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NAMM 2017 Through the Eyes of a Metalhead

February 1, 2017 – No matter what type of instrument you play, or what genre of music you choose to follow, to write, or to compose, NAMM is the mecca of all things music. Between seminars, jam sessions, autograph opportunities, and the ability to play any instrument across hundreds of vendors every year, it’s safe to say that every attendee at the convention will inevitably have an experience unique to their preferences. Since we at Metal Life love all things heavy, we give to you our highlights of NAMM, through the eyes of a metalhead.

  1. Jeff Young shredding at Zemaitis Guitars – Until this year of the NAMM show, I have never before seen nor heard of Zemaitis. It was an extremely pleasant discovery, as this self-proclaimed “Art Of Strings” company actually walks the walk and talks the talk. Zemaitis comes across as incredibly intricate and precise, yet creative – much like a certain former Megadeth guitarist who rocked the booth with incredibly moving improvised and written pieces, some performed along his friend Jason, whose soul just pours over an acoustic guitar.
  2. Resting your legs after 5 miles of walking in a screening of SOUNDBREAKING…” – …A TV series whose job is to pull back the curtain on the behind-the-scenes footage on some of the most universally inspiring music ever made. This episode broke down the mastery of George Martin and his undeniable significance on the “Beatles’ most seminal work.” It’s something worth streaming, wherever you may find it.
  3. Wreaking havoc…..WITH HAVOK! – As all the sluggish Saturday NAMM-goers trudged on sore feet out the doors to nap before plenty of evening festivities, the party kept going upstairs at Peavey, as Havok played the night out with a bang. They debuted “Hang Em High” from their latest album Conformicide for their small but ecstatic audience, who didn’t treat this concert any differently than they would a metal show at San Diego’s Brick by Brick. Havok devoured the energy of their show-goers and really treated everyone at that booth to one of the most memorable performances of the entire weekend.
  4. Touching guitars that I have no idea why I’m allowed to touch – Cue Wayne’s World cry. We are simply not worthy of beholding the guitars of Dean, ESPZemaitis, Ibanez, and Schecter. Whether the booth is showing off their intricate design work or unveiling their latest aural innovations of the six-string, booths containing guitar manufacturers are surely a hit every year. ESP is prominently known for creating designs that look like someone spent a lot of time learning to sculpt the gargoyles that lay atop many a Gothic European cathedral. Schecter once again was clustered with Zakk Wylde fans gathering to ogle at his latest model, along with models from modern guitarists from Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, and Body Count. And as mentioned earlier, Zemaitis brought an organic yet inventive style to their sleek guitars, using natural wood and lasered metal carvings to demonstrate the beauty music can carry in both its interior and exterior.

As we once again start the countdown for NAMM 2018, we look back via our photo gallery on all the other booths that made a special impact on the convention floor all weekend.



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