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    In this new video, guitarist Steve Lukather walks you through his signature Luke III—also known as the LIII—model guitar from Ernie Ball Music Man.

    For more about this guitar, check out the specs below and visit its page on music-man.com.


    Model: Luke III
    Size: 12-3/16" wide, 1-3/4" thick, 36-7/16" long (31.0 cm wide, 4.5 cm thick, 92.6 cm long)
    Weight: 7 lbs, 8 oz (3.40 kg) - varies slightly
    Body Wood: Alder
    Body Finish: High gloss polyester
    Body Colors: Black, Bodhi Blue
    Bridge: Standard - Music Man® floating vintage tremolo of chrome plated, hardened steel with bent steel saddles
    Scale Length: 25-1/2" (64.8 cm)
    Neck Radius: 12" (30.5 cm)
    Headstock Size: Only 5-7/8" (14.9 cm) long
    Frets: 22 - Low profile, wide
    Neck Width: 1-5/8" (41.3 mm) at nut, 2-3/16" (55.6 mm) at last fret
    Neck Wood: Select roasted maple neck
    Fingerboard: Rosewood
    Neck Finish: Gunstock oil and hand-rubbed special wax blend
    Neck Colors: Standard – Natural with finished headstock
    Tuning Machines: Schaller M6-IND locking
    Truss Rod: Adjustable - no component or string removal
    Neck Attachment: 5 bolts - perfect alignment with no shifting; Sculpted neck joint allows smooth access to higher frets
    Electronic Shielding: Graphite acrylic resin coated body cavity and aluminum lined control cover
    Controls: Custom Music Man® active preamp; push/push volume for gain boost, 500kohm passive tone - .022µF tone capacitor
    Switching: 5-way lever pickup selector
    Pickups: Standard - HH with 2 DiMarzio Transition humbucking; Optional - HSS with 1 DiMarzio Transition humbucking; 2 DiMarzio custom single coil
    Left Handed: No
    Strings: 9p-11p-16p-24w-32w-42w (RPS 9 Slinkys #2239)

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    Deep Purple have announced two new live albums, both of which will be released August 28.

    From the Setting Sun... (in Wacken), was recorded at the Wacken Open Air festival in 2013. ...To the Rising Sun (in Tokyo) was recorded at the Nippon Budokan, Tokyo in April 2014.

    The albums are being released on 2CD+DVD, DVD, Blu-ray (Tokyo performance), Blu-ray 3D (Wacken performance) and 3LP Gatefold via earMUSIC.

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    HeadCount, a non-partisan, non-profit organization with a mission to promote participation in democracy through the power of musicians and their music, and D’Angelico Guitars will auction off a one-of-a-kind D’Angelico guitar signed by original Grateful Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir at the upcoming "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead" shows in Chicago and Santa Clara, California.

    All proceeds from the silent auction will benefit 17 non-profit organizations selected by the Grateful Dead.

    The guitar, which also will be signed by "Fare Thee Well" performers Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti, features custom "Fare Thee Well" graphics. It's one of just a few items the Dead will be signing at their final shows.

    Attendees will have the opportunity to view and bid on the guitar and the other signed items in a silent auction at “Participation Row,” a dedicated area (at each show) where fans can interact with the band-selected charities.

    “We are thrilled to be a part of this celebration in honor of the Grateful Dead,” said Brenden Cohen, CEO of D’Angelico Guitars. “Our custom 'Fare Thee Well' guitar will be benefiting a number of organizations that are important to Mickey, Bill, Phil and Bob, and that’s something very special.”

    The Participation Row charity auction will be near Section 101 at Levi’s Stadium for the Santa Clara concerts, which take place June 27 and 28, and near Section 117 at Soldier Field for the Chicago concerts, which take place July 3 to 5.

    For more information, visit headcount.org.

    Fare Thee Well Guitar.jpg

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    His guitar playing and vocal harmonizing in the blue-eyed soul duo Hall & Oates earned him mega chart success and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but what Guitar World readers really want to know is…

    I’ve seen you more than 10 times over the years and I’m excited to check out your Daryl Hall & John Oates: Recorded Live from Dublin DVD. Why was Ireland the right place to film this? — Stacy

    Believe it or not, after all these years touring the world Daryl and I had never played Ireland. We knew right off the bat there would be an Irish audience that would be excited to come see us. We also knew we were playing the Olympia Theatre, which is a legendary theater where the Beatles played.

    If you combine those facts, plus the fact that the Irish really love music, we figured that it was gonna be a good night. And it was. It was awesome.

    So many players get so focused on technique that they overplay in songs. But you have managed to write amazingly catchy songs and know just when, and when not, to add a guitar part. Were you innately restrained, or is that something you worked on? — Charles Drogas

    It’s called musicianship, and tastefulness. [laughs] What a concept! Listen, when you’re part of a large band with unbelievably good musicians, restraint and learning what your role should be is part of what makes you a good player. If you’re the only guitar player in a power trio you have a lot more freedom to do whatever you want.

    But when you’re in a band with keyboards, guitars, singing and background vocals, you have to pick and choose your spots. In Hall & Oates the roles shift, I may be taking a solo on one song and rhythm on another. Some bands have very specific roles, where this guy is lead, this guy is rhythm, this guy is acoustic. And in my solo shows I play everything: from fingerpicking to R&B to rock and roll. It’s really about tastefulness and how you can enhance your part to make the sum of all the parts better.

    Your cameo on the Garfunkel and Oates comedy TV show is amazing. How did that come about? — Kim

    I’ve known those girls [Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci] for quite a while. I actually met them back in the MySpace days. We’ve become friends and I’ve always been a big supporter of theirs. I think they’re brilliant. So when they got their TV show and asked if I’d cameo on it, I said, “Of course!” They made me the owner of a porn shop in Chatsworth, California, which I thought was pretty funny. They were coming in to buy a porn DVD, and they were kinda embarrassed about it. It was a pretty cool episode.

    When you write songs do you write vocal melodies or guitar lines first? — Bronson Pinot

    The rule is that there are no rules. Don’t put any rules on your songwriting process. Whatever it takes to get there. It could be lyrics first, a groove, a chord change, a melody, a headline in a newspaper or something someone says to you. Songwriters just keep their minds open to any possibility.

    War Babies is one of my favorite albums and it’s also one of your oddest. Some of the songs have a fusion-y sound to them, especially on the guitar solos. How much did producer Todd Rundgren have to do with the sound and stylistic direction of that album? — Henny Bingham

    He definitely had a lot to do with the sound, because we recorded it in his studio and he was the producer. The thing about Todd Rundgren is that everything he does has a very bold stamp that say’s “Todd” on it. He’s a very strong personality and has a very distinct musical point of view. We also had guitarist Richie Cerniglia and keyboardist Don York who were both very jazz influenced.

    Those two guys brought a little bit of the fusion thing to the record. But we were looking to make more of a progressive rock album. Our idea was to push boundaries and see how far we could go from the acoustic R&B we had done on the previous album, Abandoned Luncheonette. We wanted to take a bold step and that’s why the album is so different sounding.

    What was more challenging for you: learning how to sing harmonies or play guitar? — Bankcroft

    Well, I sang and played simultaneously. I was a singer from the time I was a real little kid, and I started playing guitar when I was six. I began accompanying myself singing on guitar in a very simplistic way back when I was first learning. In the Sixties I became very interested in harmony singing.

    I listened to a lot of street-corner doo-wop, which is nothing but vocal harmonies. I learned a lot from the Temptations, the Impressions, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. So my harmony singing was pretty well developed, and then I met Daryl. Working with him really took our harmony singing to another level.

    Who would you rate as the top three guitarists most influential to your playing style? — Gloria Moralez

    My three biggest influences are Doc Watson, Mississippi John Hurt and Curtis Mayfield. And if I had to add a fourth I’d say Chuck Berry. If you combine all those styles that’s pretty much how I play.

    I play in a Hall & Oates tribute band. In your opinion what is the most technically difficult song to play and why? — Vance Duggins

    The most difficult thing for the average person to tackle with Hall & Oates songs is the unique chord progressions. Daryl has a very interesting way of putting chords together and putting melodies over chords. There are a few, but if I had to pick just one I would say “Private Eyes.” It’s a heavy pop song with very unusual, more sophisticated chord changes with major sevenths and four over fives, chords that aren’t usually associated with heavy pop or rock.

    If you had to pick one amp and electric guitar to be stranded on a desert island with, what would you chose? — Curtis LaFlame

    Wow. That’s a tough one. I’d say I would take my Fender ’65 Princeton Reverb because it can pretty much do anything. It’s small enough to carry, got enough punch to play a gig with and it’s amazing in the studio. Of course on a desert island I don’t think I’d have to deal with any of that stuff, but who cares! [laughs] If I had one guitar, I’d take my custom Martin. But if it’s an electric, I’d take my ’58 Strat, which I’ve had since 1972.

    I have seen you perform with a really sweet custom Martin acoustic. Can you tell us the story behind that guitar? — Kenny Deen

    It’s about two years old. I went up to the Martin factory in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, to look at the museum and take a factory tour. While I was there I noticed a 00-18 that they were making with the Thirties’ sunburst look. I really liked the look of it. I’ve played Martins over the years but never had a custom one. I was so impressed with the workmanship at the factory, so I said, “Let’s do it!” The 1934 00-18 was our starting point, but essentially it’s the 00-18 only in the shape of the body.

    I wanted the body to have more depth, so I asked them to make it half-inch thicker. I wanted more bottom end and punch out of the smaller bodied guitar. Then we went around feeling different necks to figure out what profile I wanted. I like the Eric Clapton 000-28 model, so we started there. Then I changed it because I like necks to not get too thick as they get up to the body, because I use my thumb a lot.

    Cosmetically I had them put the herringbone purfling around the top and a custom abalone 12th-fret inlay of my Good Road to Follow logo, with a circle and compass points. Then we used the compass points in abalone as the fret markers. It’s a really unique guitar. It’s one of a kind, and awesome.

    Photo: Hoaward Barlow/Redferns/Getty Images

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    Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme and Jesse Hughes have announced the first new album from their band, Eagles of Death Metal, in seven years.

    The album, which is titled Zipper Down, is set for an October 2 release via T-Boy/UMe.

    You can check out the album's first single, "Complexity," below and take a gander at the album's insane/amazing cover over to your left. Interesting, yes?

    Let us know what you think in the comments or on Facebook!

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    The all-new August 2015 issue of Guitar World is available now!

    Guitar World’s August 2015 issue pays tribute to American legend B.B. King, who influenced generations of electric blues guitarists. We also take a critical look at King’s 10 greatest guitar moments.

    Then, North Carolina tech-metallers Between the Buried and Me solidify their status as one of prog-metal’s most forward-thinking groups with their new album, Coma Ecliptic.

    Also, PRS Guitars celebrates its 30th anniversary as one of the leading manufacturers of U.S.-made electrics. Take an in-depth look at the shapely six-string stunner known as the S2.

    Later, legendary Mahogany Rush guitarist Frank Marino sets the record straight about his mysterious career, his disdain for the music industry and how the guitar saved his life.

    Finally, there's our new string roundup! Guitar World selects the best and the brightest strings to keep you in tune and playing longer.

    PLUS: Tune-ups, including Megadeth in the studio, Armored Saint, Playlist with Hinder, Dear Guitar Hero with Todd Rundgren, Thy Art is Murder, and more. Soundcheck gear reviews include Bogner's Burnley, Harlow and Wessex pedals, the Vox Custom Series AC10C1 amp, Music Man StingRay Neck Through bass, the John Page Classic Ashburn electric guitar and more!

    Five Songs with Tabs for Guitar and Bass:

    • B.B. King - "Sweet Little Angel" (live)
    • In This Moment - "Whore"
    • Five Finger Death Punch - "House of the Rising Sun"
    • Death - "Spirit Crusher"
    • Ed Sheeran - "Thinking Out Loud"

    The all-new August 2015 issue of Guitar World is available now at the Online Store!

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    Lenny Kravitz has released the music video for "The Pleasure and the Pain," the latest single from his 2014 album, Strut.

    The video was shot by Dikayl Rimmasch—who has directed videos for Beyoncé and Jay Z—while Kravitz was on tour in the U.S. It shows Kravitz and a beautiful female companion motorcycling their way across the country.

    You can watch the video here, via Rolling Stone. Let us know what you think in the comments and on Facebook!

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    A Tatay classical guitar played by Coldplay frontman Chris Martin during the band's formative days in London sold for £18,750, or $29,500, at Bonhams in London.

    Martin bought the guitar at a shop in Exter, his hometown, and brought it with him to college in London, where he met the members of Coldplay.

    He also played the guitar on the band's debut album, Parachutes.

    The instrument was sold with a hard-shell case featuring Martin's handwritten name, handmade stickers of the band's original name, the Coldplay, and a flyer for the band's debut single, "Yellow," taped to the side.

    The case also contained a handwritten chord sheet for the track "Help Is Round the Corner."

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    While Faith No More were rehearsing for their 2011 European tour, bassist Bill Gould played his bandmates a new song, the ominous, theatrical “Matador.”

    Impressed, FNM learned the number and debuted it at a show in Buenos Aires on November 8.

    The crowd reacted the way most audiences do when they don’t know a tune. Even so, the performance was the catalyst that triggered the notoriously noncommittal Faith No More into action.

    “When we got back from tour it just seemed like the logical step to work on some more material,” says guitarist Jon Hudson.

    Slowly but surely other songs surfaced, including the propulsive “Superhero” and the weird, haunting “Motherfucker,” both of which the band debuted in London on July 4, 2013. Less than two years later, Sol Invictus, Faith No More’s seventh studio album (and first in almost 18 years), is finally out and the songs rival the band’s best material.

    In addition to the aforementioned numbers, there’s the surreal title track, which is reminiscent of Tom Waits crossed with Tricky, “Sunny Side Up,” a sentimental ballad that abruptly morphs into a concoction of hard rock and funk, and the schizophrenic “From the Dead,” which contrasts a dusky bluesy rhythm with spare bells, slide guitar, melodramatic singing and soaring background vocals. We talked with guitarist Jon Hudson about the creative process for Sol Invictus, what he did during the band’s 11-year touring hiatus and how technology has rocked his world.

    Bill Gould acted as the primary writer, schedule coordinator and producer of Sol Invictus.

    He definitely made this thing happen. A couple of years ago, he got together to work with [drummer] Mike Bordin. Shortly thereafter, I started getting demos and working on the songs with them. Then gradually everyone else joined in.

    How did it feel to be working on new material after so many years?

    It was like a continuation of what we had already done. It wasn’t foreign at all.

    Once you started working, was there a sense of urgency to finish the album?

    Not at all. We took our time. There was no deadline to meet and no one knew we were making a record. That took a lot of the pressure off.

    How do you approach playing the material written by former guitarists Jim Martin and Trey Spruance, and how did you want to make your own mark with the songs you helped write?

    Live, I play what’s on the records and capture those tones. I don’t feel like it’s important for me to put my stamp on any of the songs, even the ones I worked on. I just play to serve the material.

    When did you first meet Faith No More?

    A former bandmate introduced me to them 1989. Then Bill helped me out with a demo after they did Angel Dust. I got the feeling things were not working out with Jim. Bill gave me a demo tape to work on at one point. I worked on several songs and sent them to him, but they ended up working with Trey, which was the right decision.

    How did you end up joining the band?

    Bill called me in early 1996 and asked me if I would be interested in joining the band. I didn’t audition, I just jumped in and started working with Bill. I gave him a cassette full of ideas and some of them wound up on Album of the Year, which was really exciting.

    There was a lot of enmity between some of the members at the time. Was it uncomfortable to work in that environment?

    I viewed everything as an opportunity. I could see the pressure of trying to deliver another great record was wearing on some of the guys because they were putting their energies into other areas or projects. I felt like this might be their last record, so I wanted to make sure I enjoyed it as much as I could.

    What did you do after the band broke up in 1998?

    I got into property management in the Bay area. I needed a paycheck and it allowed me to reexamine the good fortune I already had.

    A lot of people would have sour grapes about having risen to the top only to return to the nine-to-five grind.

    Music is supposed to be a big part of your life, it’s not supposed to consume your life. That’s hard to imagine when you’re really striving to make it, but that’s what I learned.

    How did you end up rejoining the band in 2009?

    I quit my job because I was tired of it. A few months later, I got word that Faith No More was starting up again. So it was very fortuitous and good timing.

    How is being in Faith No More today different than it was in the late Nineties?

    Everyone is more patient now, and as far as recording goes, we have all these new tools so the options are almost unlimited.

    Did you use different gear to record Sol Invictus than you used for Album of the Year?

    I played my Les Paul and I used my old JCM800, but we used a DI track on just about everything. We worked with a Kemper, so Bill was able to add certain frequencies to the existing tracks that might not have been so pronounced.

    How is everyone getting along these days?

    We’re really enjoying ourselves. We’re able to play big concerts and a lot of people are interested in our record. How can you be unhappy about that?

    Photo: Jimmy Hubbard

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    What would deathcore sound like if it were "happy" instead of "heavy"?

    Join YouTube personality—and guitarist—Steve Terreberry as he finds out!

    Basically, Terreberry first plays a typical (and original) deathcore tune. Then he changes the scales and tuning to make it sound "happy."

    “I’m playing it in a higher registry so we don’t get the depth or heaviness that deathcore usually relies on,” he says in the clip, which you can check out below. Thoughts?

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    Guitar World's Andy Aledort will be one of the teachers at this year's Crown Guitar Workshop & Festival.

    Other guests include the LA Guitar Quartet, Steely Dan’s Jon Herington, Madeleine Peyroux, Lee Ritenour, David Grissom, Dweezil Zappa and many more.

    The event, which takes place August 30 to September 6 at Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork, Montana, draws guitar lovers from around the world.

    What really makes the Crown Guitar Workshop & Festival unique is the opportunity to hang with top-notch artists during the day. Each Artist in Residence gives an afternoon clinic, which is open to all students. They are very generous with their time and provide valuable and interesting insights.

    Artists in Residence also drop in on the daily three-hour Crown Guitar Workshop classes in rock, blues, jazz and songwriting, which are taught by the top-notch Crown Guitar faculty.

    Sometimes, though, the most exciting moments occur by the fireplace in the Main Lodge, or on the grassy banks of Flathead Lake. That’s where guitarists do what they like to do most—sit around and trade licks.

    For more information and tickets, visit crownguitarfest.org.

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    It used to be something you could do in private, like, well, some other things you're better off doing in private.

    But that all changed when an upstart Tom Cruise made air guitar a public nuisance in Risky Business all those decades ago.

    With the house to himself, the underwear-clad Cruise did some mighty Chuck Berry-esque guitar work while frolicking to the chunky blues-rock chords of Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll." Since then, air guitar has become, um, big business.

    The best thing about playing air guitar? That is, other than the fact that you can be entirely tone-deaf, you don't need to own an instrument, you don't need to read a note of music, and you can have all the musicality of a hockey puck?

    You can crank the amp way up to "11."

    10. Chuck Berry, "Johnny B. Goode"

    If you can't play Chuck Berry's primal rock 'n' roll chords, perhaps air guitar isn't for you. Then again, you can work on that duck walk of his, a stunt best practiced behind closed doors and definitely not in front of mixed company.

    09. Beastie Boys, "Fight for Your Right"

    With their punk hearts, hip-hop minds, and Eighties metal sensibilities, the Beastie Boys tried and succeeded for a while in becoming all things to all people. For air guitarists, they did not provide consistently fertile ground, but this frat-boy anthem has become a quiet classic in the annals of flailing airmeisters.

    08. The Who, "Baba O'Riley"

    Okay, puff that chest out, and splay those legs. It's time for one of the great air-guitar moves in the short history of this amazing art-form—the Windmill. Thank you, Pete Townshend. Though we admit you're a pretty good real-life guitar player, your contribution to the air-guitar oeuvre of poses and mimicry will live on forever.

    07. Aerosmith/Run DMC, "Walk This Way"

    While air drumming is an art form that has yet to get its due, it plays a large role in injecting Joe Perry's great riff with a funky foundation. And with Run D.M.C.'s rap breaks on this groundbreaking hit, there's plenty of time to preen between duty calls. Officially, however, we'd like to say this is an either/or situation, as in, you can dump the Run DMC version and stick to the original!

    06. Boston, "More Than a Feeling"

    Tom Scholtz's hermetic guitar artistry is legendary, so it comes as no surprise to see his byline on a list of air-guitar songs. The tone alone allows air guitarists to feel the heat of the spotlight, hear the roar of the crowd, and think about what would have happened if they had only learned to play real guitars.

    05. Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Free Bird"

    As the solos that close this epic veer off in a million directions like a gorgeous display of fireworks, a seasoned air-guitar vet knows that he need not follow one solo arc specifically. For "Free Bird" is more about "feeling" than it is about technique.

    04. The Troggs, "Wild Thing"

    Like the primal scream of the Troggs themselves, this song is great for beginner air guitarists. The melody is familiar and there are enough sexy vocal hooks to distract an audience from noticing big gaps in your technique. Heck, even the local frat boys can figure their way around the fretboard for this three-chord masterpiece.

    03. AC/DC, "You Shook Me All Night Long"

    With his manic gestures and incessant mugging, Angus Young may just be the quintessential role model for an air guitarist. Not only is this chord progression standard for all air-heads, but it also provides an amazing sing-along chorus for those players who aren't afraid to sing and play at the same time.

    02. Jimi Hendrix, "Foxy Lady"

    Jimi doesn't turn up on a lot of guitar lists because, well, frankly, not many air guitarists dare take on the Great One. The fact is, even pretending to be Hendrix is difficult. Tackle at your own risk. For experienced air guitarists only.

    01. Derek and the Dominos, "Layla"

    Multiple guitar parts are the ultimate challenge for air guitarists, no matter what their skill level. For example, do you follow Clapton's rhythm track on this classic, or do you take the high road and play Duane Allman's memorable lead line? I think I know what you'd do...

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    Names like Leo Fender, Jim Marshall and Ted McCarty are rightfully revered in the guitar community.

    Rupert Neve is another luminary whose name belongs in that company, but he’s not as well known because his contributions and influence have more to do with recorded guitar sound than the usual day-to-day playing or performing.

    His Neve 1073 and 1081 mic preamp/EQ modules introduced in the Seventies are probably responsible for more classic guitar recordings and tones than any other single other piece of gear short of perhaps the Shure SM57 mic.

    Reinhold Bogner, a modern-day legend who has made his own significant contributions to guitar tone, recently joined forces with Rupert Neve to produce a trio of pedals—the Burnley, Harlow and Wessex—that take an entirely different approach to overdrive and distortion.

    These pedals are inspired by the dynamic and detailed sounds of classic Neve mixing consoles, which featured custom transformer-coupled inputs and outputs. Neve designed special custom audio transformers for these pedals, which deliver studio-quality sound, dynamics and tonal dimension that transcend the typical performance capabilities of a standard stomp box.

    FEATURES: Each of the three pedals offers its own distinct personality provided by unique transformer designs for each model. The Bogner Burnley is a dedicated distortion pedal with level, gain and tone controls and a Fat/Tight switch. The Wessex is an overdrive pedal featuring level, gain, treble and bass controls and an Enhance/Normal switch. The Harlow is described by Bogner as “Boost with Bloom” and provides level, tone and bloom controls.

    All three pedals share a variety of common characteristics and features. A “jewel light” indicator illuminates red when the pedal is engaged and turns progressively bluer depending on playing dynamics and the guitar’s output level. Other common features include true bypass switching, mono inputs and outputs and battery or 9VDC power (50mA or more). The compact housings are built like tanks, and an optional bubinga hardwood top panel is available for an additional $60.

    PERFORMANCE: The sound quality and performance of all three pedals is on another level compared to the average overdrive and distortion pedal. Whereas many overdrive and distortion pedals boost everything going into it, including noise, these pedals kept the noise from a particularly troublesome single-coil guitar at bay while increasing the level of notes played quite impressively. Each pedal has its own tonal personality, but it’s a personality that complements the sound of your guitar and amp rig rather than dominating it.

    The Wessex offers the widest variety of tones and textures thanks to its individual treble and bass EQ controls. Clean boost is produced by cranking up the level and keeping gain at low settings, and as the gain control is turned up the personality changes from slight grit to aggressive crunch, ending up just shy of full-on high-gain distortion. The Enhance setting boosts both bass and treble without scooping out mids to maintain full-boded tone and expressive midrange. This is the most versatile pedal of the bunch, and I recommend it as a first purchase for guitarists who can only afford one.

    The Burnley is a very aggressively voiced distortion pedal that can boost both gain and output level quite significantly, but the tone never gets over the top and remains musically useful throughout its entire range. The Fat setting produces fat, rich, slightly compressed lead tones, making the Burnley a great choice for a solo boost pedal, particularly for players who love smooth, singing sustain. The Tight setting is better for rhythm playing and single note lines where a little more dynamic edge and responsiveness is preferred. The Tone control thickens up lower midrange frequencies to give the overall tone more heft.

    The Harlow boost pedal provides the most distinctive effect of the group. With the bloom control rolled all the way off, it produces a range of overdrive tones from clean boost to crushed glass crunch, but as the bloom control is turned up the tone becomes more aggressive. The effect is similar to a combination of tube amp sag and a compressor pushed until it begins to breathe, but it is much more dynamic, responsive and detailed. It’s almost like extreme fuzz, but the notes are much more musical and refined.

    LIST PRICE: $269.99 (each, $329.99 for bubinga front panel)
    MANUFACTURER: Bogner Amplification, bogneramplification.com

    Each model features its own unique custom transformer designed by Rupert Neve to provide incredibly dynamic and detailed boost, overdrive and distortion effects.
    The Burnley includes a Fat/Tight switch that provides a selection of slightly compressed lead tones or dynamically responsive rhythm and solo textures.

    The Harlow’s bloom control radically changes the personality of clean boost and overdrive crunch to aggressive fuzz- and compressor-like sag.

    The Wessex’s treble and bass tone controls and Enhance/Normal switch deliver a wide variety of textures from clean boost to hard rock distortion.

    THE BOTTOM LINE: Bogner’s Burnley, Harlow and Wessex are studio-quality pedals that greatly expand your rig’s tonal and textural range, providing incredibly expressive overdrive and distortion tones with impressive dynamics and noise-free performance.

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    It’s such a nice day out, it seems a shame to ruin it by offending as many readers as possible. But here goes anyways …

    On a solid body electric, I don’t think a good nitrocellulose finish sounds any better than a good poly one.

    Many guitarists, particularly those who love vintage instruments, believe everything affects the sound of those great old guitars we love so much. One longstanding claim in particular is that the finish affects the tone, with nitro finishes being at the top of the tone heap and poly finishes at the bottom because of their supposed blanketing effect.

    But the real problem for tone on a solid body is not whether it’s nitro or poly, but how well it’s applied. The incredibly thick poly coatings from the Sixties and Seventies that are still used on many budget guitars is heavy enough to affect resonance and have given these finishes a bad reputation. But quality modern poly finishes can be applied much more thinly, like traditional nitro.

    At that point, the differences between finishes are more about cost, environmental safety, durability, feel and aesthetics, not sound.

    A lot of our preferences have to do with tradition. “Nitro” lacquer finishes come to us via the world of classical stringed instruments. There, the low mass, thinness and hardness of a nitro finish matches well with the light, thin, stiff spruce tops of violins and cellos.

    Because they are built so delicately, on classical stringed instruments and acoustic guitars, the finish represents a substantial proportion of the soundboard’s mass and stiffness. So historically it makes sense that nitro was (literally) applied to acoustic guitars as well, since they share a lot of physical similarities to violins.

    But finishes don’t do nearly as much to the vibration of a roughly 2-inch thick Strat or Les Paul as they do to the 1/10” thick soundboard of spruce on a Martin. There just isn’t enough in a thin finish for it to matter whether it is poly or nitro when it comes to the way the electric’s body vibrates.

    Besides which, the sound of a solid body electric is created by the pickups sensing the strings’ motion, which is then passed to the amplifier—not by the vibrating top acting like a speaker cone as on an acoustic guitar. So again, the finish is a less critical aspect of the sound.

    “Aha!,” you say, “But the body vibrates and this vibrates the pickups, adding to the tone!”

    It’s true enough that the pickups themselves vibrate. But it’s miniscule compared to the vibration of the strings—as you can see for yourself when you play a chord. The strings flap all over the place, but (hopefully) not the pickups.

    Moreover, the pickups are not exactly held in a sound-enhancing material. In a Strat-style electric, for instance, they’re suspended by rubber tubing or springs screwed into a plastic pickguard.

    If the pickup’s vibrations are so important, we should really be arguing about whether vintage bakelite, single-ply or multi-ply plastic pickguards sound best. Or better yet, we should demand hand-carved, tap-tuned spruce pickguards finished in nitro.*

    Nitrocellulose lacquer (commonly called “nitro” or simply just “lacquer”) finishes are great, don’t get me wrong. If you think they look beautiful, I agree. If you dig their majestic “mojo” and the way they wear over time, awesome. If you’re restoring a vintage instrument to its original finish, I think you’re doing the right thing. But don’t count on nitro to change, let alone improve the sound of a solid body electric in any way you can hear compared to a well-applied poly finish.

    Still not convinced? Determined that you can hear the difference between these two well-applied but different finishes on a solid body?

    Then let me share a little thought experiment with you. Imagine yourself playing the guitar. Which do you think has the biggest effect on the sound:

    A. A millimeter-thick coating of nitro.

    B. A millimeter-thick coating of poly.


    C. Sandwiching your electric guitar between eight pounds of sweaty forearm and 200 pounds of flannel-covered beer belly.

    If you believe the type of thin finish on a thick guitar makes a noticeable difference to the sound, then the same reasoning says that holding the guitar against your body as you play makes hundreds or even thousands of times more difference. Contact with your body is going to substantially muffle and alter a solid body electric’s sound orders of magnitude more than any sonic benefit you might get from coating the guitar in nitro, poly or waffle syrup.

    There's more point in debating what material your shirt is made of.

    And no, that’s not an argument for wearing polyester.

    * Patent pending. Just in case.

    William Baeck is a writer, photographer and hack guitarist living in London. You can check out his webpage at williambaeck.com and reach him on Facebook and Twitter.

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    Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the premiere of an exclusive live video for "Failure" by Breaking Benjamin.

    The original version of the song is from the band's new album, Dark Before Dawn,which was released June 23 via Hollywood Records.

    Dark Before Dawn marks the first original music from the band since 2009's Dear Agony.

    The album also marks a new era for the band: founder Ben Burnley is now joined by guitarists Jasen Rauch (Red) and Keith Wallen (Adelitas Way), bassist Aaron Bruch, and drummer Shaun Foist (Picture Me Broken).

    Following a spring festival run that included performances at Rock on the Range, Carolina Rebellion, Rocklahoma! and Welcome to Rockville, Breaking Benjamin are set to hit the road with U.S. headline and festival dates.

    See below for a full list of tour dates.

    For more about Breaking Benjamin, follow them on Facebook.

    2015 Breaking Benjamin Tour Dates

    7/01: Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel *
    7/02: Wilmington, NC @ Ziggy's By The Sea *
    7/03: Athens, GA @ Georgia Theater *
    7/05: Knoxville, TN @ The International *
    7/06: Covington, KY @ Madison Theater *
    7/14: Big Flats, NY @ Tags Summerstage
    7/16: Mt. Pleasant, MI @ Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
    7/17: Oshkosh, WI @ Ford Festival Park for Rock USA
    7/18: Cadott, WI @ Rock Fest 2015
    7/19: Council Bluffs, IA @ Westfair Amphitheater for KIWR River Riot
    7/21: Bloomington, IL @ US Cellular Coliseum
    7/22: Rockford , IL @ BMO Harris Bank Center
    7/24: Buffalo, NY @ Agri Center at Americas Fairgrounds
    7/25: Syracuse, NY @ WKRL @ NY State Fairgrounds
    7/26: Gilford, NH @ Meadowbrook
    8/14: Boston, MA @ House of Blues
    8/15: Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
    8/16: Richmond, VA @ The National
    8/18: Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
    8/19: Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore Charlotte
    8/21: Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
    8/22: North Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues
    8/24: Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues – Orlando
    8/25: Ft. Lauderdale, FL @ Revolution
    8/26: St. Petersburg, FL @ Jannus Live
    8/28: Winston Salem, NC @ Ziggy's Outdoors
    8/29: Atlantic City, NJ @ Trump Taj Mahal – Mark G Etess Arena
    9/19: New York, NY @ Best Buy Theatre
    10/4: Louisville, KY @ Louder Than Live - Champions Park
    10/24: Elverta, CA (Sacramento County) @ Gibson Ranch Park for Monster Energy Aftershock Festival

    *Acoustic performance

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    As we've reported, the Grateful Dead will perform several "Fare Thee Well" shows in celebration of their 50th anniversary.

    The shows will take place June 27 and 28 in Santa Clara, California, and July 3 to 5 in Chicago. The band will play two sets per night and will feature the "Core Four" of Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann.

    They'll also be joined by Phish's Trey Anastasio on lead guitar, Jeff Chimenti on keyboards and Bruce Hornsby on piano.

    The Dead have also announced the upcoming release of Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead, a live box set—from the aforementioned shows—that will be released in limited formats by Rhino November 20.

    The 12-CD/7-Blu-ray and 12-CD/7-DVD releases will be exclusive to dead.net and will be limited to 20,000 individually numbered copies each.

    The dead.net versions also will feature an exclusive bonus disc featuring behind-the-scenes footage shot by Justin Kreutzmann.

    Included on the disc will be footage from the Grateful Dead ticketing office documenting the 350,000-plus ticket requests received for the shows, vignettes from the parking lot scene at Soldier Field and backstage material.

    Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead also will be released in smaller retail versions.

    FARE THEE WELL, Dead.net Exclusive Complete Versions:

    • 12-CD/7-Blu-ray Complete Version - Full audio and high-definition video from all three
    shows on CD and Bluray plus exclusive bonus disc of behind-the-scenes footage. Individually
    numbered, limited edition of 20,000.
    • 12-CD/7-DVD Complete Version - Full audio and video from all three shows on CD and
    DVD plus exclusive bonus disc of behind-the-scenes footage. Individually numbered, limited
    edition of 20,000.

    FARE THEE WELL, Retail Versions:

    • 4-CD/2-Blu-ray Version - Full audio and high-definition video from final show (July 5) on CD
    and Blu-ray.
    • 4-CD/2-DVD Version - Full audio and video from final show (July 5) on CD and DVD.
    • 2-Blu-ray Version - Full high-definition video from final show (July 5) on Blu-ray.
    • 2-DVD Version - Full video from final show (July 5) on DVD.
    • 2-CD "Best Of" Version - Audio highlights from all three shows.
    • Digital Download - Audio and video from the final show (July 5) will be available as well as
    audio from the "Best Of" version.

    For more information, watch the video below and visit dead.net.

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    Lynyrd Skynyrd’s One More from the Road is among the greatest live rock concert albums—in the pantheon alongside the Who’s Live At Leeds, the Allman Brothers Band’s At Fillmore East, Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys and Led Zeppelin’s The Song Remains the Same.

    It captures the band of misfits from Jacksonville, Florida, at their absolute instrumental peak, featuring the scalding three-guitar lineup of Skynyrd co-founders Gary Rossington and Allen Collins and then-newcomer Steve Gaines.

    The 1976 double-LP also introduced the definitive 13:30 version of “Free Bird,” which became a Top 40 hit, a staple of FM radio and one of the most enduring rock songs—and punch lines—of the late 20th century.

    “Free Bird” was Skynyrd’s “Whipping Post,” the 22-minute song recorded live in 1971 at New York City’s legendary Fillmore East by a band they idolized, the Allman Brothers.

    It was also, along with the follow-up studio album Street Survivors in 1977, the last great hurrah for Southern rock, a style that apparently none of its trailblazers ever intended to invent.

    “We just wanted to be a rock band,” says Rossington today, via phone from his mansion in Georgia. “Sure, we were from the South and we grew up on blues and country, but we really loved the blues and rock that was coming from England, and that’s what we wanted to play.” Like the Allman Brothers’ Dickey Betts, who thought of his band with Duane and Gregg Allman as progressive rock, Rossington made peace with the brand over time.

    Today, Rossington, who’s 63, says he’s also made peace with his demons. The original Lynyrd Skynyrd were a hard-partying bunch, inclined to an excessive amount of excess—booze, drugs, groupies and fights that sometimes sent its members to the hospital, all chronicled in Mark Ribowsky’s new book Whiskey Bottles and Brand-New Cars: The Fast Life and Sudden Death of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

    The first half of that title is pulled from the opening lines of “That Smell,” a song original Skynyrd frontman Ronnie Van Zant wrote for Street Survivors after Rossington smashed his new Ford Torino into an oak tree and a house while on a bender.

    “I did get in a car wreck, but we got a good song out of it,” says Rossington. “I still remember the day we cut that in the studio. My guitar sound was hot…with the feedback.

    “Eventually I learned that drugs are just horrible for you,” he continues, “but that’s the way it was in rock and roll in our time. I can’t do any of that stuff now. I’m not in such great health. I’ve had some heart problems and I’m on the straight and narrow. It’s a lot better than being fucked up all the time, and I thank God I made it through those days.”

    Rossington is the sole survivor of the original incarnation of Lynyrd Skynyrd, which lasted for 11 years. The group’s decade-long hiatus began with a nightmarish post-concert plane crash on October 20, 1977, near Gillsburg, Mississippi, that killed Van Zant, Steve and Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray just three days after the release of Street Survivors.

    The accident understandably hangs over Rossington’s conversations about the band like a ghost. He rarely mentions it directly, preferring to complete relevant sentences with terms like, “until, well, you know…” or simply pausing to skip a beat.

    He understandably prefers to dwell on the positive stuff, including the concert the current version of Skynyrd—featuring him, Blackfoot frontman Rickey Medlocke and Mark Matejka on guitars—played on November 12, 2014, celebrating One More from the Road. Like the original, it was staged at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre and recorded. It’ll be released later this summer as a DVD and CD called One More for the Fans! featuring a slew of guests including Gregg Allman, Peter Frampton, Robert Randolph, Warren Haynes, Blackberry Smoke, Charlie Daniels, Jason Isbell and John Hiatt.

    “All the guests got to pick a Lynyrd Skynyrd song,” says Rossington. “I wish all the guys who wrote them could have heard it. I think I had the most fun playing with Robert Randolph, who came in carrying his pedal steel under his arm like a purse—no case or anything. And when he plugged in…man! He is so good it’s scary.”

    There’s more Skynyrd on the way, too. In early April the band convened at the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville to record two concerts. The first featured the songs from their debut album, 1973’s (pronounced 'lĕh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd), played in its entirety, and the next night they did the same for the 1974 follow-up, Second Helping. And the group is starting to write songs for what will be the 14th Lynyrd Skynyrd studio album.

    But Rossington says he’s still got a special place in his heart for One More from the Road and the people who he shared the stage with during its recording on July 7, 8 and 9 in 1976, which is where our conversation begins:

    One More from the Road caught Skynyrd at an instrumental peak, although the July 7 show was only Steve Gaines’ third gig with the band. What did Steve bring to Lynyrd Skynyrd?
    Steve was a great player and a great songwriter, and he had a hand in writing some of our best songs for Street Survivors, like “I Know a Little,” and would have written a lot more great ones if things hadn’t worked out the way they did.

    After Ed King quit the band, Allen and I played as just two guitars for about a year. But we decided we needed another guitarist so we could get back to playing those double and triple leads. We played with Leslie West in New York, and he was going to join us, but that petered out.

    Then Barry Harwood, who Allen and me later started the Rossington Collins Band with, nearly joined. And then Cassie Gaines, our backing vocalist, introduced us to her brother and told us he was a great guitar player. Everybody says that, but when we met him and he sat in, he had a slide and he was playing the hell out of it! He grew up more on Motown and country, which was different than the blues we came up on. And when he played with us, it was kind of country and jazzy, and that expanded our sound.

    We rehearsed for a couple of weeks and then recorded One More from the Road. He didn’t even know some of the songs, but he played his ass off. He became a real inspiration to me, Allen and Ronnie.

    Steve was one of those cats who always had his guitar strapped to him. Even when he was home, he’d be walking around playing guitar. He’d answer the door with his guitar on and play while he was on the phone. If he was watching TV, he’d play during commercials. He inspired me and Allen to really get back into chompin’ down.

    Talk to me about Ronnie. He had a reputation for being rough and mercurial.

    Well, you have to understand that there were two versions of Ronnie. When he was a normal, down-to-Earth guy, he’d be your best friend and do anything for you. But sometimes when he drank he’d go nuts.

    Mostly, though, we all got along good. He and Steve were close really fast. Steve moved from Oklahoma to a house near Ronnie’s in Florida. He and Ronnie would go to each other’s houses almost every day. They both had little kids and the kids would start playing and Ronnie and Steve would start writing songs. We all used to hang out together all the time, like a big family.

    But didn’t Ronnie get in a fight with you on your first tour in Europe that was so bad you both had to go to the hospital?

    That was a bummer, man. It was the first time we drank schnapps. People in the South don’t usually drink strawberry schnapps. We went to this bar in Hamburg, Germany, where they served us ice-cold schnapp—so when we drank it, it tasted like water. I don’t think he meant to do that to me, but he was drunk and out of his gourd. He cut up my hands with a broken bottle.

    I was hurt, but I could still play. He felt bad about it, and the next day we were friends again. That was all that mattered. My hands hurt when I played and the band was mad at him for a while, but everybody got over it. The bottom line is, we were a band of brothers. All we lived for was playing and being out on the road. That was our dream and it came true.

    You and Ronnie grew up together, and even then he had a reputation as a bully who everybody feared. How did you get past that?

    Once we got to know Ronnie, he was like a father to Allen and me. My father died when I was 10 and Allen’s mother and father were divorced, so neither one of us had a man around the house. Ronnie was a couple years older and he taught us how to drive, how to fight, how to ask a girl out…

    All the stuff you want to learn when you’re growing up. Ronnie and I loved to fish. We learned how to fish together and when we’d get back in town after a tour, we’d go fishing every day or every two days, and maybe even write a song. We were good friends and those were great times.

    How important was the influence of Eric Clapton and Duane Allman on you and the band?

    We loved Cream and Clapton’s style, and all the guitar players with the British bands—Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and also Hendrix. But mostly it was Clapton because he was so good and he played more of the kind of blues we were raised on. I grew up listening to him and hoping to be that good one day. Of course, I never made it and I never got near Hendrix, either. I don’t know if anybody will ever be as good as Hendrix again.

    And Duane and Gregg were big deals to us. They inspired us before they were the Allman Brothers. We would go see all the bands they were in while we were growing up. The Allman Joys played a lot in town, at clubs and teenage dances. We’d go see them anywhere they played.

    Duane and Gregg were already great, even then, and you could see Duane get better on guitar every week or two. Plus, they were older than us doing exactly what we wanted to do, and they were driving and smoking and had long hair and were out of school. They were as cool as sliced bread!

    My ’59 Les Paul “Bernice” is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame sitting right next to Duane’s and Clapton’s guitars. They were my two biggest idols coming up, so having my guitar right between theirs is great!

    Are you still a Les Paul guy?

    Yes, I’m still playing my Les Pauls and my SGs. I also got a D’Angelico EX-SS. It looks like a great big Gibson hollowbody, and it has a really big sound that’s great for slide. Most of the time I use standard tuning for slide. Early on, we didn’t have the time to change tunings onstage, plus I only had one guitar back then, so I learned to play slide in standard.

    I use a Marshall and I still use a Peavey Mace in the studio. I have a signature Peavey Penta amp for myself that’s kind of like the old Peavey Mace, which they don’t make anymore. But nowadays all the good amps sound about the same. If you’ve got tube and analog gear, it’s all gonna sound warm and good.

    Additional Content

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    We Came As Romans are out on the road at the moment—with a very busy July ahead of them.

    But that didn't prevent WCAR guitarists Joshua Moore and Lou Cotton from showing Guitar World their live rig/gear setup.

    Check out the brand-new video below.

    For more about We Came As Romans, their current tour dates and their new self-titled album, visit wecameasromans.com.

    For more exclusive Guitar World videos, be sure to follow GW on YouTube right here.

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    Pigtronix has announced the release of 2.0 Firmware for its Infinity Looper pedal.

    The company also has launched an interactive tutorial and support website for the pedal.

    Included in the Infinity 2.0 firmware:

    • 50 presets (up to 100 loops maximum)
    • Minimum Loop Time - 10ms shortest loop
    • Alternate Remote Switch options - Stutter, Instant Erase, Vari-speed
    • MIDI CC overhaul - Complete MIDI control of all functions and parameter selection
    • Vari-speed - Change pitch of loops by any musical interval over a three octave range
    • Reverse Playback - Each Loop can be individually toggled between forwards and reverse
    • Advanced expression pedal mapping - Foot control of Vari-speed, loop aging and loop volume
    v"Active" MIDI Tracking - accurately track even the most unstable MIDI clock sources

    The new Infinity website features an array of tutorial videos—featuring NYC loop-master Teddy Kumpel (Joe Jackson, Rickie Lee Jones)—that walk users through all the pedal's functions.

    An interactive manual allows visitors to contribute questions and add to the knowledge base. In addition, the artist section features inspiring looping videos by a wide range of musicians including Doug Wimbish (Living Colour), Eric Krasno (Lettuce, Soulive), Joseph Arthur, Michael League/Bob Lanzetti (Snarky Puppy), Dick Lövgren (Meshuggah), Julie Slick (Adrian Belew), Evan Marien, Yolanda Charles and others.

    You can check out the new website—and learn more about the firmware—right here.

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    There's a reason NME awarded Noel Gallagher the Godlike Genius Award, and it was on full display at the Opera House in Boston on June 6.

    At first it seemed pretty much business as usual. Gallagher and his band of High Flying Birds walked out, pickup their gear and tore into “Do the Damage.”

    But throughout the show, I couldn’t help but wonder if Gallagher gets the credit he deserves for rocking as hard as he does. So many casual fans think merely of “Wonderwall” and a few other Oasis slow-burners, but that night, Gallagher delivered an unbelievably hard-charging show. His latest album, Chasing Yesterday, perfectly sets the stage for his up-tempo style of live performance.

    The night was a fantastic mix of solo tracks and Oasis favorites. I hate to call them covers, considering the man who was singing them was the man who wrote them.

    Having seen Oasis on nearly all of their U.S. tours, it's easy to say this show was more memorable. Part of the reason was its intimacy. I saw my last Oasis show with 20,000 other people. In contrast, there were a mere 2,600 fans at the Opera House, and their voices echoed throughout the venue as they sang along.

    I remember—from that Oasis show—the arrogant Liam standing at the front of the stage while his brother worked his ass off behind him, moving things along like a true bandleader. Noel gives it his heart and soul; perhaps that's the residual effect of being the songwriter and not just the guy singing someone else’s words.

    Best of all was Noel’s banter with the audience. A young man was trying to get Noel’s attention between songs by holding up his own band's CD. When he finally got Noel’s attention, the audience got their best entertainment.

    CD in hand, Noel walked to the microphone with a confused look on his face.

    “Listen, young people here, when you are giving away CDs with your shit, there’s not even a fucking name of who it is or what it is called or a phone number, nothin,’ ” he said. He asked the young man if his band is called the Invisible Band. It turns out it's called the Memo.

    As quick as lightning, Noel replied, “The Memo—do you fucking get the irony of that? A CD with nothing written on it by somebody called the Memo. Fucking hell. Can somebody put that on YouTube? Please put that on YouTube. That’s got to be one of the funniest things I ever fucking heard.”

    It turns out someone did:

    It was obvious that several attendees showed up because they love Oasis and wanted to hear their hits, and along came “Champagne Supernova” and “Whatever.” The audience included a wide range of age groups—everyone from high schoolers to folks who could've been their grandparents.

    But in the end, it didn’t matter; all were united as we sang along to hit after hit, culminating in a brilliant climax—"Don’t Look Back in Anger.” As always, Noel allowed the audience to own the song just as much as he does.

    Additional Content

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