This past Saturday I attended Guitar Center’s 25th annual Drum Off and I have to tell you—I was really surprised with how much fun it was to cover.
First, I took photos at the Red Carpet segment they had. The 5 finalists, Josiah Maddox, Dawud Aasiya-Bey, Jonathan Burks, Shariq Tucker, and Hilario Bell, all came out, and it was a trip seeing them all in their own little zone. It was apparent they were all thinking about the event aead of them whilst waiting to take pictures. Various performers and drummers walked down, and the few that I did recognize made my own excitement escalate (Ray Luzier, Chad Smith, and Chris Dave to name a few). Being merely feet away from all of these well-known, talented musicians, it was cool to see their personalities shine. Travis Barker talked to the finalists before taking pictures with them, and their beaming smiles were priceless to say the least. Steve Perry seemed like he was very happy to be there, took his time with each photo, and really gave a nice impression. Seriously – who wouldn’t with that fabulous hair? I was expecting him to break out singing “Don’t Stop Believin,’” and let me tell you I would have been perfectly fine with it.
After the Red Carpet part of the event, I made my way to the venue to watch the show begin. Chris Dave and the Drumheadz gave an eye-opening performance. The composition of his work was just as unique as his set-up – he had two Zildjian spiral trash cymbals on both sides of him. Although very jazz-like in music style, I was pleasantly surprised he played some blast beats towards the end (you metal fans know what I’m talking about!). After that Ray Luzier from Korn performed, as well as Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers; both of which gave absolutely thrilling performances. The finalists soon took the stage to compete for the last time – each one was so unique and it was very hard to say who was going to win. One of them, Jonathan Burks, even put on a blind fold before finishing the rest of his act!
Finally as the night was coming to a close, Steve Ferrone was inducted into Guitar Center’s RockWalk by the artist Questlove. I was ecstatic to watch yet another piece of history unfold, as I attended my second RockWalk event. As Dave Weiderman guided him and showed him what to do, I thought it was funny seeing him offer a pair of gloves – Steve Ferrone just replied with “No I wanna’ feel this!” before they both threw the gloves out to the crowd. While squishing his hands into the cement, he smiled for what seemed like forever – and I think everyone in the room was smiling back.
After Steve Ferrone’s performance, Dawud “D-Mile” Aasiya-Bey was announced the winner. You can watch his performance and see photos from the event below.
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