Live Review: DRUM TAO @ Strathmore Music Center — 2/7/20

Drum Tao DRUM TAO performs at Strathmore Music Center on Feb. 7, 2020. (Photo by Shedrick Pelt)

The drum, a percussion tool sounded by being struck with sticks or the hands, is one of the most recognizable and established instruments in any tribal community. You might say the drum is the heartbeat of the tribe. Those who wield it and those hypnotized by its depth are led to reach into their souls and find peace and harmony in the lowest of its tones.

TAO, the internationally acclaimed percussive musical troupe from Japan, showcased the ancient art of Japanese drumming at the Strathmore Music Center on Feb. 7. Combining highly physical, large-scale drumming with contemporary costumes, precise choreography, and innovative visuals, TAO creates an energetic and unforgettable experience with their new show, DRUM TAO.

The melodic, heart-pounding avant-garde, Peking Opera-esque show mixes traditional and modern concepts, led by the incomparable “Wadaiko-Japanese Taiko Drums,” to create an experience that brought Japan to your front door. Superbly trained performers, expertly crafted choreography, and inventive costume design transported the audience instantly to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Watch DRUM TAO perform on The Late Show on YouTube:

At Strathmore, the Japanese drum entertainment group brought their thunderous performance to the DMV for the first time since their inception in 1993. DRUM TAO has been experienced by over 8 million spectators in over 26 countries and as the packed music center gasped at the exquisite acrobatics, the bass from the drum patterns echoed throughout the venue — leaving us on the edge of our seats.

The 51-city North American Tour in 2020 is poised to add to the legend that is DRUM TAO. Below are images from a powerful night with DRUM TAO at Strathmore Music Center on Feb. 7, 2020. All images copyright and courtesy of Shedrick Pelt.

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