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Recycled Percussion in Keene, New Hampshire 12/29/17

Last night I took my daughter and two of her children to see Recycled Percussion here in Keene, New Hampshire. All day long, my granddaughter, Mariah, a drummer like myself was struggling to contain herself. This was year 3 for her and my daughter Alyssa, and year 2 for my grandson, Jacob.

We were scheduled to meet friends and we had decided to head out at 3:15 for the 4 o’ clock show. The temperature? A balmy -3. We got into the van and off we went. We got there a few moments later and there was already a small line. Heading to the parking lot, I had forgotten it had a parking kiosk. My daughter headed over to the line. (Yes, the line for the parking kiosk.) She waited about 10 minutes until it was her turn and came back with the parking permit. (And yes, all the time I was keeping the children warm in the vehicle!) Under other circumstances, the wait would have dampened my daughter’s spirits, but not tonight.

We walked (Well, my daughter walked super fast!) around to the front of the Colonial Theater. We headed in and were lead by a friendly usher, right to our seats. I was about 3:40 when we were seated. There was already excitement in the air. Music was playing and the seats were filling up tot the first of two sold-out shows here in Keene.

At 4:09 the curtain lifted and the place came unglued! (I have included a few videos for those who have never seen them.) Miles of Christmas lights synched with the music and Recycled Percussion was on. Mariah and Alyssa were screaming!

I will tell you this show is one of the highest energy shows you will see. Why “recycled”? Because you will notice things like the trash barrel drums, hubcaps, pots, pans and more being used. Electric grinders that shower sparks about the stage. Maybe it is the race up and down construction ladders as the two play wildly, then jumping to the stage. or the band playing with anything they “pick” up. (Could have been the music made with old toys.)

What is the draw?

Who are these guys? The group has original members, Justin Spencer and Ryan Vezina. These guys were there in the beginning when they tried out for a school talent show in 1995. From there performing in elementary schools across the state of New Hampshire. (For free lunch!) Add in newest members, Matt Bowman and Jason Davies and you have a show!

What makes these guys attractive to such an age group? Music? This group is talented and push the boundaries of percussion. This is a highly caffeinated show. But it is not just about music. Personable? Whether it is the audience engagement or the antics, people identify quickly. Zany? These guys are like watching a hockey game or a demo derby. Whatever the reason, it works.

Besides music, they had a woman in front of, after handing her drumsticks be told, “while Justin is playing we want you to throw a stick to him”. (Recipe for disaster, right?) While Justin was drumming she tossed a stick up towards the stage. He never missed a beat and pulled it into play. They had their “Totally Random Cookie Time”, that while Ryan was playing on the drums, Justin tossed cookies from the stage out into the audience. Matt and Jason carried sheet trays out to the audience, throwing cookies as well.

At one point Justin sat there and told of their humble beginnings, engaging the audience who already loved these guys. Telling the audience of their 50 states in 12 days to raise $50,000 to provide Christmas toys for children who might have received little or nothing for Christmas. (Oh, they did it with room to spare!)

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lv3Tz9H7UiI

One of the new pieces this year was the development of the “boy band” where they got 5 men up onto the stage as Keene’s original, “boy band”. Dressing them in gaudy clothes, teaching them 4 moves. Jason is not just musician, but a dancer and DJ. He showed them the moves and the audience came apart with laughter.

Whether it was their taking songs LITERALLY or using old toys to perform, the time went too fast.

Their finale was to perform 25 1980’s songs. (One of the highlights was Jason moonwalking as Michael Jackson.)

Upon finishing they raced to the front of the Colonial to sign calendars, tickets, shirts and more. Despite a second show coming up in 90 minutes, they interacted with the people.

I like these guys and their performance. (I first saw them in 1997-98.) I love their hearts more. And clearly, I am not alone. I saw people of all ages at the show last night. There is a reason people go year after year.

All, I can say is…

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!

  • Recycled Percussion Band page
  • Recycled Percussion Foundation page
  • Do you have a Youtube video of last night’s performance to share? Click here!
  • Do you have pictures of last night’s performance to share? Click here!

 

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