News Column

Mililani schoolkids receive preview of Johnson's summer show at Shell

May 8, 2014

By Elizabeth Kieszkowski, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser



May 08--A gym full of wide-eyed kids clapped along as Jack Johnson put on a three-song concert for Mililani Ike Elementary School on Wednesday.

It was an acoustic, good-natured preview of what's in store for Hawaii fans on Aug. 1, when Johnson and his band will play a headlining show at the Waikiki Shell.

Tickets for Hawaii residents go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday at ticketmaster.com and the Blaisdell Box Office only. On that day, online sales will be open only to those with a Hawaii-based credit card billing address.

"I grew up in Hawaii and know how disappointing it was to get shut out of shows," Johnson said after the performance. "That's something we learned years ago at the Kokua Festivals."

This time around, Johnson and band will be looking for "an acoustic feel" at the Waikiki Shell, he said, with guest acts, if any, yet to be decided on.

"I'm excited to play at the Shell for the first time and not have to think about hosting a festival," he said.

Smiling widely at the kids during the show, posing for photos with student council leaders and teachers, and waving to youthful fans on the playground, Johnson was tanned and relaxed, wearing slippers, shorts and a T-shirt.

He sang standing with his guitar, congratulating the kids for clapping along -- "Good job!"

Afterward, he talked about his upcoming show and environmental efforts, including a bottle cap recycling challenge that won the Mililani kids this show.

All proceeds from Johnson's concerts in Hawaii go to the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, he said. The Kokua Foundation, in turn, funds a school recycling program and Plastic Free Hawaii initiative, along with gardening programs and environmental education.

"Our existing programs are growing," said Kokua Hawaii Foundation's executive director and Johnson's wife, Kim Johnson, saying that 14 additional Hawaii schools have joined in, for a total of 29.

"We're trying to empower our kids by showing that you can make a difference. ... Planting a garden, riding your bike -- that's what resonates with children."

At the school, Jack Johnson sang, "We've got 3 R's to talk about today," to a reggae-tinged melody played on his acoustic guitar.

"Reduce, reuse, recycle ... 3, it's a magic number."

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Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)