The 2011 London Drum Show, as it always is, was a resounding success! Bringing together internationally renowned players and showcasing a wide variety of cutting-edge drum and percussion instruments, it’s a wonderful vehicle to promote the art of drumming and the drum industry. And SABIAN was well represented by a trifecta of world-class talent, namely Dave Elitch, George Kollias and Rex Hardy Jr.
Dave Elitch was the first of the three to perform. Formerly of the experimental prog-rockers The Mars Volta, and well known for his performance on the bestselling Gospel Chops DVD Shed Sessionz Vol. 2, Dave began his Saturday showcase with a funky fusion number. Dialing it up a few notches, he continued with a couple of hard rocking tracks that underlined his serious power ability. Dave answered questions from the audience and brought his performance to a close with an impressive demonstration of his skills as a heavy-hitting rock player – Dave gets huge, powerful sounds from his drums, he has outstanding chops and is clearly an artist that a new generation of drummers looks up to.
On Sunday all three SABIAN artists were in the program – either on the Mike Dolbear Masterclass stage or the main auditorium. Blastbeat master George Kollias started the day with his unbelievably fast feet. Not only did George perform to a sold out audience, he also had top international artists Gregg Bissonette and Thomas Lang watching him from directly behind the curtain so they could witness his phenomenal speed up close. George performed songs from Nile as well as his own compositions, and he answered questions from the audience in his typical warm, understanding and helpful manner. His monstrous double bass drum kit provided some serious eye candy for his young fans, most of whom crowded the stage to photograph it after his performance.
Immediately following George’s mainstage performance, Dave Elitch kicked off a packed masterclass in the Mike Dolbear room. Well attended and well received, Dave is a highly in-demand clinician, and it was easy to see why.
At 3pm on the main stage, it was time for Rex Hardy Jr. to kick off his performance. Billed as an insider “must-see” act, the start was delayed by 15 minutes so that organizers could cram even more people who wanted to see Rex into an already sold-out venue. Once everyone was in, Rex launched with some Mary J Blige tracks, and within seconds he had converted the auditorium into a moving, grooving dance hall. Right from the first few bars Rex plays, it’s obvious what a master he is. He not only plays a groove, he owns it! The second he began playing his tasty chops, the audience jumped to its feet, applauding his musical fills. It was clear that Rex is a hero to the urban drum community in London – as he walked around the show, he was continually getting stopped for autographs and a photo.
And so the London Drum Show is over for another year. A hearty thanks go out to show organizers, Westside Distribution (Sabian’s distributor in the UK), and the talented Sabian artists who helped make this show such a resounding success. See you in 2012!
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