Festival gear (and we don't mean tents): Download / Isle of Wight
Last weekend saw two of the summer's biggest festivals - and of course, we were keeping an ear out for what gear was being used to wow the crowds at both Download in Donington Park, and the Isle of Wight festival. Here's what we found out:
As you'd expect from the heaviest festival this side of the Lead Salesman's Expo 2011, there were guitars galore at Leicestershire's Download festival, with the metal-focussed Schecter brand putting in a particularly good showing, gracing the main stage every night thanks to Friday headliners Def Leppard, plus Avenged Sevenfold and Disturbed across the rest of the weekend. The American guitar company's basses got an outing as well, with Steve Zing of New Jersey blues-metallers Danzig toting the Damien-4 in the band's top-of-the-bill slot on the Pepsi Max Stage, sharing the stage with a Schecter C-1 Classic and Hellraiser C-1 thanks to guitarist Tommy Victor.
One of the things we most frequently hear about Schecter guitars is how great they look - from the classic-looking Solo 6 to the unique (and aptly-named) Damien V-1 - so if seeing them up-close-and-personal over the weekend made you want to try one for yourself, you're in luck: Dolphin's got a special post-Download offer on Schecter guitars, with many of them coming with hard cases or deluxe gigbags.
Download's two other headline acts, System of a Down and Linkin Park also showed off some classy gear. Both acts are big fans of Ibanez - in particular, Linkin Park's lead guitarist Brad Delson has used the Ibanez RG series heavily in the studio on tracks like Runaway and With You. He's also been known to use the Gibson J-45 when live shows call for an acoustic moment - the J-45's in stock now at Dolphin, along with a full range of other high-end Les Pauls, SGs and more. The guitar that features most frequently in Linkin Park's live sets, however, is Delson's custom red Paul Reed Smith - but for those of us not headlining Download, PRS offers a range of other top-quality guitars that are better suited to the pocket of us non-rock-stars.
While System of a Down were rocking the main stage in Donington Park, a couple of hundred miles and a ferry crossing South of there were Foo Fighters with their full-on stadium rock setup - pyrotechnics and all. Just some of the (non-exploding) gear they used was:
- The Gibson Explorer.
- The Gibson SG (available from Dolphin in black Standard and red Special editions).
- Vox's AC30 range of amps.
- Boss pedals, in particular the DD-3 Digital Delay and the TU-3 Chromatic Tuner. Yes, we know everyone uses Boss pedals - but sometimes when you're rehearsing in a garage it's easy to forgot that that includes some of the world's biggest rockstars, too!
And finally, we'll leave you with a video of the act that were the highlight of many people's Isle of Wight weekend, Kings of Leon, with one of their festival appearances from a couple of years ago. Lead guitarist Matthew Followill can be seen onstage using his ebony Epiphone Sheraton II. He's also previously been pictured with the classic-looking vintage sunburst model.