I'm gonna try this one more time.
The Experience started just a week ago today and ran for 3 seemingly brief days. I don't think I am the only one already eager for next year. That eagerness stems from two sources, one expected, one unexpected.
The obvious reason to return for XPRS14 is serious guitar and amp petting. This year it was semi-hollow 408s and the new DGAmp. It is a personal foible, but I have a hard time taking up a dealer's time with questions and guitar petting when I know I cannot buy anything. funds this year went for our wedding and honeymoon and that is how it should be. But that meant there was no cash for indulging into PRS goodies beyond a couple of new shirts and a hat.
So, I didn't even pick up one of the semi-hollow 408s to judge its fee or heft. I'm asking any of you who did to tell me about your impressions of them.
The demo are was constantly mobbed, so I didn't get to play any of the S2s, the DGamp or any 408s that might have been laying around. On Les's exhalations alone, I just have to get my mitts on a 408 to try sometime.
Still, there was plenty to see and do. I went through the S2 area and it is truly impressive how PRS has engineered a middle level guitar for its lineup. The attention to the build and fit and finish are everything you would expect from a MD built PRS. The pups are getting mixed reviews, but I feel that is the nature of pups in general - we all have different tastes - they are not going to have universal appeal. More on that here: The-S2-Hands-on-Evaluation-Thread
I always enjoy having David Grissom (and not his evil twin Doug) on stage. His band rocked the house Thursday night. The Mrs. very much enjoyed Martin Simpson on the acoustic. Emil Werstler was a certified mad man on the 7 string.
The Jam sessions were both enjoyable and discouraging. The level of skill from the kids is astounding, the little bastids! They make me feel like I should just hang it up - that is until I realize that their day probably looks like this: go to school and come home; play guitar until dinner; eat; play guitar until your mom forces you to go to bed; play guitar ALL weekend. That just isn't a reasonable practice schedule for a grown up who isn't a professional musician. Still, I resolve (again) to practice more.
More Martin Simpson Friday night. Then the PRS band with sit ins by Brent Mason, Tim Pierce, Davy Knowles, Simon McBride and Brad Whitford. Bass duties by Wyzard, Kevin Walker and Rhonda Smith (woof). As usual, The Grainger brothers and Mike Ault were superb. Sadly, I was only luke warm for MOFRO…
The Saturday night PRS Band portion added in David Grissom, Lance Lopez and Nicky Moroch for some more great playing. Here's the deal: I have $20 at the Hopkins dice roll next year for anyone who can post an undoctored video Nicky Moroch up-picking. Saturday night's band, SOJA was also not my cup of tea…
OK that's the part of XPRS I have come to expect. Now the part that is new to me.
I was fortunate to meet and re-meet lots of Forum members. Shawn, Hans, Jamie, Sergio, Rob, 3Mike, MikeD, Alan, Andy, Jesse, Markie, Steve, Daniel, Peter, Vaughn, Chris, Dane, Bill, Brian, Bryan… I know there are more, but I'm horrible with names. Please feel free to remind me that we met because there was not a single hand I shook that I am not looking forward to shaking again.
It seemed that every time I turned around, Bill SAS 513 was there with his sister and her daughter. And he always had a big smile and 'what's up?' I got to spend a little time talking with (mostly listening to) Sergio. Let's just say his mind works a bit differently - but in a good way. You are a fantastic human being, my friend. Rob, who has worked so hard on the traveling forum guitar, it was great to see you again too. I'm glad I got to meet JustSteven. congrats to him on his trip to the Vault and kudos to Markie for taking him - class move, bro.
Jessie was a man on a mission: beer, food, and a Forum guitar built with the aid of Jack Gretz - not necessarily in that order. It was great to meet you Jessie. Your efforts to keep the Forum guitar alive and a real possibility are nothing short of Herculean. Alan - my impression of Alan if 'that happy guy.' I don't think I ever saw anything less than at least a grin on his face, even when we lost in the foosball tourney by 1 goal when I subbed for Vaughn. Alan, you are just a great guy to be around.
Jamie and Hans. A true highlight was our visit to PG sports Center. With you guys and Randy, I had a literal blast. We MUST make time to do that again next year. Jamie, your hosting the cost of the birds was very generous.
Chris, I really enjoyed the short conversations we had and very much enjoyed your session in the Jam Tent. You rock, brother. EM7 - I missed you! I would have stayed if I had know your name and seen you on the list 2 or 3 after Chris!
It took a while for the foosball tourney to get going, but it was enjoyable to watch. congrats to Shawn and Hans, the -undefeated- champions.
I met a lot of people who I didn't really get a chance to talk with. It's like Alan says in his thread. I share his self-perception as an interloper and it makes it hard to strike up conversations. At the Hilton, I was glad to take the duty of photographer, It helped me stay put and enjoy listening to your guys instead of bolting for the door.
Some I missed - Dancing Frog, congrats on your pending PS! I didn't get to meet EM7 or Marty or Dirty Bob or Geese or Hippietim or who knows who else I missed!
I didn't get to meet Daniel's daughter, though from the thread he put up, she arguably had the best time of anyone there.
I'm looking forward to next year. and seeing you all again. I hope the reverse is true…
I also hope those who missed it can get there next year. Is it wrong that I want to think of it as a Private Forum Party to which we invite everyone at PRS, PRS Artists and two or three thousand non-forum members?