The GP staff picked five finalists from hundreds of video entries to battle it out in front of judges Muriel Anderson, Reeves Gabrels, and Carl Verheyen for the GPGS 2011 crown.
Hosting the event was guitar legend Larry Carlton, and a killer house band of Nashville session greats backed up the finalists. Presenting and event sponsors were Ampeg (who debuted the company’s new GVT tube amps by providing the show’s backline), EMG Pickups, Framus, NAMM, and SKB Corporation.
Host Larry Carlton (left) and finalist Mark Kroos listen as the judges rate Kroos’ performance.
Jeremy Ore unleashed “Instrumental Shred” with some help from the looper on a DigiTech RP355 and a PRS Custom 24.
Forrest Lee, Jr. threw down some supersonic country on his self-built solidbody (with B-Bender) on “Telethon.”
The five finalists in the post-show “photo booth” (left to right)—Fredrik Halland, Arek Religa,
Forrest Lee, Jr., Mark Kroos, and Jeremy Ore.
Finalist Arek Religa decodes his intro riff on “Chicago Guitar Knight” for the judges.
Host Larry Carlton kicks off Guitar Superstar 2011. He was so warm and personable that it seemed the
competition was in his living room and the audience members were his houseguests.
Ampeg GVT “Straight Up Tone” contest winners Elephantgun opened the GPGS 2011 show.
Wielding a Tom Anderson Hollow T Classic, Fredrik Halland slipped in and out of
several styles throughout “True Expressions.”
The GPGS 2011 judges in the photo booth (left to right)—Reeves Gabrels, Carl Verheyen, and Muriel Anderson.
Judge Carl Verheyen digs in during an improvised set with judge Reeves Gabrels.
Judge Reeves Gabrels attacks his signature Reverend guitar during the surprise,
improvised performance with Carl Verheyen.
Ampeg’s Social Network Manager Ryan Cassady (left) dials in a brand new
GVT amp for GPGS house-band guitarist Chris Leuzinger.
GPGS house band drummer Craig Krampf (left) and bassist Dave Pomeroy
in the rehearsal room before the big show.
GPGS 2011 champ Mark Kroos accepts his award.
The judges—in rapt “evaluation mode”—assess a performance.
Each finalist was rated for tone, technique, charisma, and composition.
Arek Religa (left) shows off his third-place award with GP’s Barry Cleveland.
GP’s Art Thompson presents Fredrik Halland with his second place award.