Hello fellow metal heads and rockers! And welcome to the first article on Provo’s local rock and metal scene! My name is Adam and I will be your guide. Now load up the flux capacitor, hop in the Delorean and let’s put the pedal to the METAL, because this week’s first article is a blast from the past!
On May 7th, I had the pleasure of attending the Amp Sho’, an annual exhibition hosted by Boothe Brother’s music in Spanish Fork. The show consisted of a collection of amplifiers brought in by local collectors, ranging from dusty 50’s Fender combos to a brand new Mesa Boogie 100 watt head with the price tags still in place. Along with the amps was a collection of guitars, new and old. Some telecasters, a few strats, a Les Paul or two, and even an 80’s Ibanez Roadstar caught some limelight.
But this all-day event is much more than just a show floor. The real fun started right about 5:00, when some local professionals gathered on stage to perform some improvised jams, cranked through their favorite amps that they auditioned earlier that day. Among these performers were Michael Dowdle, Chase Baker, and Rich Dixon.
After the performance by the guitar pros, the audience was treated to a in-house concert featuring the virtuoso Dowdle, Mr. Baker and his blues band, and the up-and-coming band from Provo: Fictionist. This was my first experience with all three artists, and I was thoroughly impressed by each.
First up was Michael Dowdle, sporting a high-slung Les Paul. Some of his tunes included originals such as “Mikey’s Bluesy Shuffle” and “Big Big Sky”. Dowdle’ss tunes were beyond impressive, and upon hearing him play, I was instantly reminded of the great Eric Johnson. MD’s playing was technical but soulful, with soaring, broad lead lines and jammin’ rhythms. I must say that, being an instrumental guitarist myself, his performance was easily the highlight of my night.
Next to take the stage was Chase Baker and his blues group. Chase is a young guitarist/singer from Provo who is majoring in music at BYU. Check him out at that link. I guess you could kind of call his style Bluesy Pop. Or Poppy Blues. Or.. Iggy Pop? No, that’s not right. But whatever genre you tag it with, it’s not your traditional blues. Chase has taken his love for blues, pop and classic rock and melted it down into some kind of creation that’s remnicent of that mug you made in ceramics in high school. Functional, yes. A little avant garde, sure. But it was art, darn it! And you loved it! Yes, that’s Baker’s music in a nutshell. But don’t take my word for it, go look, erm, hear for yourself.
At last, but certainly not least, was the soon-to-be-rocking-the-national-radio act: Fictionist. How does one describe their music? Well, hypothetically one could say it’s a mixture of everything good from the controversial Indie and Pop genres, melted with some good old Classic Rock, and even a little bit of Jazz. Here, check out Blue-eyed Universe. See what I mean? Cool, right? This quintet of young men rock pretty hard when the show gets going. They are currently set to launch their music nation-wide in just a matter of weeks, so keep an eye on these guys.
So all in all, the Amp Sho’ is great. Be sure to become a fan of them on facebook and attend next year’s show! Oh, and did I mention? There’s a prize giveaway at the end of the night. That’s some more insentive for you lazy people out there. The event has something for every guitar/amp/rock enthusiast in Utah. Why? Because it offers all the benefits of going back to ’55 to check out that Fender tube amp you like, but without the risk of befriending a crazy scientist, being shot at by Lybians, and… kissing your teenage mom? Yeah, I’ll stick with the Amp Sho’. Sorry Marty.
I invite your questions, feedback, and suggestions for future articles! Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, and a special thanks to James Harward for the wonderful photos! Check out his facebook page here and send him some love!