Vocal Trash returns to First Night Tri-Cities this New Year's Eve with some new music and a new member of the troupe, who not only makes cool music but also can break dance while banging on garbage cans.
This is the sixth year the Texas-based group has put in an appearance at First Night, which starts at 5 p.m. today at Columbia Basin College in Pasco.
Steve Linder, creator and front man for Vocal Trash, said his group of landfill-inspired musicians draw their energy from the audience they play to.
"No one (inspires us) with honesty and conviction better than a hyped fan or audience member," Linder said.
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Vocal Trash has been compared to Stomp and Blue Man Group with their lively and humorous way of making music, but what makes Trash even more musically creative is their instruments are mostly items from landfills or garbage dumps.
"We take advantage of numerous opportunities throughout the show to point out various recycled instruments," Linder said. "Once the attention is drawn to those, we elaborate on the importance of eco-friendly living and remind the listeners to the role of the group. Sort of like music with a conscience."
Each year, Linder or a member of his band find something new in recycled trash that they can make music with. This year, the new instrument is another unusual piece of metal.
"We have a tool metal box guitar that is new to this year's show," he said.
He also says because of the group's eco-friendly conscious outlook, Vocal Trash is much bigger than any one musician within its ranks.
"When we first put the idea together, it was conceived strictly as a vehicle to present a unique and entertaining show," Linder said. "It wasn't until countless fans approached us about the awareness factor and educational possibilities that we realized the potential of what we had."
Vocal Trash performs two shows at 6 and 9 p.m. in the CBC gym. Also coheadlining the evening will be a performance by Eclectic Approach pop/rock band at 10 p.m., The Gothard Sisters Celtic variety show at 5 p.m., and Brad Upton's comedy show at 7:15 p.m., all in the CBC gym.
There will be other music happening throughout the evening at various locations on CBC's Pasco campus. For a complete schedule of events, go to www.firstnighttricities.com.
Tickets to the family-friendly event are $10 for ages 13 and older and $5 for kids 6 to 12 with ages 5 and younger free.