Wagakki Band photo Alex Kluft

Wagakki Band at Club Bahia in Los Angeles, CA

Wagakki Band, an eight-piece Japanese band that uses traditional Japanese instruments with a female fronted singer, played Club Bahia in Los Angeles, CA, which is located near Dodger Stadium. To simply describe their music would be traditional Japanese style with metal. The instruments include a Shakuhachi (bamboo flute), Shamisen (3-string guitar-like instrument), Koto (Japanese Harp) and Taiko (Japanese drum). In addition to the instruments, there is a drum set, electric guitar and electric bass. To really understand what this show is about, the best way to do so would be to see a concert in person.

The eight-piece performed a total of 18 songs, two of which were an encore. Some of the songs performed were:
• “Strong Fate,” which is the theme song to the Japanese movie Zane
• “Valkyrie,” the opening song for the animated show Sosei no Onmyoji (Twin Star Exorcists)
• “Hangeki no Yaiba,” the theme song for Attack on Titan
• “Shigin- Koin Kunwo Tazunu” (reciting a Japanese poem)
• “Tono Monogatari: Kyushi” - “Amazing Grace”
• “Ikusa,” the opening song for video game series Sengoku Muso (Samurai Warriors)
• “Kishi Kaisel,” a theme song for the Rio Olympics on TV Tokyo in Japan
• The last song was their biggest hit “Senbonzakura.”

Wagakki Band has over 72 million combined views on YouTube, 42 million alone for their video "Senbonzakura.” To see what a Wagakki Band show is like—besides seeing one in person—is to watch the tour trailer, which exemplifies what an amazing experience the show is: youtu.be/b6PbatjZ4nY. The band has had well-received performances in New York City and SXSW, and their Spring tour in Japan sold out.

Text and photos by Alex Kluft 

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