Let me set the scene for you… it is a beautiful evening. The temperature is around 80 degrees, and it might drop to the upper 60’s by the time the sun sets. There is a slight breeze, so I am glad I brought a hoodie.
The Hilton Resort is a beachfront property. White sand, so soft and smooth under your toes. The soothing sound of the ocean as the waves gently cascade onto the beach. Walk with me along this beach, towards the lava-rock pier. Before you get to that pier, there is a lagoon on your right. Behind this lagoon is The Great Lawn, an area of soft green grass flanked by palm trees and hotel towers.
Now picture this lawn filled with round tables, each one with 10 chairs. Rows and rows of tables. And the tables face the stage. And behind the stage are palm trees and that lagoon, and to the right is that pier. Where the sun sets every night, in a glorious haze of blues and yellows and golds.
This is the scene for the Saturday Night Special. In Hawaii. Special. Is. So. Right.
Yes, we had an authentic luau dinner, with delicious breads and desserts already on the table. We went through the buffet line, filling our plates with salad and rice and pork and the most amazing mouth-watering pineapple… which, for the record, does in fact belong on a plate and absolutely not on pizza.
Yes, we had live Hawaiian music as we ate our feast. Yes, we had hula dancers… and by the way, I’m pretty sure I would throw out my back and require traction if I tried to shake my hips like that. There were also fire dancers, but they came on later, near the end of the night.
And then we were told the story of the warrior dance, something I think they called the Haka Chant. And then they brought out a few of our guys, including Richard and Gil and Matt, to do this dance on stage. I think these pics of Matt sum it up well.
Next up was another hula dance, perhaps called the Hukilau, with more people from the cast and people from the audience invited on stage to join in the dance. Ruth was up there, gliding so elegantly as she hula’d.
Then Misha took the stage to introduce Louden Swain.
Their first song was “Present Time.” At the end of the song, Rob explained to the somewhat mystified balcony watchers who they are, and told them to Google it. I’d love to know how many of those balcony watchers actually did.
Chris Schmelke joined the band to play bass guitar on the song “Juliet.” Osric Chau followed next, singing “The Prom.” Perfect song choice for him!
Next up was Gil McKinney, singing his original song “How Was I to Know.” Listen, Gil, it’s super hard to focus the camera through tears, I’m just sayin.
Rob took a moment to explain to us, well mostly to the balcony watchers, that they (the band) “asked the stars of the TV series Supernatural to sing Louden Swain songs with them, and they graciously agreed.” It occurred to me that Rob and the band were not prepared for all of the balcony watchers, perhaps Rob felt the need to explain to them who they were and who all the guest performers were and listen, Rob, really, it’s okay. The balcony watchers loved you as much as us die-hards love you.
Ruth Connell joined the stage next. She sang “Cool If I Come Over” with the band. Ruth writes about her struggles with singing in her chapter in the book “Family Don’t End With Blood.” It is so empowering to watch her sing, knowing that she is conquering her struggle each time she takes the stage. And omg, Rob is so adorable with her, If there is ever an emoji of encouragement, it simply must be based on Rob’s face as he looks at her while she sings.
Fan favorite “Medicated” was next, with Mike Borja on ukulele. During the kazoo chorus, Rob said, “Blow it if ya got it.” Can someone please put this on a shirt… with a kazoo, right?
Kim Rhodes was the next guest, singing “Be Me.” I don’t know why, maybe because she was barefoot and sexy, or maybe it was the red lights shining on the stage, but the performance struck me as sultry and strong and powerful and empowering. Man, I believe even I’m okay after that performance.
Briana Buckmaster, ladies and gentlemen. Singing “Wave.” How can I possibly write about this in a way that remotely does it justice? At first, I couldn’t find the words. I just sat here and typed fragments. Fragments like Briana’s voice, and the notes, and the emotion, and the power, and holy crap the goosebumps, and Briana nails that note on the word ‘way’ and then Rob steps up to the mic and belts out those few words “If you think you know the way,” with Briana holding out that note, I MEAN HOLY F-ING CRAP PEOPLE. MIND BLOWN.
Jason Manns joined the band to sing “Slightest Thing,” a song by The Station Breaks. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, and I’ll no doubt say it a thousand times more… Jason. Can. Sing. To steal a line from Rob, if you don’t know Jason Manns, Google it. Gooooooooooooogle it.
Next on stage was Richard Speight Jr, singing “Copperhead Road.” Ok, so cute story… hubs turns to me and says, “Oh cool” when Richard starts the song. Kudos, Richard, you won over my hubs with your rockin’ performance.
Jensen Ackles joined the band next, singing “Fair,” a song he co-wrote with Rob while filming Season 11. Following that, Jason Manns joined the stage and sang harmonies as Jensen sang “Brother.” Listen, y’all, I am lucky to just stay focused when Jensen is on stage, so you can’t expect me to be able to describe it with words too. Because Jensen. Jensen Ackles. Singing. And I’m just what help…
And then Louden Swain reminds us that this concert is about them with the song “She Waits.” What can I say about this song that I haven’t said a thousand times before? It’s painful. It’s heartbreaking. But it’s also love and support and encouragement, as the crowd collectively holds their breath and raises a light in solidarity with Rob. I don’t know what the balcony watchers thought up to that point, but I am a million percent certain at that moment, with that song, they knew we loved this band.
What else could follow that moment than Matt Cohen singing “Mama’s Jam.” Upbeat and happy… wait, can I say this song is happy? Is that right? Yes, hell yes, this song makes me happy!
As the final song, we were treated to everyone joining the stage for “Free Fallin.” And by everybody, I mean Everybody. Gil and Osric and Richard and Ruth. Misha was there, on stage. Briana and Kim were on the grass in front of the stage, along with some adorable family members. Even fans had the chance to sing alongside Kim and Briana. Jensen was there, singing the verses with Rob. Oh, and Jared Padalecki was there too, trying to hide behind Jason and the others. But we saw you, Jared. We saw you and we heard you and we supported you as you played that guitar. And it was freakin amazing.
Thank you Adam, Gary, Stephanie, and everyone at Creation for this amazing concert. For me, it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Thank you, Louden Swain. Thank you, Rob. And Billy. And Stephen. And Mike. Thank you for pouring out your hearts and souls for us. Thank you for the energy and passion that you bleed into all of these Saturday Night Specials. And thank you, really thank you, for this amazing show in Hawaii.
just a mom with a camera.