A Case of the Mondays

February 1, 2013 | By Jason Black
Photo courtesy of Tiki's Grill & Bar

Photo courtesy of Tiki’s Grill & Bar

Catch local band Canoes 4 Rent live at Tiki’s.

Tonight is Monday night in Waikiki, usually a low-key evening on the Kalakaua Strip. Upstairs at Tiki’s Grill & Bar, however, a playful pau hana (after-work) crowd is just starting to filter in. As the sun sinks beyond the horizon, the entire space is bathed in the crimson light from a procession of red paper Chinese lanterns. Signature mai tais begin to flow as the large curved tiki-themed bar fills up with parched patrons. And the band, donning matching green-and-white tapa print aloha shirts, strikes up their opening set.

After a rousing opening number, Jassen Tolentino, one third of Tiki’s regular Monday night house band Canoes 4 Rent comes over the PA to welcome everyone to the show reminding them: “Please no requests! Save it for the next band,” he chuckles. “We apologize in advance for any inconvenience.”

Over the past two years, this trio of ‘ukulele player Albert Makanani, uke/ guitarist Duane Ing, and guitar/bassist Jassen Tolentino has been playing Mondays from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. As they describe it, their two-hour set offers an eclectic mix of popular music including country, R&B and even some Hawaiian music standards. Some repertoire highlights include Bob Marely’s “Good Lovin’,” John Cruz’s “Shine On” and The Eagles’ “Best of my Love” as well as “uncle” Carlos Santana, the Temptations and a country medley closing with actual yodeling. Yee-HAW!

“What we like most about playing each and every week in Waikiki is that we get to meet tons of new, interesting people,” affirms Tolentino. “On Mondays, we always get a good mix of local regulars, visitors and even vacationing couples that return to see us year after year. It’s cool.”

Originally, the guys randomly met while attending Windward Community College. One day, they realized they shared music as a common interest and decided to jam together. “I didn’t know it at the time,” recalls Tolentino. “But I was auditioning for the band.” Apparently, his “audition” was trial-by-fire because together, they played a wedding that very weekend.

The band’s moniker itself was also kismet. “Years ago, there was a sign on my wall that simply read: Canoes 4 Rent, 10 cents,” recalls Ing. “Somehow, it just stuck.”

“People still call us up and ask us if we rent canoes, or what?” he adds with a wry smile.

No 10-cent canoe rides here, just musical journeys that rush and roll like a river.

Row your boat…gently down the stream.

Canoes 4 Rent
Monday evenings
6:30-8:30 p.m.

TIki’s Grill & Bar
2570 Kalakaua Ave.
[C:11 Waikiki Map]
(808) 923-8454