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Shidara Concert Review PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Leong   
Sunday, 10 September 2006

ImageI just came back from the Shidara performance in Santa Rosa, California. It was stunning. If you are within striking distance of their last show in Sacramento on the 10th at 3:30, by all means, get yourself to the show. I heard it's close to sold out, so move fast.

 I have seen many taiko groups over the years, both here in the US and in Japan. Some of those groups have the raw power to match Shidara, some have the musicality, some have the charisma, but I have never seen any group than can match Shidara's ability to play as a group. Long hours of practice have blended the edges of the individual muscians into a seamless whole. The clarity and precision of their playing, the almost telepathic communication between players is breathtaking. Especially at the ferocious tempos the group often plays at. This is taiko at the very highest level.

 Shidara's set is very well balanced and nicely paced. There are pieces evocative of rushing mountain streams where the relentless pressure of the koto, fue and taiko makes you feel like you are careening down the whitewater. There are festivals from Japan, plucked whole and deposited in your lap, dancing revelry and all. There are dry comic pauses; sharp, choreographed snaps of the drumsticks; and the electric moments where you connect with the performers that make you grip the armrests and hang on for the rest of the show.

 The audience, in the relatively cosy Wells Fargo Center, responded wildly. In fact some people were giving standing ovations during the performance. The energy and volume of the applause at the end of the show was deafening, reaching an intensity I have never witnessed before. The audience was positively desperate for a curtain call.

 And Shidara, as always, didn't fail to please.

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