Wow!!! I mean seriously wow!!! Sitting in our hotel room in LA writing this blog I am in a place where all dreams can come true. Myself and the Te Vaka team could not have dreamed or hoped for anything better than the experience we had on the evening of the 14th of November at the Moana World premiere Blue (red) Carpet event in Hollywood. Arriving at the El Capitan theater in the afternoon for soundcheck there were still a few logistics to get through like how were we going to walk the blue carpet with suits and gowns then get backstage in time to surprise the audience with a live show. The plan and the setlist had changed constantly for the last week and it changed again on arrival but this time we were happy with the change. Te Vaka was to perform three songs - "Logo te pate", "Innocent warrior" and "We know the way" - that was the perfect choice. The organisers had wanted to treat the audience to a Te Vaka concert but we only wanted to play the tracks from the movie and that's what ended up happening. The next amazing piece of luck was to get onto the carpet early which meant we not only caught Dawyne Johnson and Lin-Manuel Miranda performing a track from the movie but we had time to get infront of the press, get some great pics and fully experience the thing that is hollywood. None of us have landed yet, it was all so perfect. The band looked amazing. We had been fortunate enough to have the Pacific International Runway designers provide most of us with clothes just before we left and the night before we flew an incredible jacket from Cecilia's fashion house in Samoa was flown in from Samoa, we didnt even know it was coming but as soon as he saw it Opetaia new he was going to wear it -it was perfect.
So we walked the blue carpet, talked to the press and just soaked up the atmosphere, then it was backstage and costumes on, along with headset mics and monitors before being secreted behind the curtain to surprise the unsuspecting audience. The certain began to rise and the band exploded with "Logo te pate" to an ecstatic audience. Then Olivia backed by Opetaia, Sulata, Talaga and Douglas delivered an incredibly touching rendition of "Innocent Warrior". The finale was a combination of the opening track in the movie "Tuloa Tagaloa" and "We know the way" which the band performed with passion and the audience went wild, especially when Olivia, Edwin and Talaga broke into a super high energy dance. To put it mildly the performance went off!!! Opetaia and Mark Mancina, who had joined Te Vaka on bass, left the stage as the curtain fell and the Te Vaka boys continued to drum until the screen was in place and then "Ladies and gentleman - MOANA" The whole evening was perfection. The audience loved the movie and they loved the music. What more can you ask for after 3 years of working on this project.