A much bigger event than last year, and much better layout.
The Ibanez stand had a much better display than last years feeble effort!! I tried all sorts of lovely machines this time that i've never played before!! I played a PGM 301 and loved it I played one of those Xiphos thingies and thought it very comfortable. My experience with 7's is limited and i tried for the first time ever a Universe and an RG1527....and suprisingly i think i prefered the RG!!!!!!!!! Though it was close! Didn't like the Korn Apex model!
And best of all.....i tried the amazing RG2228!!!!!!!! My god......that's way too much neck for my hands to cope with :lol: But....it felt in a way comfortable and that it would be a lot of fun to play around with!!
They had a JS20th on a revolving stand so it wasn't playable, but as it had a price tag of £4,995 that's not surprising 8O
Now....i got there quite early, and i was wearing my Paul Gilbert t-shirt that i got on the recent Satch/Pablo tour. I went today because Paul was listed to play the main stage. He's been one of my top 2 guitarists for nigh on 20 years!!! A guy who had the same t-shirt as me got talking and he said "have you got a ticket for the clinic?"!! I thought the main stage was open to all so he explained Paul was doing a clinic on the Marshall stand (as he's now endorsed) and you could get a free ticket!!!! So i got one quick as it was first come first served!!
There must've been only 50/60 or so people in this clinic in a sound-proof booth. I ended up being stood about 6 feet (about 2 metres in Europe) in front of one of my biggest idols/influences while he played a few songs along to a backing track cd and talked to the audience about his amp (Marshall Vintage Modern) and stuff in general. this was unreal. This probably rates as the best thing in music thats ever happened to me. Being SO CLOSE to him as he let rip was an unbelievable experience!! I'm so excited even now several hours later!!! I kept thinking how much Ibanez249 (davey) would have loved it!! It was totally and utterly AWESOME
So on with the main stage performances. At 1.30 it was supposed to be Billy Sheehan. So went to see him but the running order was screwed up. So instead of Billy.......on comes Guthrie Govan to play a few songs! I'd already thought about getting his Erotic Cakes cd which they had on sale on the Cornford stand....and after seeing his performance i made sure i got it!!! I knew how good he was technically, but enjoyed his performance even more than i thought i would
So.....after that finished, it was Billy's turn to play. I didn't recognise anything he played so don't know if it was actual songs or just jamming but......who should get the honour of being the guitarist to jam with the legendary bass player??? Guthrie
Seeing a local boy up there letting rip with a rock legend was sooooooo cool Great performance. Glad i didn't miss that
Next up was Pablo. Somehow didn't seem as good being back in a crowd :wink: He played along to a cd backing track which kept jumping!!! He wasn't impressed. While they sorted the problem he entertained the crowd with an impromptu unaccompanied Down to Mexico and then a shredding/blues version of Red House Then carried on the rest of the show! Brilliant!! Paul adapted amazingly under pressure. A real pro!!
I went and checked out more of the show while Phil Hilbourne was on next as i've seen him a few times before. Got lucky and saw Satch do a Q&A on the Vox stand about the new Satchurator pedal
Then to the final act on the main stage....Yngwie. Total show-off shred fest that absolutely rocked!!! First time i've seen him live for many many years. Predictable but fun and spectacluar. He too played along to a few backing tracks and didn't hold back Great stuff!!!
Anyway...that was all for today....i'm back tomorrow as Satch is peforming!!!