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How do you grab the attention of the crowd?

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So, you’re mid-way through a gig and your band mates are looking to you ensure the gig goes down in legendary status. What are you going to do? Shred as hard and fast as you can in a neo-classical Beethoven meets meets Malmsteen style whilst roosting the most ugly “guitar face” ever seen? Maybe donning a cowboy hat and handlebar moustache like The Edge? How about using a semi-clad woman to dance around you in a Stacia-Hawkwind style?

I guess you’re pretty familiar with the legendary Hendrix Monterey gig where at the end of the set, Hendrix proceeds to torch his Stratocaster in a voodoo-chile style performance. That’s one way to grab the attention of the crowd I guess. Fortunately with today’s advancements in technology you can happily forget about using lighter fluid and matches to enhance your gig.

A couple of years back during a 2008 tour, Porcupine Tree front-man Steve Wilson tripped out the crowd by playing his “Video Guitar” manufactured by Visionary Instruments. If you’re not familiar with the Video Guitar, it’s essentially a guitar with no pickups (except a Piezo pickup built into the bridge) that allows you to play any video or selection of still JPEG images to your adoring crowd through a built-in TV screen which covers the majority of the guitar body.

You upload the videos of your choice (MPEG format) via USB and you can control the playback of the video by remote control. The videos can react to your playing or you can simply press play and let the video of your choice play to the crowd. The choice of video you play is entirely up to you – for me, maybe the “Ride Of The Valkyries” scene from Apocalypse Now would hit the spot. “I love the smell of Napalm in the morning…”

Check out the Video Guitar below or visit the Visionary Instruments web site for more details.

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About the author:

Sam is passionate about talking all things guitar related and started GuitarJar.co.uk to help encourage all guitarists in their guitar playing journey.

5 Comments

  • I suppose another way would be the classic RHCP trick of just wearing a sock?

  • Or huge lightbulbs on your head like the RHCP wore at Woodstock ’94!

  • What about the giant eyeball head of ‘The Residents‘. ( Sarah says )
    RATM – wearing nothing but guitars.
    How about a TV hat to go with a TV guitar or just Angus running about.
    FRED DINAGE.

  • Or drop the guitar and hold a sheep for a few minutes in a tribute the The KLF.

  • Apparently the latest Porcupine Tree DVD shows Steve Wilson playing the Video Guitar.

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