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NAMM 2007: Gear Gone Wild

It’s amusing, if not overwhelming, to enter a building where thousands of people are shredding lead guitar at the same time. Or, if not wailing at that precise moment, they could if they wanted to: It seemed that everyone at the 2007 NAMM tradeshow, from the salesmen to the reporters to the janitors, was capable of committing six-string burn at any moment.

I’m being facetious, and the NAMM show celebrates overly technical playing on all sorts of musical toys, not just guitars, but you get the idea: It’s like the Saturday after Thanksgiving at an oversized Guitar Center that’s inexplicably filled with technically gifted musicians. It’s where anyone who makes musical instruments erects a village to showcase their new swag, and where shop owners from Manhattan to Minnesota come to buy it. A three-alarm fiasco that goes down every year in righteously cheesy Anaheim, Calif.; it’s exhausting but loads of fun.

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