Monday, March 8, 2010

STOMP – Review

Although I had traveled almost 4000 miles on Saturday and had been in travel status for about 18 hours, I was quite pleased to be going to see STOMP that evening at 9pm.

I love percussion and have seen the Junkyard Symphony several times. This show promised to be considerably more involved, with many players and some dancing in addition to the usual drumming.

The set was rather interesting, built on two levels with all sorts of items strapped to the walls for noise making later on in the show. There were a couple of places where the group members could make entrances and exits and climb up or down to the second floor without being seen.


The show opens with a very clever build from one lone person (the troupe leader) to all eight members, each sweeping with a push broom, creating a sound much like brushes on a snare drum. At the end of the sweep, a tap of the end of the brush head creates a single beat. As each person enters, the beat becomes more complex with a lot of syncopation. Very interesting and a real pleasure to witness. Once in a while they all stop for a moment and then resume in perfect rhythm without skipping a beat, so to speak.

The show continues in that vein with several clever skits, one of which is very impressive with each of them reading a newspaper and some clever stunts performed.

Near the end, the leader claps in simple rhythms with an indication for the audience to follow. In seconds, the audience is perfectly trained to respond to his clapping.


They use this technique later on for some comedic relief and then again for the finale … it works very well with complex rhythms, getting the audience right into the spirit of the whole thing. Most impressive show.


This show is easy to recommend for anyone who enjoys percussion. Or anyone who enjoys athletic modern dance (although, to be honest, there isn’t as much athleticism displayed as pure stamina.) One fellow performs some pretty amazing flips and break dancing, so if you like that stuff you are in for a treat.

All in all, well worth the money to see these guys. Few pictures because I was in row 2 and there was a strict rule against it. Those few you see were shot with the F70EXR, as usual. I had the ZS3 with me, but filming from that location was out of the question.

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