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NAMM 2015: The Complete Wrap-Up Of Coverage From This Year's NAMM Convention

By Krishta Abruzzini, Pacific Northwest Writer
Monday, February 16, 2015 @ 5:01 AM

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It’s a new year and time for the annual NAMM show! For those who don’t know, NAMM stands for National Association of Music Merchants. It has been around since 1901. It is the cornerstone of all things related to music and has evolved into a showcase unmatched to anything else in the music industry. The winter show itself brings in thousands of people around the world and is one of two of the largest in the world. It is a coveted and much sought after ticket, as access to the show is strictly reserved for owners, suppliers, employees, endorsed artists, guests of NAMM members and selected press.

This year, KNAC.COM produced a daily video blog of the show. We will be covering all areas of the show; gear, artists, concerts, people watching (one of the best parts of the show) and everything that makes up this wild four-day party. So whether a major gear-head, veteran NAMM attendee, or a virgin wanting to see what really goes on behind the doors, there is something for everyone.

On Day 2 of the NAMM show is where things get interesting. Day one, most attendees are just arriving and things are at a slow pace. You can cruise the aisles with ease, the after-parties and hotels are calm...then Friday happens.

Starting at 10am, the attendees flood in the doors, the audible sound of various instruments being played all at once fill the convention center, and the show becomes a variable haven for the best people-watching on the planet.

From vendors, to exhibitors and gear, rock stars to people that just want to be seen and noticed (and will go to all lengths of costumery or lack thereof) this is the place to see it all.

Day 2 also brings on the question of which after-party or show to attend (It's a tough job, sorry). I attended the Peavey 50th Anniversary party featuring BLUE OYESTER CULT and LYNYRD SKYNYRD, then PARLIAMENT featuring George Clinton and P-FUNK allstars, to STEEL PANTHER all in one night. This only happens at NAMM. It's a surreal trip at times.

In this video segment of Day 2 we cover some of the shows and great people-watching, giving the viewer a point of view of what the show looks like. There's really no place like the winter NAMM show and it is apparent why it is such a coveted ticket.

Day 3. Because you know I'm all about that bass, 'Bout that bass. (Sorry) It’s all really about the gear.

For Day 3 we covered all aspects of why the show exists. The gear. There are four floors and miles of every instrument, vendor and everything relating to music this planet has to offer. It's a mecca of traditional to extravagant.

While there are so many aspects to the NAMM show, from the parties, concerts, innovative ideas to help build businesses, or even people watching, the main reason there is a show is because of the music products being displayed by manufacturers to sell to retailers. From the buyers for large companies to the smaller music stores around the world, retailers leave the show boosting their business with the products on display at the show.

I hear from most musicians wandering about the show that it is just more “stuff” they can’t afford to own. The show itself displays miles and miles of everything from recording software to saxophones and everything in between. New and innovative products such as the Line 6 Variax Standard guitar that combines Yamaha guitar building with Line 6 tone digital modeling, with over 70 different guitar sounds at the touch of a button are on display and ready to be played by any passerby at the show. In fact, most all the instruments are touchable and can be played. So for those that are musicians, it really is like being a kid in a candy store.

Finally, the last day of Winter NAMM 2015. It’s always an interesting transition to witness all four days of the annual show that brings in nearly 100,000 attendees and more than 5000 brands of musical instruments, audio and technology products.

Thursday, opening day is quiet, yet the bustling of excitement can be felt while breezing through the aisles of what awaits the four-day event. Friday and Saturday become nearly a zoo, with many of the aisles being shoulder to shoulder with people excited to see the products offered, a rock-star sighting, or the anticipation of which party or concert they’ll be attending that evening.

Then comes Sunday. The last day and end to another amazing show. An odd hush falls over the event as most attendees have either left, or can be spotted with their sunglasses on (I suspect a bit too much celebration the night before) getting a last glimpse of what the vendors have to offer, or tightening up business deals. For most, it’s a bittersweet sadness that another year has passed, yet a relief that one’s feet (and liver) can finally get a rest until the next year.

We close this year's NAMM show with the heart of the association - The members. We visit Geoff and Erin Metts at Five Star Guitars, who won Top Retailer through the NAMM association in 2014 and chat with them about being a NAMM member and what it has done for them. We also get a peek at the purchases they made for the store at the 2015 show.

We close our segment with Kevin Hahn at Opal Studio in Portland, Oregon. A big part of the association are members with businesses that look to NAMM as a resource for support, which include sound studios, music schools and even musical repair shops.

A big Thank you to NAMM for another great show and everyone involved in being a part of this year's video blog.

Until next year...

Thank you NAMM 2015! Congratulations on another record-setting, successful show.

For more information on NAMM, please visit: www.namm.org

A huge KNAC.COM shout-out to our correspondent Krishta Abruzzini-McGroovey and her husband Brian who put in all the time and effort to provide this coverage! Great job! \m/

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