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October 23, 2014

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Banging Yanni’s drum

A trip Downtown yields … well, nothing in particular

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Laura Davis

Charlie Adams, drumming outdoors at Neonopolis

Call it a special Father’s Day treat, Fremont Street playing host to a drum clinic starring Charlie Adams. Who’s Charlie Adams? Longtime drummer for new-age giant Yanni, of course.

Okay, so the Greek god himself wouldn’t be there (that I knew of), but I still carved out some time for a trip Downtown, in hopes of picking up a few rhythmic techniques. Who am I kidding? I went down to Fremont Street to gawk at freaking Yanni’s drummer.

As I approached Neonopolis, I expected to be enveloped by the long hair and flowing robes of cultish followers, pressing against the outdoor stage. Instead, I found only a handful of seated participants. To my right: a costumed Gene Simmons impersonator. To my left: a grade-school kid with drumsticks shoved up his nose. Awesome.

The clinic basically consisted of a pre-recorded Yanni concert—projected on a large screen—which Adams accompanied with some mighty impressive live drumming. We were also promised a drum circle, and we did get to release our inner Ringos, beating away on provided bongos, hand drums and tambourines. Apparently, it’s not just handclapping that I can’t do in time. Judging from those around me, rhythm can’t be learned in 15 minutes.

Hopefully next time, Yanni will come down from the mountain to accompany us. If not, surely there’s an impersonator somewhere on Fremont.

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