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With the picturesque backdrop of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, it’s easy to forget what’s posted right in front of you when watching a show at the Waikiki Shell. The magnificent shell-shaped amphitheater in Kapiolani Park can’t be missed – during the day, its bright white out covering reflects the sun’s rays while at night, it lights up the skies.
The Waikiki Shell is an iconic island venue when it comes to live concerts and outdoor events.
This unique outdoor venue for concerts and large gatherings is by far my preferred place to enjoy live music. I’ve been here numerous times; Incubus concert, Birthday Bash (featuring local and reggae bands), Jack Johnson’s Kokua Festival and ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro’s world record attempt for largest ukulele ensemble. Those seem so minuscule when compared to the legendary performers who have stepped foot on this stage years ago – the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles, just to name a few.
And every year from 1937 to 2002, thousands of dancing hula feet made their way across the Shell for the world famous Kodak Hula Show. It became a staple of the facility, showcasing the Hawaiian culture and arts through music and dance to the millions of viewers worldwide. But budget restraints eventually drew the curtains on this storied hula show.
A beautiful night at the recent Jason Mraz concert, which attracted hundreds to the Shell’s grassy lawn.
The Shell seats almost 2,000 on the stadium chairs and an additional 6,000 on the surrounding lawns. Many people bring mats, chairs and towels for added comfort and relaxation, which doesn’t stop them from getting on their feet to dance. Because it’s outdoors, most of the concerts happen at night among twinkling skies and lush greenery. And by the end of the night, everyone’s up dancing at this world-famous venue.
WAIKIKI SHELL • Outdoor amphitheater in Waikiki • 2805 Monsarrat Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815 • 808-768-5400 • www.blaisdellcenter.com • Metered or street parking; near bus route
Photo Credit: Neal S. Blaisdell Center (first); Asia Aquino (second)