NAMM always provides a healthy dose of star-spotting and this year was no exception. Here are some of our red carpet highlights from the 2018 show.
One of the biggest stars to grace the NAMM floor this year was king of funk, George Clinton. Clinton was interviewed by Nic Harcourt alongside Parliament-Funkadelic members Blackbyrd McKnight and Lige Curry at the Harman booth. The interview was later followed by a public meet & greet with the Atomic Dog. The Parliament-Funkadelic contingent also included Bootsy Collins who signed autographs at the Tascam booth before hosting the annual “Imagine Party”. As part of the event, he performed a new track called “Together We Can” alongside the kids of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.
The standout booth of the show belonged to Korg. Aside from winning a ‘Best in Show’ award for the Prologue, Korg hosted NAMM stalwart Jordan Rudess and Rick and Morty creator, Justin Roiland. Roiland was joined by show composer Ryan Elder and members of the pop group Chaos Chaos, the band behind some of the show’s music. The session attracted dozens of fans and was a welcome addition to the usual slew of musicians, engineers and producers. Rudess once again had his amazing chops on display, demonstrating the new Korg Grandstage and also spending some time with the Arturia Matrixbrute.
The hip-hop and rap contingent were well represented. Music icon Flavor Flav surprised and amazed crowds showing off his impressive piano skills while alternative hip-hop group, the Pharcyde, performed live at the Mackie booth.
Of course, no NAMM show would be complete without appearances by some killer guitarists. The Orange amplification stand played host to ambassadors Glenn Hughes (Black Country Communion, Deep Purple), Brent Hinds (Mastodon) and Stephen Carpenter (Deftones). George Lynch was also at the conference to talk about his personally endorsed ESP guitars and later made a surprise appearance at NAMM’s Ultimate Jam Night, reuniting with former bandmate Don Dokken on stage.
Guitar prodigy Yvette Young shredded and tapped her way through NAMM, doing demos and meet’n’greets for Strandberg Guitars, Thalia Capos and Cort Guitars. Young was also seen hanging out with fellow mathcore lord Kevin Antreassian of Dillinger Escape Plan.
There was also no shortage of familiar faces at NAMM’s two major awards events: the TEC awards and the She Rocks Awards. The latter, which honours stand out women within the music industry, saw Melissa Etheridge, Pat Benatar, the B-52’s members Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson all in attendance to receive awards.