It was a highlight of the NAMM show this year getting to attend, and film, the Sabian Live Event at the Sheraton Park Hotel. The evening started out with Virgil Donati performing with Allan Holdsworth, Dennis Hamm and Jimmy Haslip. This was the kind of performance that makes most of us musicians "sick". Not in a literal sense, but in a way that (jokingly) makes us all want to just give up! The way these guys were feeling each other and moving into new grooves together was a masterful display to say the least.
After that massive display of talent, the stage was graced by Tony Royster Jr. and friends. This was our first time seeing Tony play live, and it was nothing short of stellar. His ease of motion, creativity and just the way he hit the drums was very impressive. Far too much groove for one human, but we're not complaining.
Last but not least was Mike Portnoy, Tony MacAlpine, Billy Sheehan and Derek Sherinian as the headlining act. This performance was another one that makes you just want to quit, but again… simply amazing to watch. Tony is still one of the greatest, as is Billy and watching them play off one another was something we will never forget. Unfortunately, we had to send Anton and his cameras over to the Testament show and did not film this performance, but there will be plenty of it available online.
Percussionist Orestes Vilató and Sandy Perez also made special guest appearances at the event.
Sabian always put on an amazing, and free show, and this year was no exception. It's one of the coolest events at the NAMM Show, it's always free and jam-packed with talent. Thanks again Sabian!