|On the Friday evening of May 3, 2002, West Covina Buddhist Temple's teen Lotus Band once again went "on the road," and performed a great set in Cal Poly Pomona's prestigious Music Recital Hall to a sold-out crowd. Lotus' performance was at the invitation of the talented "Accafellas" vocal group, who followed Lotus and entertained the audience with their unique blend of oldies, folk and pop tunes.
Lotus' performance began with the uptempo and driving, "I Want It That Way," made famous by the Backstreet Boyz. Lotus' version however takes the song into overdrive with the tightly synchronized, chunky funk-metal of Kevin Hata's and Kyle Kagawa's guitars. Lead vocalist Allison Haraguchi really belted out a strong performance on this tune!
The next number was the classic funk-jazz piece, "Always There," which featured Kevin on flute and Amy Sakaue on alto sax. If the composer, jazz great Ronnie Laws, had been in the audience, he would have been pleased, because these teens can in fact, play authentic jazz!
Following the instrumental, vocalists Lindsay and Allison came back onstage to do an updated, hip-hop version of the ever-popular "Sukiyaki." The singers sounded great on this tune, and as a huge plus, sang the song partly in English and partly in the original Japanese! The icing on the cake was the catchy alto sax solo that Amy played.
The second instrumental was the Rippington's challenging "Weekend in Monaco." This is a very "evocative" or "visual" and "cinematic" piece, but one which also absolutely rocks out! The members of the popular Rippington's group are all virtuosos in their own right. Amazingly, Kevin, Kyle and Amy played the Rippington's own chart...note-for-note!
The finale was one of Lotus' most loved and powerful tunes, "Colors of the Wind." This song is of course, a ballad. But Lindsay and Allison put so much of themselves into their performancesthey were really "in the moment"the effect of this song was extraordinarily moving and powerful. In the end of the song, Lindsay and Allison asked us, in perfect, glowing harmony, "Can you paint with all the colors of the wind?"
left to right, Lindsay Ogino, Allison Haraguchi Kyle Kagawa and Amy Sakaue (Kevin Hata is behind Lindsay) performed a strong version of Backstreet Boyz' "I Want It That Way."