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Part rock concert and part interactive experience, this show is a riotous blend of music and comedy. Before any of the performers hit the stage, the showroom is filled with loud rock 'n' roll music and the sound of audience members banging on the instruments given to them before entering the theater.
The curtain rises and the four members of Recycled Percussion make their grand entrance, lowered over the stage while sitting on a vertical platform with their backs parallel to the floor and playing the drums. Except they aren't drums, instead Recycled Percussion has made a name for themselves by creating music out of pieces of recycled trash, tin, buckets, power tools and other items. The audience also gets to experience how the group's raucous junk rock is created.
Upon entering the showroom everyone is given a set of drumsticks and other item that they'll use during the show. A video introduction explains everything once the show starts. Each item has a colored dot on it that represents your team leader and when you are supposed to bang your instrument. As the band performs, rock videos of songs are played on a huge screen hanging over the stage. When you see your colored dot, you hit your instrument. Anyone familiar with Rock Band or Guitar Hero will have no problem playing along, but even if you don't know those games the basic drum beats are easy to follow.
Recycled Percussion consists of drummers Justin Spencer and Ryan Vezina, guitarist Matt Bowman and DJ Jason Davies. The group formed in 1994 in New Hampshire for their high school talent show. The small-town band built a steady following with their fast-paced drumming, gravity-defying athleticism and humorous stage personalities. They don't just sit there and drum. These musicians are all showmen who know how to work a crowd.
The group was introduced to households across the country as contestants on the fourth season of the NBC hit show "America's Got Talent." Recycled Percussion placed 3rd and was the first non-singing act in the show's history to place in the top three. After the show the group went on to be featured on the cover of "USA Today" and has performed as special guests on various television shows including the "Today Show," "Carson Daily," "Talk Soup" and before a live international audience of more than 80,000 people at "China's Got Talent." After making their music heard around the world it's no surprise that the group landed a gig in Vegas. After performing for two years at various locations on the Las Vegas Strip, the group became the resident show at The LINQ Hotel & Casino and is now performing at Planet Hollywood.
Enhanced with innovative lighting and a ground-shaking sound system, Recycled Percussion perform on an elevated platform and on a number of different props like ladders and even an old van. One of the acts does not use any drums. Instead performers create music to an electrified version of the Beatles song "Eleanor Rigby" by putting a metal grinder to one of four large, round metal bins hung from a contraption lowered over the stage. Sparks fly in the air as the performers grind away in rhythm to the well-known song.
Periodically, pantomimed skits flesh out the show with humor and give the audience's ears a break from the banging. Audience participation reaches its peak when select guests join the show to act like trained monkeys and compete in a dance-off. Perhaps the most fun diversion is "Totally Random Cookie Time," complete with an original song and actual cookies.
Toward the end of the show the group leads everyone through a musical montage of songs where the audience is invited to play along when they see their colored dot on the screen. The theater explodes in a harmonious cacophony of banging from people in the audience and riveting beats from Recycled Percussion as they rock out on stage.
The finale brings Recycled Percussion's trademark ladder act to the stage. The musicians drum of the rungs as they climb giant ladders and scrape their sticks as they slide back down, creating a sound like a giant washboard.
Start to finish, Recycled Percussion is a raucous good time for the all-ages audience.