The hall was filled with the heady scent of tropical flowers as the almost packed house waited for Na Leo to perform. This three woman part harmony group has been making Hawaiian music for over 20 years. They started as a simple three girl group on the island of Oahu. All attended the famed Kamehameha School and developed their music.
The band started up and Na Leo entered the stage to applause. Na Leo doesn't have very many Mainland concerts so everyone was taking advantage of it. With the audience you could almost picture yourself somewhere in Hawaii enjoying a concert with friends.
Na Leo started first with some old favorites to get the audience going. The reason for this tour was to spread the word about their new CD, Feel The Spirit. This is the group's 15 CD and the songs were worth the wait.
The first set opened up with their signature song, North Shore serenade, Na Leo voices blended beautifully along with a visual of the North Shore of Oahu. Concert goers felt themselves being transported to Oahu and got the island feel. Before the performance listening to everyone in the lobby you would swear you were on Oahu and not Cerritos. Na Leo has a large Hawaiian following from natives on the mainland and Hawaiian wannabes.
After their first few songs, Na Leo talked story behind each one, you were able to understand and enjoy their songs even more. Nalani Choy, Lehua Kalima Heine and Angela Morales make you feel you are on their lanai and just singing songs at a luau. They are open and honest on how each song they sang evolved and transformed them.
Na Leo imported special hula dancers Chariya and Aureana Tseu to accent and emphasize certain songs. Pineapple Princess, Sugar Shack were among the songs where singing, music and hula provided an integrated performance and brought you back to Hawaii.
Lehua sang 'The rest of your life', but not before talking story on how the song came about. Lehua is the youngest and had no children but was asked to write a Motherís Day song. She thought about a card she had gotten from her mother, about not remembering her birth, but Mom will remember it the 'rest of your life'. Letís just say there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Na Leo also used a local Halau. It was Lei Polynesia and was a crowd favorite especially during Sugar Shack and Pineapple Princess. This talented group flowed with each song and made each song more enjoyable.
After the intermission, Na Leo introduced their bands, who are famous and talented in their own right. The band included Rod Esteban (drums), Randy Aloya (bass), Aron Nelson (keyboard) and Ben Vegas (acoustic guitar). However, each band member was able to showcase their talents and Na Leo appreciated its talented band.
The two hour concert moved quickly even with the short intermission. Na Leo gave one encore after a standing ovation. They didnít repeat because Na Leo offers a meet and greet after their concert. There was a table set up in the lobby and a very, long line to get signed CD's, autographs and photos. After the concert you could buy the new CD, "Feel The Sprit", it sold out very quickly. The line moved fast and efficiently. I was able to get my program signed and a few photos.
It was a very warming, soothing and fun concert. I plan on going again when they are in town.