The quartet’s packaging is catchy enough. Big headlines, big graphics and 1800-word essays occupy lots of newspaper space, and the easily impressed might fall for it, but what stands out in the quartet’s material is that it’s lifted almost unchanged from the ‘90s.
Mayor Peter Carlisle weighed in soon after and blasted the group for its misleading lyrics and general performance. One Gang member defensively decried the mayor’s criticism, saying the two once had performed on the same stage, as if that should matter. The guitarist even suggested the mayor and others who appreciate the predictable, steady and safe rhythm of elevated rail transit music would not dare to perform head-to-head with highway-loving Slater.
History shows otherwise: Rail conductor Wayne Yoshioka and Mr. Slater have indeed been paired in front of the same audience – most memorably at the City Council in July 2010 (you can see photographic evidence at this link). Mr. Yoshioka more than held his own and even managed to force Mr. Slater into playing a true and clear note for a change – his remarkable admission that Honolulu rail will help reduce future congestion.
Some critics say the tour’s running engagement really should be named the “We’ve Lost the War Tour” since the public already has soured on the Gang's music and supported rail in three scientific opinion surveys. Like other musicians with bad reviews, though, this band plays on and on and on, no matter how tired their tune.