Another year means another post from me imploring people to see the San Francisco Taiko Dojo’s Concert in Berkeley in November. This year is the 40th Anniversary Show, so it should be a pretty big deal. I’m especially looking forward to it because I missed last year’s concert in Berkeley as well as the past two years’ Cherry Blossom festivals.
The SF Taiko Dojo has a bunch of older videos online to give you a rough idea of what you can expect from the shows. Below is video of a performance from 2002 (this is the younger performers’ “Rising Stars” group, but they’re still excellent and this is the most recent video I can find):
But it’s no exaggeration at all to say you have to be there to appreciate it. It’s only tangentially like a music concert; as you can see in the video, it’s as much about movement and choreography as it is about music, but what you can’t see in the video is that it’s also about having the wind knocked out of you. At the risk of sounding like a Marin County Earth Child: there’s an energy that fills the entire hall and pulls everyone in the audience up into the performance. It’s less like a concert and more like the climax of Raiders of the Lost Ark (without actual face-melting).
Those of us who live in the Bay Area are really lucky to have the chance to see regular performances from the SF Taiko Dojo. (And if anybody else out there is planning on seeing the show, let me know!)