Flamenco goosebumps: Buika at Herbst Theater


Large portions of my life have been chronicled by music. Chopin waltzes from when I was starting to learn piano, Iron and Wine from my college Seattle days, and this summer, Spanish flamenco singer Buika. Sam Love and I have had her music playing literally non-stop, whether it’s while we’re editing photos, having dinner parties with friends, or driving north to Point Reyes for a hike. We’re totally addicted.

But the discovery of Buika and her sultry music came at random one evening when we were curled up on the couch watching the very disturbing Almodovar film The Skin I Live In. (The perfect choice for inducing super-creepy dreams). Buika makes a cameo in the movie, singing at a holiday party.

Although the movie was too scary for my tastes (too much chopped liver, thank you very much!) we Googled the beautiful voice that stood out from all the mayhem. It was Buika. And after a month of total immersion in her music, we found out she was coming to SF for a concert, and we knew we had to go.

Ok. So here it goes. I’ve been to many, many, live concerts. Big shows, small shows, even tiny living room shows. Buika’s concert on Friday night was the most amazing performance I’ve ever been to. I cried throughout the whole show and had a permanent layer of goose bumps frozen over my skin. Buika sings with every inch of her body, her voice wrapped in warmth and passion. She mixes her African and Spanish roots together to create music that is unique, but also traditional and classic in a way that enables everyone to easily connect with her music. Buika has the energy of Janis Joplin on stage, a burning fire that is truly magnificent.