When we saw “Hamilton” was coming to town, we just knew we had to get tickets for strictly professional purposes. However, after assigning our cheapest best stage theater critic to get us tickets for it, we quickly realized that we missed the public sale date by months and were thus unable to get tickets. Despite the setback, we showed up to the Wednesday night anyway, and after being turned down at the door, decided to review the performance of the post-show bucket drummers outside of the Altria Theater instead.
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The bucket drummers – comprised of a group of unknown buskers from wherever – have made a name for themselves around town by showing up to major events around the city and drumming on buckets of various sizes and at least one cymbal. Given that nearly all of their performances have been completely unrequested and typically met with the responses of “Oh hey, it’s those guys again. Where did we park?” we were curious to see how they’d hold up to what might be one of the biggest performances of their however-long career.
Just after the final curtain call, the drummers wasted no time diving right into their set, with their popular track “donk-donk-da-tsee-ba-tsee-donk,” which immediately captured the attention of the departing audience. Situated on Main Street just outside of the theater, the drummers were able to amass a small crowd of onlookers, a few of whom took cell phone videos that will almost certainly be drowned in the user’s backlog of random photos and never viewed again.
For the most part, the performance was very captivating and challenging, although it did seem a bit repetitive approximately 93% of the time. While we weren’t able to identify much of the setlist, we did recognize part of the set that we’ve called “bump-bump-tsee-ba-ba-bump-ba-psh-tsee-ba-ba-tsee-ba-ba” from a performance outside of The National a couple of years ago. We asked our critic to Google the track to see if maybe it was a single from a previous album, but he couldn’t find any backstory on the track in question.
Perhaps the highlight of the set was when an intoxicated patron from the West End known only as “Kyle” jumped in front of the drummers and started dancing in a near mocking manner. Although he didn’t get much of a reaction from the viewing audience, he did get a sharp glare from one of the drummers after he was eventually pulled away by his girlfriend who just wanted to go home for the night. They rushed off before either could make a monetary donation for the performance.
The show came to an end as onlookers began to disperse for the evening without giving the drummers praise or shouts for an encore. We also checked afterward to see if there was anything online regarding the group’s future performances or any touring plans, but we were unable to find any information. All in all, we’re not sure if it was a better gig than what “Hamilton” could’ve been for us, but it was economically viable and it produced us content, so there’s that.
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