It was a musical night full of upbeats and beat downs. Recycle Percussion held on April 7 in the Wise Auditorium captivated the audience with rhythmical beats, fast rythms, beatboxing, break dancing, ladder climbing and a special version of “Happy Birthday.”
“I was expecting really cool things, but it was definitely well over what I was thinking. I hope they come back,” said Apache Punch sophomore Jeremiah Salisbury.
The show began with an opening performance from Tyler Junior College’s own drum line, the Apache Punch. Using only drums that would be found in a marching band such as snares, base drums, and quads, the Punch kept perfectly in tune with one another in a fast paced and complicated set of drum numbers. It was good enough to dance to.
“They were great. They were awesome. We actually watched them practice about a half hour before they went on,” said Todd Griffin, DJ and keyboardist for Recycle Percussion.
The overhead lights dimmed and six rotating lights took over to provide most of the light for the show.
Four men took stage. The band included two drummers, a guitar player, and a DJ.
“I went to a Recycle Percussion show for the first time when I was 10 and I fell in love with it,” said drummer Ryan Vezina.
They take their name, Recycle Percussion, from the instruments they choose to play. They played with instruments a guitar, keyboard, and turntables. What they were missing was a drum set. Instead the two drummers played on five-gallon buckets, plastic tubs, metal trashcans and barrels.
“Every couple of years they try to reinvent the band. I think it started out with four drummers, then it went to three drummers and a DJ, and it just keeps evolving,” said guitar player, Jimmy Magoon. “Members come and go. When one of the drummers left this past May, they wanted to be more rock to change it up, and they wanted a guitar player.”
“It was supposed to be a one time show and since then we have done over 2,500 shows,” said drummer and founder of Recycle Percussion, Justin Spencer.
Then the band began to truly show off their skills.
Drummer Justin Spencer played a game of catch with the audience using drumsticks. Drummer Ryan Vezina and guitarist Jimmy Magoon stood on opposing sides of the stage, and between the three of them they threw the sticks between each other and to the audience, who tossed them back. All the while Spencer never stopped playing his fast beat, and never once did he make a mistake in his rhythm.
Perhaps to take a breather from his solo, Spencer took a moment for DJ and keyboardist Todd Griffin to showcase his dancing skills. Spencer beatboxed a rhythm while Griffin effortlessly danced and spun around the stage in a break dance.
“I think [beatboxing] comes natural when you’re a drummer. I practice in the shower a lot,” said Spencer. “It’s got really good acoustics. If you tap on your chest in the shower it sounds like a base drum.”
Spencer placed both feet on top of a plastic tub and placed a drumstick in the front sole of each of his shoes. He then used both sides of the tub and the sticks in his shoes to beat out an amazingly fast beat.
After that, Magoon played “Happy Birthday” on the guitar and the other members presented Spencer with a cake and candles. It was his birthday.
It was then that two ladders appeared on the stage. Vezina took one while Spencer took the other. In a show of talent, they played a rhythm with the rungs of the ladders. Each rung on the ladder had a different sound according to how from away it was from the ground. Running up and down the ladders and sliding down them, the two drummers played a tune.
“We have used chainsaws, grinders, jackhammers and stuff like that in the past. We always incorporate some sort of power tool or electric novelty to our show,” said Vezina.
They finished off the show with sparks literally flying. With hard hats on, Spencer and Vezina picked up metal grinders while Magoon and Griffin set the base rhythm to impress the audience both visually and auditory.
“We never know what we are going to get and that’s part of the excitement of touring. We are in a different place all the time … Sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s not so great. You just have to roll with it,” said Magoon.