The Pantempers Killed It In Taiwan
Last night we told you about the Pantempers Steel Band's triumphant tour of Taiwan. They were part of a cultural tour of the Island nation performing alongside contingents from Guatemala, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia.
And by all accounts, the Pantempers killed it!
The 25 person contingent swayed, smiled and serenaded their way into the hearts of the Taiwanese audience.
And how do we know this?
Well, you may remember our summer intern, Robin Schaffer. She's in Taiwan now pursuing a degree in journalism.
She teamed up with the Pantempers' camera man Codie Norales at the last show of a two week tour.
Here is what they saw in the city of Taoyuen:
Robin Schaffer Reporting
Today, the Pan Tempers Steel Band completed a two week tour of Taiwan in the city of Taoyuan where they played to an impressive crowd at the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Taoyuan Country. The reception here was warm - just as it was in the other three cities in which they played
And the audience in this city included mostly locals - Taiwanese music lovers eager for the sound of something foreign and exotic; although, we did notice some familiar faces peeking out from the crowd.
Dawn Elliott - Belizean Student
"I was amazing, mind-blowing."
"What's the favorite aspect the Pantempters."
"Oh, when they started to play, and asked us to come on stage, dance, and be in the fun with them."
Link Leu - Taiwanese
"I thought that the performance was exceptional. It's an eye-opening experience for me because it's my first time seeing steel pan being performed live, and the sound is just phenomenal. I've never actually seen anything like it. It just makes you want to dance with them as they rocked their bodies and played the instruments on stage. When you're sitting down in the audience, you're trying to pay attention to the show, and you're really tired, but once they go on the stage and do their thing, it's like, wow, I'm awake. I want to watch more."
Greg Tzeng - Taiwanese
"I think it's a great interpretation from the original music. I have googled all the songs from the performance, and I even found out that the interpretation from the band was even better than the originals. I appreciate the music, and I enjoyed it."
Kenny Lee - Taiwanese
"It was energetic. It's brand new to me, and I've never had this kind of experience before because I grew up in a European and American style environment, so I've never heard performances from the Caribbean and Latin America before. I can see the passion that they have toward they audience."
Fion Kuo - Taiwanese
"I like the vibe, the chemistry between them and the audience. It's quite fascinating for me."
"And does it make you want to learn more about Belize?"
"I would. I have actually looked at the map, and see where you guys are among the different countries. I told one guy that I would never get tired of the music, no matter how many times I listened."
"Did you guys enjoy the music?"
"Yes, it was really nice."
"Did this help ease the pain, the homesickness?"
"Yes, it was refreshing."
And it surely was refreshing to see Taiwan embracing so many cultures - especially for the homesick students longing for a taste of the familiar. For 7 News, from Taoyuen, Taiwan, I am Robin Schaffer. Goodbye Belize.
And with performances like that, you can see why the Pantempers was the only group that was called back for an encore.
And more than just play music, the band members toured extensively, the saw Taipei 101 - which up untile recently was the tallest building in the world, Sun Moon Lake which an amusement park, some took a cruise on the love river, went to a cake factory and visited museums.
They also stayed at Five star hotels.