Goffstown’s own Recycled Percussion a headlining act in Las Vegas
GOFFSTOWN - An act that grew out of a high school talent show has finally paid off.
Three years after Goffstown-based junk rock band Recycled Percussion landed third place on the NBC TV show “America’s Got Talent,” it is now the only band on the Las Vegas Strip with a headline show.
“The show we have here is very physical – it’s big – it’s a Vegas show,” said band founder Justin Spencer. “We’re competing with the Cirque du Soleils.”
The band got their Las Vegas start at Planet Hollywood and had headline shows at MGM Grand and The Tropicana. It is currently part of an “America’s Got Talent” show at The Palazzo, but will return to its own show after the new year.
Band members include Spencer of Goffstown, Ryan Vezina of Boscawen, Matt Bowman of Manchester and Todd Griffin of Lowell, Mass.
Spencer said in 2011, Recycled Percussion played 430 shows, doing at least one show – sometimes two – daily.
“Today’s my only day off, and I’m up in Zion National Park doing some hiking,” Spencer on Friday, Nov. 2.
When Recycled Percussion isn’t on stage performing, there are rehearsals, photo shoots and and music video sessions. The group is also heavily involved with the community, mainly with youth and homeless people.
“Whenever there’s something we see in Vegas that we think could help make a different, we jump on board,” said Spencer. “We’re so lucky to be a band that came from Goffstown, a town of not even 20,000. Now we’re the only band on the Las Vegas Strip with its own show. I think we’d be remiss to not give back to the community and not help other follow their own dreams. If they see the story, they can see they have the potential to do the exact same type of thing.”
Recently, Recycled Percussion received a proclamation from the city of Las Vegas, proclaiming Oct. 18 Recycled Percussion Day, due in large part to their reaching out to the community.
Spencer formed Recycled Percussion in 1995 for a Goffstown High School talent show, and he said his ninth-grade science teacher, Kirk Miller, was an inspiration to him.
Miller said as a culminating activity for a sound unit in class, he had students build homemade musical instruments.
“Almost all the students in the class built some form of a guitar,” said Miller. “Justin, who was always tapping on the desks, decided to make a drum set. All students performed in front of the class with their finished instruments.”
Miller said as a student council adviser at the time, he he encouraged Spencer to perform with his homemade drum set in the school’s talent show.
“I may have been Justin’s teacher, however, he is the one through his hard work and dedication that has made himself and his band into the success that it has become,” said Miller. “As teachers, we want to see all of our students be happy and successful and doing what they love, and Justin epitomizes this. I use Justin as an example to my students that if you are willing to work hard, you can be successful.”
Recycled Percussion plans to come back to New Hampshire at the end of the December to visit family and play some shows.
Two shows will be performed at the Palace Theatre in Manchester on Dec. 30 and 31, and there will be one in Keene on Dec. 27.
“It gives us a chance to come back and see our family and friends,” said Spencer. “It’s a week that we look forward to almost more than any other week of the year.”
But outside of the yearly visits to New Hampshire in December, Spencer is living in the moment while in Las Vegas.
“We’re truly blessed to be in the situation we’re in,” said Spencer. “There will be a day when I come back to New Hampshire, but it won’t be anytime soon.”
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