Played through the provided backline. Which was an antique Matchless amp, and a pedalboard with not one, but TWO Klons, and some other super expensive stuff. It sounded really, really good. Actually, pretty amazing. How amazing? So amazing, I almost got sucked in to thinking "maybe I need this stuff, after all..." But then I thought about what it would cost me for a rig like that. And I honestly have no idea what a rig like that would cost me. But I know it would be a lot. Like, a WHOLE lot. Tons. Many pounds of quarters. Then I thought about my favorite 90's Marshall, and my favorite Bandit. And how they sound pretty good, too. Not quite that great. There was an easily quantifiable difference. I'd be totally willing to spend an extra thousand bucks over what I have into both those amps, to get what I had today. But I couldn't get close to that rig for that money. Couldn't even get in the same room with it. Thinking about it, this is happening a lot to me lately. The sonic difference just doesn't match up to the $$ difference on all of this expensive stuff I used to covet. Maybe it would be different if my gear didn't make me really happy, but it does. I've gotten to the point where I think of my gear the way I think about my car- I like my car. A lot. It does exactly what I want it to do. It looks nice. It's comfortable. It doesn't cost me a lot of money. I see other cars. They are much nicer than my car in a lot of ways. They also cost a LOT more. My car cost about $16k, brand new last month. It works great. It's not fancy. I think about stuff like high performance. Hand stitched interiors. All those bells and whistles. Electronic gadgetry. Cars that park themselves. Cars that do everything but fetch the paper. Cars that ride so smooth, it's like cloud surfing on a bed of kittens. I think all that stuff is nice. I'd even be willing to pay for some of it. But not what it costs. The difference just isn't that big. I was talking with a friend recently who was wishing away that he could afford the car he really wants. It's almost $70k. I remarked that I'd never, ever, spend that much money on a vehicle. He said "you would if you had the money to spend". I said no, I don't think I would. Is it better? Sure. Any idiot can tell that it is. And I'm a fairly typical idiot, so... but is it $54k better? For something I'm gonna drive around farting and listening to the Dead in? I dunno man, I just don't see it. Anyhow, I've reached a bit of Gear enlightenment. And that's kind of how it worked. Happy Saturday!