui and partly because there was no script to any of the sets). We were on our toes every night. Like Yin and Yang, both parties offered something the other was more or less missing. We brought youthful rock energy and John (a singer songwriter) brought arguably some of the most beautiful songs we’ve ever heard performed. Sharing the stage with John was a joy.”

    At Extra Chill, we’re all about supporting the local independent music scene, so we absolutely love to see initiatives like this. The growth of Easy Honey has been incredible to watch over the past four years in Charleston, and I’m so excited for them on what’s to come. 

    Photo by Meghan Veino.
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