I had a blast this weekend at the Amp Show, which was held at the Airtel hotel in Van Nuys, CA. With over 75 companies in attendance the Show was ground zero for the boutique amp community—although Fender, Jensen, Peavey, and Celestion also made the scene. Stompboxes were in abundance at the show too (which, by the way, is open to the public), with companies like Hermida, Pigtronix, Rack Systems, Tone Box, and Tone Freak showing their wares. The hotel environment is interesting because you can stroll down the hallways and pop into any of the rooms to check out the latest heads and combos from well-known makers like Bogner, Budda, Egnater, Fryette, Fuchs, Matchless, and Two Rock—as well as those from lots of newer outfits, such as Atomic, Bludotone, Channing, Club, Jaguar, Nolatone, and many others. The volume level gets pretty crazy as the day wears on, but that's to be expected because everyone is so cool about letting people try their stuff, and there's no one around to tell you to turn down. I walked the show for part of the day with Carl Verheyen, and we also ran into Joe Bonamassa who was there to check out the gear. I've got to say that being able to listen-in while players of Carl's and Joe's caliber are trying out amps or pedals is way cool because you get to hear interesting things that their highly nuanced styles bring out in different products, and you get schooled in world-class licks at the same time! The Amp Show is one-stop shopping for so much that's going on in the gear scene. I highly recommend this annual event for anyone who digs amps, tubes, pedals, and just about everything else that releates to the electric guitar experience.