Written by: Kimmie Jones, Staff Writer Sonoma State Star
Photos by: Brennan Chin
Between all of the country, hip-hop and pop music today’s kids listen to, it’s easy to say rock-and-roll is becoming less and less popular. During Recycled Percussion’s performance Friday night music was played on garbage cans, ladders and buckets; but the biggest part was the message sent to the audience and kids.
Recycled Percussion is made up of four incredibly talented musicians who performed a variety of rock songs, hilarious jokes and impressive tricks to entertain Sonoma State University students. The group didn’t let empty seats or technical difficulties take away from their contagious energy. The musicians were interactive throughout the entire show. They even poked fun at the one old couple in the audience, saying “you sir, were alive during Woodstock,” and later kissing him on the head with red lipstick.
The best interaction was with a young boy sitting in the front row. They explained how kids back then didn’t have 7,000 songs in their pocket with games and Internet on one device. They had seven songs on a tape and had to pick which one to bring to school and listen on their Walk-Man. This is their lesson to kids today. Music is such an important part of people’s lives, and it’s important to understand where it came from and for them to be passionate to learn.
“I was actually a fan of Recycled Percussion when I was a kid, and I tugged on Justin’s [sleeve] and begged him to be in the band, and I was only 7 so he said no,” said Blue Team percussionist Ryan Vezina, older cousin of founder Justin Spencer.
All of these band members were childhood friends and started off in New Hampshire performing for a talent show. These boys had big dreams and later performed on “America’s Got Talent” and began touring all over shortly after. It’s clear the fame hasn’t gotten to their heads. Even for a small show in Person Theatre, they performed with high energy and an obvious love for their art. The passion they had for it as kids has carried on to their performances today.
The show called for a division between the performers between the Red Team and the Blue Team. During the show, Red Team drummer Alex Stickle, took a moment from the comedy and hard rock to share a more serious message. Recycled Percussion’s founder, Justin Spencer, created a non-profit organization about a year ago called Legacy X. Legacy X raises money and awareness to stop bullying in schools.
“[Legacy X] does everything from helping to achieve your goals, for people who have something that they’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t had the motivation to do it. To kind of have a family,” said Vezina.
On the Legacy X website, the description is written out plain and simple.
“Legacy X is a plan for transforming oneself from the inside out and blasting a permanent mark on one’s world.”
The proceeds made from the merchandise sold at the end of the show went toward funding the organization, along with donations from the audience. Donations and Legacy X paid memberships provide the organization with funds for events to help raise awareness and inspire those who want to change their own lives and the lives of people around them.
What started out as a dream for these boys, is now their life and reality. With a show in Las Vegas, a non-profit organization and the ability to travel all over doing what they love, it’s easy to say the members of Recycled Percussion’s dreams have come true. Now they are inspiring kids just like themselves to better their lives to help make their dreams come true.
Not only was the show itself entertaining and impressive, but the band plans to leave behind them an inspirational and powerful legacy.