Oct. 5 at San Jose’s Center for Performing Arts, 255 Almaden Blvd., San Jose. All eyes will be on the group’s new supersize taiko drum, which, at 5 feet in diameter and weighing more than 400 pounds, is one of the largest such instruments in North America. “We checked,” confirms SJT artistic director Franco Imperial. For the mega drum’s inaugural appearance, almost every performer gets to take a turn at pounding on it because, as Imperial explains, “San Jose Taiko is not just about one person, it’s about the company.” Inclusion and harmony have been hallmarks of the group since Roy and PJ Hirabayashi founded it in 1973. In 2011 the couple figuratively passed the leadership bachi (drum sticks) over to Imperial and his wife, executive director Wisa Uemura. Both are longtime SJT members who were determined that the anniversary concert honor the company’s history at the same time it offered new works. Says Imperial, “We wanted to show the breadth of who we are.” Besides a recap of the milestone season, there will be a piece in partnership with Abhinaya Dance Company of San Jose. Led by artistic director Mythili Kumar, Abhinaya specializes in South Indian classical dance forms and has previously collaborated with SJT. The concert’s second half will consist of a medley of hits from SJT’s four-decade history. Although the presentation will be one continuous number with no breaks, “diehard fans will be able to identify the songs,” Imperial says. “We are grateful to those who came before us,” he emphasizes–a sentiment shared by all admirers of San Jose Taiko. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for students and seniors if purchased in advance ($30/$25 at the door) at taiko.org .
Concert Review: KoЯn Throws Down in Philly Town
First off, it was the kick-off show of a mini-tour (which concludes Oct. 12) to promote the bands upcoming CD The Paradigm Shift (due out Oct. 8). As this new album marks a return to Kons classic metal-meets-hip-hop-meets-everything-else sound (after 2011s dubstep detour The Path Of Totality ), so did the show, which saw the band rocking with the ferocity thats made it a leading concert attraction for decades. Kon at Electric Factory, Philadelphia, 9/26/13 But the big story fueling this show (and the new album ) was the return of guitarist Brian Head Welch, who left the band 10 years ago. For Kon fans, this reunion is big news, and his presence certainly fueled the bandand the packed houseto a celebratory night that certainly RAWKED! This all-ages concert certainly attracted Kon fans of all ages! Alongside the many 20- and 30-somethings youd expect this genre (or mix of genres, shall we say) to attract, there were young kids, their parents, and fans who looked like they were in their 20s and 30s when Kon started in 1993. The Electric Factory was certainly a perfect venue for a Kon concert. With its industrial-feel setting and center city Philly location, the Electric Factory is a perfect hybrid of nightclub and rock arena. The video screens on the walls offered good views to those further back in the hall, as did the multiple levels of seating available for this general admission show. Kon at Electric Factory, Philadelphia, 9/26/13 Following appropriately death-metal-fueled sets by opening bands Asking Alexandria and Love and Death , Kons set got off to an ominous prelude as a group of audience members were led into a metal cage-looking barrier at the rear of a stage, where theyd remain for the entire show. The prisoner meme going on back there gave the whole thing an appropriately creepy vibeand gave the audience something else to watch. Good staging, boysand thanks to the good sports who stood back there, fists waving, dancing and singing along, for the entire Kon set.