NAMM 2020 Blog Overview - Coverage from Media Day to Sunday at the biggest music trade event in the world!

February 3, 2020
Namm 2020
Categories: 

NAMM 2020 - Anaheim Convention Center, CA 1.15-1.19.20
Blog/Photos/Coverage: Iron Mike and Stephanie Savoia
Photo Highlights: kisw.radio.com/galleries/photo-gallery-namm-show-highlights-2020
Individual Day Photo Galleries link at each day below including concert performances


Well after a week of going through and editing hundreds and hundreds of photos between me and Stephanie, physically recovering walking 1.5 million square feet a day for 4 days and getting back into the flow of life it's time for our day by day blow of NAMM 2020! This being my 9th straight year and Stephanie's 8th we're nearing a decade of rad coverage!

1.15.20 - Media Day - This is an exclusive small look into the few companies that participate for the media before door officially open the next day. Invite only, it's pretty cool to get a quick preview with the participating companies before the crowds swamp them the following days. This year I showed up for the first 1/2hr before I had to run to my commitment to work the Metal Hall of Fame Red Carpet so Stephanie did the bulk of Media Day. Here's her notes and some photos.

I'm starting with my favorite which was the innovative ASI Audio 3DME in-ears with software that allows you to program levels in both ears. Imagine a musician that has a loud crash cymbal to their left and they can change the levels of only the left to dim the sound of that side.

Deering brought their Winston Marshall signature GOTR Goodtime Banjo. A super cute banjo with a smaller body for easier use for touring musicians. There is also a children's version which will be better for smaller hands to learn on.

G&L had a couple of flat out stunning 40th anniversary guitars. They are short runs (40 of each) from the 1969 blueprint of a model that Leo Fender was working on but never sent to market.

Gibson has a focus on new Epiphone, Kramer and acoustic models. To demonstrate, Jared James Nichols, Emily Wolfe, Charlie Parra, Los Lobos with Juanes all performed a few songs. That was a freakin' treat!

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Lumatone Inc's MIDI keyboard was a trip. It has 275 hexagone shaped keys that light up. MIDIs totally confuse me. I need to spend some time with one!

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Paoletti Guitars SRL brought their 4Tus Leather Hot Baby Junior. The leather bodies evolved from a collaboration with Guns 'n Roses guitarist Richard Fortus. The texture was interesting. I wonder how that leather will hold up and how it will age with constant use.

I wanted to give you an idea of how many media members come to this preview and how tight it can get in there by going high for a shot from above.

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Media Day Photos Stephanie {Click Here}
 

1.15.20 - Metal Hall of Fame Red Carpet - This was my first year attending this rad event. Always wanted to go, but didn't want to burn myself out early with Namm the days following. This year I said screw it, Metal is my blood I wanna be there for the Red Carpet at least. The Metal Hall of Fame Celebrity Charity Gala was filmed live for Amazon Prime Movies to be seen in the next months. For me the Red Carpet was a blast. Complete challenge in hopes to get a good shot not overblown with a million flashes going off and actually getting the artist to look at ya is another challenge. I'm pretty good at that so I succeeded in about 75% of the participants. Ranging from Steve Vai to Gus G to Geoff Tate to the mighty Thor! Visit: www.metalhalloffame.org

Metal Hall of Fame Photo Gallery {Click Here}

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1.16.20 - Day 1 - On the first day we took it pretty laid back. Walking around just getting a feel for how things are laid out and where certain companies are still at or have moved to. Remember this is multiple buildings with now over 1.5 million square feet of walking space. Kill yourself on Day 1 and your doomed for the remaining days and nights ha!!! Some highlights were:
Reverb.com section - They are an online marketplace for new, used, and vintage music gear. We love vintage stuff so walking around their spacious area was fun. So many rad vintage guitars and amps! www.Reverb.com
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- ESP Guitars section - Probably the best custom shop limited edition guitars around. That wall was like viewing King Tut treasures ha!! Add Behemoth's Nergal and Death Angel's Ted Aguilar's Signature ESP Guitars ESP's walls ruled with guitars! www.espguitars.com 
- Lindsay Ell live at KORG - We ended the day going to the private enclosed stage room at KORG and watched Lindsay surprise everyone in attendance of her guitar prowess and Vox amp sounds! The best female talent in the new-age Country genre. Lindsay and band showing off their Vox Amps (AC15 and AC30) and Gretsch drum kit. www.facebook.com/officiallindsayell - www.facebook.com/KORGusa 
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Day 1 NAMM Photo Gallery Mike - {Click Here}
Day 1 NAMM Photo Gallery Stephanie - {Click Here}

1.16.20 - Gibson Live At The Grove: Featuring Music Legends New Icons - Stephanie covered this special event again this year. If last years show with Peter Frampton, Robby Krieger (The Doors), Nancy Wilson (Heart) etc. wasn't great enough for her, this years guests blew that away. The 2020 show featured Slash, Robin Zander (Cheap Trick), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Lzzy Hale & Joe Hottinger (Halestorm), Don Felder (Eagles), Richie Faulkner (Judas Priest) etc.
{CLICK HERE TO VIEW SHOW PHOTO GALLERY}
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1.16.20 - Metal Allegiance Concert - Each year this is my concert of the year. Collection of some of heavy metal's biggest names gathering for one hell of a show of metal. This year we had Mike Portnoy, Andreas Kisser(Sepultura), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (Overkill), Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Mark Menghi (MA Mastermind), Jeff Loomis (Arch Enemy), Phil Demmel (Vio-Lence), Jason Bittner (Overkill), John Bush (Armored Saint), Chuck Billy (Testament), Gary Holt (Slayer), Troy Sanders (Mastodon), Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Jack Gibson (Exodus) and Dave Davidson (Revocation). Near two hours of Metal Allegiance songs along with covers of Slayer, Metallica, Testament, Exodus, Anthrax etc. Such a great show! www.metalallegiance.com {CLICK HERE FOR SHOW PHOTO GALLERY
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1.17.20 - Day 2 - Lots of stuff going on this day so we had to split up to cover some events while checking out new products at NAMM. First off lets talk about a few cool products from certain companies that caught our eyes. 
- Turkish Cymbals - Wow these are some beautiful pieces of work. As stated on their website "The cymbal-making process is a dramatic one that employs ancient techniques from the early 17th century. Red-hot discs are forged in great, fiery ovens. These discs are made of bronze, a metal which is not found in the earth. Rather, it is an alloy fashioned from a mixture of tin and copper." That process alone gives the cymbals a cool texture and distressed look and noticeable sound difference from your other cymbal companies. Check out the all-cymbal drum set they had on display. Visit: www.turkishcymbals.com
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SJC Custom Drums - No doubt the coolest drums of the show go to SJC Custom Drums with their JAWS movie customs they did for Jake Massucco of Four Year Strong
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- Bexley performance at BOSS - You Northwest local rockers know Bexley better as Amanda Hardy. Super rad seeing Bexley thrive her musical career now based in Los Angeles! Besides her Boss performance she jammed in the Jam in the Van at Namm too! 
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- Dilana performance at Sennheiser - One thing you realize after seeing and hearing Dilana sing, her voice is so powerful she doesn't need a microphone, but since everybody does she going with the best in the biz with Sennheiser. Check out their latest mic lineups here
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Day 2 NAMM Photo Gallery Mike - {Click Here}
Day 2 NAMM Photo Gallery Stephanie - {Click Here}

1.17.20 - She Rocks Awards

Paying tribute to women in the music industry, the eighth annual She Rocks Awards took place at the House of Blues Anaheim. Stephanie covered the event behind the lens from the Red-Carpet to the Awards and Live performances. This was my first time attending the show to watch and wow it was AWESOME! What a gathering of big names in the music business and powerful girl-power onstage this night! Here's a few or the awards/performances by:

Here's a few well known 2020 She Rocks Awards honorees:

- Gloria Gaynor, Legend Award – GRAMMY® Award-winning artist, GRAMMY Hall of Fame inductee, and the legendary voice behind the iconic hit “I Will Survive”
- Linda Perry, Powerhouse Award – GRAMMY, Golden Globe, Critic’s Choice-nominated artist, Songwriter Hall of Fame inductee, multi-platinum producer and former frontwoman for 4 Non Blondes
 - Lzzy Hale, Inspire Award – GRAMMY Award-winning artist/songwriter and frontwoman for Halestorm
- Tal Wilkenfeld, Vision Award – chart-topping singer-songwriter and critically acclaimed bassist
- Suzi Quatro, Icon Award – pioneering bass player, singer, musician and actress who played the role of Leather Tuscadero on Happy Days

Please visit The Women's International Music Network for more info: www.thewimn.com
She Rocks Photos Gallery - {Click Here}

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1.18.20 - Day 3 - The last of the super attended days at Namm was pretty good. Lots of cover in a day but we got it done!
- Black Volt Amps - We really dug these Hand-Made, Vintage Style Boutique Amplifiers & Effects. Their amps are made of the highest quality raw materials combining new and vintage components. Their amp tones are amazing! Go to www.blackvoltamplification.com and check out these awesome products!
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- JAM Pedals - One of the coolest visual presentations of their products in all of NAMM, JAM Pedals call themselves "Art For Your Ears". Hand-made, hand-painted and meticulously inspected guitar pedals in Athens, Greece. The coolest looking product (and Stephanie's favorite) was the Delay Llama XTREME which appeals to traditional delay users and sound explorers. {View Video Demonstrationwww.jampedals.com
 - RedBeard Effects - One of the top new product awards at NAMM went to these crazy killer new guitar pedal effects from RedBeard Effects. The Red Mist is described as "The Red Mist™ MKIV is a focused, crunchy, tight drive that can spice up your tone anywhere from a tasty sizzle, all the way up to almost unbearable levels of blistering heat. The Honey Badger is described as "Octave Fuzz - as a searing Fuzz that will set your tone apart, or combine with the onboard Octave effect for downright ludicrous amounts of fun and creativity." The brain-child of RedBeard Effects is non-other than Skindred guitarist Mikey Demus, and internationally renowned pedal designer and manufacturer, Adrian Thorpe. {View Video Demonstration}
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- Gibson Performances - Gibson after a few years of downfall in the press has raged back as the top guns at NAMM under new CEO James 'JC' Curleigh who took over November 1, 2018. Not only is their NAMM area gigantic and visually impressive showing off all the company brands it's the artists that have boosted the brand image and today we had some cool public performances from new guitar whiz Jared James Nichols, rock band Otherwise and for a few of us lucky after show VIP's a special performance from Halestorm's Lzzy Hale and Joe Hottinger. Add in a autograph session with newly brand signed Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains) and long time brand supporter The Doors Robbie Krieger, Gibson was the hot spot at NAMM today. www.gibson.com

Day 3 NAMM Photo Gallery Mike - {Click Here}
Day 3 NAMM Photo Gallery Stephanie - {Click Here}

1.18.20 - Ultimate Namm Night - Anaheim HiltonRCF (the audio industry leader) presented us again with Ultimate Namm Night! The last real big after NAMM show that rocks! Over 100 rock and music stars come to jam for nearly two hours. Names like Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, SONS OF APOLLO), Dug Pinnick (KING'S X, KXM), Doug Aldrich (THE DEAD DAISIES, WHITESNAKE, DIO), George Lynch (DOKKEN, LYNCH MOB), Derek St. Holmes (TED NUGENT), Dave Amato (REO SPEEDWAGON), Frankie Banali (QUIET RIOT), Mark Osegueda (DEATH ANGEL), Kat Dyson (PRINCE), Alex Skolnick (TESTAMENT), Phil Demmel (VIO-LENCE), Ira Black (DARK SKY CHOIR, LIZZY BORDEN), Chuck Garric (ALICE COOPER, BEASTO BLANCO), Carla Harvey (BUTCHER BABIES), James LoMenzo (MEGADETH, WHITE LION), Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX), Dilana, Tiffany and more! {VIEW SHOW PHOTO GALLERY}   

Ultimate Namm Night Photo Gallery {Click Here}

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1.19.20 - Day 4 - By this day your body has had it from all day walking, nightly concerts, parties and hours of minimal sleep. You just want this day to end so you can get on the plane back home and sleep. This day walking around for the few hours we had left before our plane flight was all about guitars for me. It's absolutely amazing seeing all the works of art on display. So many guitar companies I don't understand how half of them stay afloat. We're talking most guitars are in the thousands I loved. Here's some companies I truly love for their work and designs.

- ESP Customs - WOW WOW WOW! Their display wall was insane. Look at this photo! www.espguitars.com/pages/custom-shop 
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- Kiesel Guitars - Killing it for over 70 years your might remember their former name Carvin Guitars. Always the highest of quality and parts. More amazing looking guitars. www.kieselguitars.com 
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- Duesenberg Guitars - Some of the most vintage rock in roll looking guitars out there from Germany. www.duesenberg.de 

- McSwain Guitars - Straight form the Northwest in Portland, McSawin guitar are totally custom ordered one by one guitars that look, play and sound like nothing you've seen before. Slash, John 5 are a few that have ordered McSwain Guitars. Check out their website for all the custom details: www.mcswainguitars.com 
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- Stephanie Lamond performance at Anchor Audio - Stephanie checked out the Anchor Audio performance by Stephanie Lamond to hear their great audio products like studio monitors, wireless mics etc. Check them out at www.anchoraudio.com
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Day 4 NAMM Photo Gallery Mike - {Click Here}
Day 4 NAMM Photo Gallery Stephanie - {Click Here}

Really cool to see my photo on the new Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) new EMG custom signature bass pickup product box and Scott Ian (Anthrax) new custom Jackson Guitars display! 
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Until next year hope all your musical adventures in the business prosper in 2020 and hope to see ya at NAMM 2021 - www.namm.org 
Mike and Stephanie Savoia