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Taiko at Toronto FC playoff game opening ceremonies at BMO field October 19, 2019

In the crisp autumn air under a perfect blue sky, it was my pleasure to be joined by colleagues of my taiko past and present in participating in the pre-game show for Toronto FC, hosting their playoff game at BMO field.

The team was super excited to get out there and play, but for sure the experience of performing at such a venue with giant banners and pyrotechnical explosions occurring on all sides, was so overwhelming, I don’t even remember feeling nervous. It was something like an out of body experience.

Opening ceremonies for TFC playoff game at BMO field

(Photo by Paul Giamou)

The game was Toronto FC vs. D.C. United, though I won’t pretend that I know much about soccer or that I’m up on the latest when it comes to TFC. That said, we stayed to watch the action after our set, and it was non-stop excitement. Any late game action that involves your hometown team taking a 1-1 tie with seconds to go in regulation time and smashing it back 5-1 in overtime with consecutive goals, will have you standing and screaming like a fool. You’d have to have been dead or routing for the other team to not get excited.

So it was that in perfect autumn weather, surrounded by some good friends – I got to watch the sunset over what ended up being a fantastically entertaining soccer game. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday at all.

Kokichi, Connor Fukusaka, Nick Shao and Angela Colangelo at BMO field

Thanks to TFC for having us in their pre-game show and for all the support and organization.

Thanks to Kyowa Daiko and the JCCC for supporting the effort and to the team who joined me to perform: Angela Colangelo, Nick Shao and Connor Fukusaka.

If you haven’t seen the highlights from that game – I recommend checking it out and if you’re a Toronto-ite (un?), you should definitely check out Toronto FC in the playoffs and support this exiting team!


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