Downtown Manchester

Junk-rock band Recycled Percussion to kick off week of celebrations with a bang

New Hampshire Union Leader
June 27. 2018 1:22PM
Junk-rock band Recycled Percussion's summer tour dates in its native New Hampshire will include an outdoor spectacle in Veteran's Park in Manchester on Saturday. 

Recycled Percussion returns to New Hampshire this weekend for a show at Veteran’s Memorial Park, and the group’s founder, Justin Spencer, said fans in the Queen City are in for a treat.

“We always turn things up for our New Hampshire shows,” said Spencer. “We’ve got a few tricks ready.”

Recycled Percussion will take the stage in downtown Manchester at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Spencer formed Recycled Percussion when he was in high school in Goffstown. A typical show for the “junk-rock” band features a mix of drumming on buckets, power tools, ladders — basically anything you can bang a stick on. Spencer said he was inspired after seeing subway performers in New York City, but took the concept one step further by adding additional instruments.

The band became a national phenomenon on TV’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2009. Since then, the band has performed in every state in the country, as well as 15 countries. The ensemble also became a headliner in Las Vegas in 2010.

“We performed in a high school talent show, and the idea was we would perform one show,” Spencer said. “We weren’t setting out to be a band, but here we are 22 years (later). Nobody could ever predict that. It wasn’t our goal, that’s for sure.”

The basic structure of the band’s shows remain the same, but specifics change night to night.

“We try to change things up, and we have a few tricks ready for (this) weekend,” said Spencer. “Can’t tell you what they are, but they might get us arrested.”

Spencer said humor has always been a part of their performances.

“It’s a really funny show, sometimes more comedic than musical,” he said.

Spencer, 40, writes and directs the shows, which incorporate clips from unexpected songs, toys from the ’80s, and a lot more. In one act, the band plays the game “Operation” as an instrument, along with an old “Speak and Spell” and a bell from a child’s tricycle, all done to a remix of the “Oompa Loompa” song from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

“The show is very visual and has a lot of energy,” Spencer said. “We don’t sit and write songs. We think about a part in the show, then we write music to fit the part. Our shows are insane, but I think that’s what people like about us.”

The event is planned in conjunction with Intown Manchester. Tickets range from $32 to $39. However, seating is limited to 2,000.

According to the band’s tour schedule at, the group also will play The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center in Plymouth at 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. Saturday, July 6.

“This is our fifth year coming back for several shows in the summer from Las Vegas, and each year they sell out and the energy is insane,” the band said in a posting of tour dates this spring.

Next up in September is a trip to China, and then it’s back to Las Vegas, according to its Facebook page.

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