Grateful Dead Music Forum

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Chat about Equipment Info
 #102444  by playingdead
 Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:30 am
Just thought I'd post a few thoughts from Saturday and Sunday morning at the Gear Expo ... first, thanks so much to Glenn and the folks at Hard Truckers for putting this together. I hope it continues annually and grows into a real gathering of the faithful. I know Glenn put a lot of work into it, and it was not about money at all -- in fact, I'm sure it was a costly labor of love for him -- it was about getting folks together to talk about tone and really a rare opportunity to get to see and try a lot of products that you can't see gathered together.

I got to meet Matt Moriarty on Saturday afternoon; one of his customers had a full-on Tiger that Matt built, and that was just a stunningly beautiful instrument. Matt also had some of his Wolf guitars on hand, and one of his custom instruments as well. I can't say enough about the build quality on Matt's guitars, they are just impeccable and magical to have in your hands.

It was also very cool to meet Tom Lieber and get one of his guitars in my hands -- damn, I wish I was a righty sometimes -- he had a nice maple take on the Tiger guitar for display. Also impeccably constructed, looked terrific and felt right. It was very cool to see Tom holding and closely inspecting Matt's rendition of the Tiger guitar that he built with Doug Irwin ... where else can you see that meeting of the minds?

Pat from Resurrection got a chance to see the guitar he built for me again, and he had a couple Bolt and Eagle guitars for people to try, and a really nice version of Trey's guitar there which my rhythm guitarist fell in love with.

So right there, three examples of Jerry guitars most of us would run through six lanes of traffic just to get a glimpse of, and (if you weren't cursed with being a lefty) you could plug them in and take them for a test drive.

The HT folks had several cabinets on hand, including a beauty with cocobolo edging, and some very nice sale prices on them. I also got to meet the folks from Louis Electric and take their new Jerry-flavored amp for a spin through some E-120s ... very impressive piece with "the tone" in spades, great reverb, just the right amount of breakup for my Tiger guitar, tons of power and headroom and you have to love the fact that you can bypass the power tubes and go with a power amp of your choice.

The McIntosh people were there with a bunch of amps, and they also had a $20k pair of stereo speakers that were incredible. The Pigtronix folks had all kinds of pedals to try; my rhythm guitarist sprung for a compressor-boost pedal and trotted it right out during our set, with great results.

The club is also a terrific set up, nice big stage, Meyer rig, great monitors, a real treat to play. We had a ball playing our set and I'll have some audio and video to post up here in a bit.

Best of all, I was not pilloried for having a (gasp) digital rig on hand. LOL. And what a nice way to meet some fellow gearheads.

Let's hope Glenn can make it happen annually and that it will continue to gather steam and grow into a big gathering of the faithful.
 #102445  by TheMissingDigit
 Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:57 am
Thanks for the write-up. Also you guys got a nice mention on Tales From the Goldenroad yesterday. Can't rememeber exactly what the caller said, but she essentially said you guys sounded great.
 #102471  by jester536
 Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:36 am
Vic covered just about everything...the gear was all incredible...and the musicianship of those just noodling was unbelievable. The thing that really knocked me out was the people involved...I had come a long way and didn't know a soul. Glenn took me under his wing and made sure I had a great time. Lou and Billy from Louis Electric were great guys to hang with and had me crackin' up. You gotta love hearing a good old Bergenfield accent. Having Chuck there from MacIntosh was a real treat (Thanks for the ride Chuck). Pat and Chad from Resurrection were great guys...both of them commented to me how they enjoyed themselves largely because everybody "was just so nice" (Thanks for the ride guys...apparently everyone was involved with schlepping my ass around Teaneck!). Typical Grateful Dead scene...great music and great people
I'm living in Montana but grew up just north of Teaneck. Saw a gal in the crowd that looked familiar and it turned out we went to the same high school. Just one of those weird coincidences that also seem to happen at Dead related events.
I think Playin' Dead really blew away a lot of people. Very few were expecting the level of quality that those guys put out. I've become quite the Playin' Dead fan...actually got to see them twice this summer and listen to a lot on line. Saturday's show was phenomenal.
What I didn't expect was being so floored by Half Step. I didn't think anybody could put on a show that would come even close to Playin' Dead's. I was way wrong. Right from the sound check I knew it was going to be special. The female vocalist added a lot. And again the musicianship was unbelievable. Two nights with GREAT bass players...I must admit that I was somewhat partial to Craig from Half Step...played with a pic and was very "Philish". We all know Vic is just amazing...but Tom from Half Step was a real joy to watch. Very few tunes were repeated over the two nights which I was told the bands had worked on a bit...thanks guys. Playin' Dead's Help-Slip-Frank was a knock out as always. Half Step opened with a GREAT Here Comes Sunshine...and one tandem that stood out was a perfect Row Jimmy (I can never keep the count straight on that one) followed by Weather Report...full Suite with Prelude...that is a workout.
Tom from Half Step played through the Lewis Electric Jerry amp...I asked him what he thought of it at the end of the night and he was speechless...he simply loved did we in the crowd.
I think people need to check out Pigtronix...Jim from PD and Scott from Half Step both bought pedals while at the event. I heard Scott demo-ing some pedals. After he played for a few minutes I walked up to him and told him that if he didn't already own one of those pedals he needed to buy one immediately...his reply..." I just bought 2 of them!!!" It really nailed the Bobby tone.
I had a great time and it was well worth the 5000 mile round-trip. The music and gear were great...but it was the people that really made the show for me. Charlie...or need to join up and get on this site.
Thanks did a great job. Word is, next year will be in San Francisco. Obviously I'll have to attend that one...hell it's so much closer to home!