I played a fun gig last night in a cool place, which, for me is a happening brew pub with a large crowd. The room wasn’t too big, so I just brought my reissue Fender Deluxe Reverb, with has been fitted with Kendrick Brownframe 12. I also had a small pedalboard with a Fulltone OCD, a Xotic EP Booster, and a Vox Clyde McCoy reissue wah—all powered by a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power ISO 5. My guitar was a PRS 22 strung with a .011-.048 set. The singer in this band likes us to tune down a half step, and that setup keeps the feel reasonably taut on the PRS.
In order to be able to turn the Deluxe up enough to get the power tubes cooking, I angled the amp toward the wall next to me. This kept the volume a little more manageable near the front of the stage, while giving the drummer and bass player plenty of guitar sound from was coming out of the back of the cabinet. Our female singer has a loud, belting voice, and my goal is to try to keep the band’s overall level low enough to avoid killing the room, while still playing loud enough to make it fun. After all, when the audience and the club owner go away happy at the end of the night, you can pretty much count on being asked back there again. And that's the objective, right? —Art Thompson