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6 rocking drummers who are also showmen

6 rocking drummers who are also showmen

Refusing to accept their place at the back, some drummers have become the stars of the stage thanks to impressive tricks, a bit of mechanical craftiness and even acrobatic skills. Lead singers aren't the only ones to crave stage presence and public adoration! Let’s take a look of some of these intense drummers who’ve made their art a real show.

Joey Jordison (ex-Slipknot, Murderdolls, Sinsaenum)

Members of the American heavy metal band Slipknot refer to themselves in number and it’s no coincidence that Joey Jordison was given number one by the Des Moines band. Thanks to his technique and his talent, on display at the group’s cataclysmic shows, he's one of the most spectacular drummers of modern rock. Jordison successfully marries his own style with those of the great drum predecessors. With an infernal inspired getup, his drum kit turns into a deranged machine. Seated in a bucket chair, similar to those of rally drivers, Joey puts on a mechanical show when it comes time for his solo. The pedestal of his drum rotates 360 ​​degrees, like Neil Peart or Carl Palmer, and the structure rises in the air and tilts perpendicular to the ground, leaving Jordison and his drums upside down. Alongside some impressive spotlights, any Jordison show leaves his audience in awe.

Travis Barker (Blink-182, +44, Box Car Racer, Transplants)

As if his audience were witnessing a theme park attraction show, the drummer of the punk band Blink-182 offers his audience a pretty wild ride. The mechanical structure to which his drum is locked is capable of thrills comparable to the best fairground rides. There's even a light show to match! His shows are full of craziness and extravagance that only American performers seem able to achieve, placing the laws of entertainment leaps and bounds in front of all others.

Alex Gonzalez (Maná)

Nicknamed "El Animal," Gonzalez isn't the best-known drummer of the rock world, despite his Mexican band Maná having been around since the late 1970s and having earned a Grammy Award. With fanfare and acrobatic ease, the animal plays similarly to the great Jimi Hendrix as he tickles his snare drums, hands behind his back. Comparisons can also be made to Keith Moon as Gonzalez climbs on his stool, drumming along back and forth. His customized drum set, adorned in sequins and other flashy paintings, are a real eye-catcher. For his even more eye-catching finale, Gonzales shoots off like a rocket thanks to an elevator that jolts him ten meters (32 feet) from the ground.

Neil Peart (Rush)

With an abundance of critical acclaim and awards, the drummer and lyricist of Rush is best known for his spectacular solos. Able to follow unsustainable rhythmic signatures, he’s recognized as the best rock drummer on the circuit by his peers and is also an impressive showman, thanks to his drums and exotic percussion. His ability to desynchronize his limbs is as breathtaking as the stoicism he displays, making him an absolute reference for contemporary drummers eager for technique and virtuosity.

Carl Palmer (Atomic Rooster, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Asia, Qango)

Originally a jazz drummer, Palmer’s natural talent shone further when he switched to rock, joining the supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer. With an impressive technique combined with a mastery of all styles and inventiveness, Palmer is one of the best drummers in the history of rock. He’s also one of the most prodigious in concert. Placed on a rotating platform, Palmer’s drum kit is immediately recognizable thanks to its two huge gongs situated behind the musician. To top it all off, several drums accompany the kit, giving it a total estimated weight of about 2.5 tons. It’s a major technical feat that requires that the stage where Palmer installs his massive contraption be reinforced, lest it crumble from the weight.

Alex Van Halen (Van Halen)

Deeply influenced by the greats such as John Bonham, Buddy Rich, Keith Moon and Ginger Baker, Alex was able to show off his wild side thanks to his participation in the flashy group Van Halen. Considering the style of the band, it’s not surprising to learn that it originally bore the name Mammoth. The original band name could have also been the nickname of Alex's instrument; both his kit (he’s been loyal to a Ludwig for 35 years) is impressive in size with six bass drums, a notable number of electronic pads, rotators (that turn on their central axis to adjust the pitch) ... all accompanied by the rhythm of lights, explosions, smoke and other pyrotechnic effects. Alex's solo alone proved to be a major showstopper, as highly anticipated by the public as the guitar tickling sessions of his brother, Eddie.