As the title says, I hate it when I’m not paying attention…
Last night, I went to see the Tower of Power, Steve Miller Band, and Journey concert at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA. The show opened up with Tower of Power, one of my favorite bands growing up. Steve Miller, at 70, is still absolutely incredible. And Journey? What can I say? While I loved the Greg Rollie years, I preferred the music from the Steve Perry years. Whether you liked him or not, Steve Perry’s voice was what took that band out of just being a collection of great musicians into pop rock legends.
Despite that, why am I a bit pissed? Well, I wasn’t paying attention when Neal switched from playing Les Pauls and moved to custom PRS guitars last year. I normally keep up with that kind of stuff, and I completely missed it! So much to my surprise, when Neal came out on-stage with a guitar that had those familiar PRS bird inlays, I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed.
Neal Schon has been one of my Les Paul idols for many years, and to see him with a PRS… well, that just took getting used to. I also had to get used to the fatter tone. Neal’s tone wasn’t bad at all, but I felt that it lacked that top-end shimmer that you get from a Les Paul. I was expecting more bite from his tone, but what I got was just smooth. Like I said, it wasn’t bad, it was just different. He still sounded like Neal Schon, but I will admit it: that smooth PRS tone is not for me.
I’ve got to hand it to Paul Reed Smith. He has taken the electric guitar world by storm. So many artists play PRS guitars. I even have an SE model, which is great. But I still prefer the Les Paul bite.