Elijah Wood

How many drummers get to open a sold-out stadium show in the spotlight, playing a gargantuan kick and snare beat to tens of thousands of fans? Well, that’s exactly what Shania Twain’s drummer, Elijah Wood, did on a nightly basis during Twain’s Now tour. After Queen’s “We Will Rock You” was pumped through the P.A. to get the crowd stomping and clapping, the house lights would go out and a spotlight would illuminate Wood, positioned on a platform about six feet high and in the center of the audience. Elijah would join in by playing the famous Queen beat on a snare and modified bass drum set up like a giant floor tom.

Wood in fact performs on four stations during Twain’s show, starting at the bass drum and snare, then moving to a Roland V-Drum set with an SPD-SX multipad, followed by stints on two identical drumsets. “The floor kit is my A kit and is the one I play for most of the show,” says Wood. “It’s on a wheeled platform with handles, and the stage crew moves it around. The craziest thing about this show is that I don’t stay in one place for more than one song. I have a three-and-a-half-minute interlude where I go off stage, put on a full-body harness, and then walk up the stairs to the flying kit. Another tech hooks me to a safety line, and then I’m pretty much up there for the rest of the show. That’s my B kit, which we all call the flying kit.”

Once the A kit was dialed in, Wood’s drum tech, Colin “Gravy” Strahm, duplicated the setup, but with a few added safety precautions. Everything on the B kit had to be harnessed so that nothing—not even Wood’s drumsticks—would fall while being elevated above the stage. “I normally only see that kit for about ten minutes during soundcheck,” says Elijah. “I don’t get to play with it too much, so I have to have a lot of trust in my tech.”

Elijah Wood's Kit
Drums: Gretsch USA Custom in White Glass Nitron finish
A. 6×14 snare
B. 8×12 tom
C. 9×13 tom
D. 16×16 floor tom
E. 16×18 floor tom
F. 18×22 bass drum
Cymbals: TRX (with CymPad washers)
1. 14″ hi-hats (BRT top and DRK bottom)
2. 16″ BRT crash
3. 10″ ALT splash
4. 18″ MDM/BRT Blend crash
5. 22″ BRT ride
6. 19″ LTD China
7. 18″ BRT crash
Heads: Remo Controlled Sound Coated snare batter, Emperor Clear tom batters and Ambassador Clear resonants, and a Powerstroke P4 Clear bass drum batter
Sticks: Ahead 2B with stick tape and an Ahead stick bag
Electronics: JH Audio JH16v2 Pro in-ear monitors in carbon fiber black
Hardware: Gibraltar, including a rack system with boom arms and attachments, legless hi-hat, snare stand, G-Class double pedal, throne, and percussion tray; DW 9000 double pedal; Lasko Pro fan