Metallica‘s James Hetfield has used many different guitar models over the years, but during Metallica’s big commercial breakthrough era in the early 90s he had an ESP signature model based on the classic Explorer shape. This was a very popular axe at the time, but rumour has it that the owners of the Explorer design weren’t too happy, and ESP discontinued the model and tweaked its Explorer-type guitars into the more aggressive EX shape. Whatever the truth, pretty soon prices for the ESP and its similar models on the used market skyrocketed.
This past Friday night my band The Upperhand reunited for a show at the Gershwin Room at the Espy here in Melbourne. We had a kickass time and guess what? We’re gonna do it again! The show went so well and the response was so good that we booked another show. The entire set is at the bottom of this post, but first, the good guitar-nerd stuff (with photos from Instagram).
For the show I used my Ibanez RG7620 7-string with DiMarzio Blaze humbuckers in place of the original DiMarzio New 7 pickups that came with the guitar. Here it is getting ready to hit the stage. Note the GHS Fast Fret and the Line 6 wireless.
And here’s my pedalboard, which includes a Line 6 Wireless, Planet Waves tuner, ISP Decimator G String noise reduction pedal, Dunlop Buddy Guy Crybaby, Boss OC-2 Octave, MXR EVH 90 phaser, Dunlop Crybaby KFK Q Zone (like a wah wah without an expression pedal), MXR Custom Badass ’78 Distortion, Way Huge Swollen Pickle II fuzz and an MXR/Custom Audio Electronics Boost/Overdrive. Power comes from a Gator G-Bus-8 and a Sanyo Pedal Juice. My amp is a Marshall DSL 50, and I use Planet Waves and DiMarzio cable. I kept the MXR/CAE’s boost side on all the time to give a little bit of extra kick to the Marshall’s crunch channel, and I stomped on either the ’78 Distortion, the Swollen Pickle, the Q Zone or the Overdrive side of the MXR/CAE as needed, either for leads or just to fatten everything up a bit.
And finally, the gig itself!
The setlist (and guitar solo times, because I know you’re into that kinda stuff or you wouldn’t be reading this site):
1. Hillside (guitar solo at 2:09)
4. Something To Say (guitar solo at 12:35)
5. Heir In Line (guitar solo at 16:43)
6. Move On (guitar solo at 19:52)
7. Never Enough
8. MILF (guitar solos at 27:10 and 29:41).