Originally Posted by David McCarroll
I actually think that pop music today is considerably more guitar oriented than it has been for quite a while - no matter what transpires, pop music is basically about a hooky chorus - no one ever leaves a gig humming the guitar solos, so the guitar, or synths, or marimbas or whatever have to be subservient to the melody and chorus.
When your a musician you can recognise and appreciate the smaller things such as the guitar riff, the percussion, the bass track etc, we know how it all works how it all fits together, what key, style, their playing is in we recognise the smaller minute deatils in music that non musicians don't, so we are more biased when making desisions regarding how good or bad a band/vocalist is its easy to say they suck cause all their playing is Powerchords or they can't do arpeggios or they can't sweep, or they just keep it in the pentatonic.
BUT to non-musicians it all sounds good it has a good beat, sounds good, the vocals might be "Good" according to them, non musicians couldn't give a care whether a band is sweep picking like theres no tomorrow. I was at school one day and someone had dragonforce playing and everyone was like wow "They really play fast, their awesome", but we know how they play so fast, its all arpeggios, alternate picking, non musicians don't know that, all they know is that its fast. Non musicians don't realsie the smaller details like we do so they think everything is good. So of course they won't leave a gig huming a guitar riff, they only care about the vocals cause its easy for them to get, they might come out huming the drums maybe.
Pop music really isn't for me, not my cup of tea.
In response to the original question, they use mesa's, Marshalls, most name brands of amps, and gear, you'd be suprised with some of the gear they have. They would get supplied by the company hosting the gig.