Assessing T.H.E. Show Long Beach 2019

July 5, 2023 0 By JohnValbyNation

See the smiling woman in this photo with a dazed-amidst-all-these-rooms yours truly? Meet T.H.E. Show’s fabulous Director of Social Media and Marketing, Emiko Carlin, a former classical pianist and musician whose 3000 songs include some #1 pop singles. I don’t know how this dazzling woman comes across to others, but for me, discovering Ms. Carlin was like meeting an old friend.

Clearly Carlin has many friends. While I don’t know how many show attendees arrived due to her heavy social media campaigning, I do know that virtually every younger person to whom I posed the question, “How did you hear about this show?” replied that they had found it online. Turnout numbers won’t be released for a while, but I would say, given the small size of rooms and the somewhat manageable spread over six floors, that attendance was ideal. Had 2000 more people showed up, the congestion at elevators, in halls and dining areas, and in lines outside rooms would have been too much.

This was a moderate-sized show, one that attracted a goodly number of major brands as well as major dealers from the southern California area and beyond. It also attracted a really considerate group of audiophiles and curiosity seekers. People in virtually every room I visited were polite, attentive, friendly, and genuinely interested in what the high end has to offer. And very few of them talked over the music.

Some may lament that T.H.E. Show has shrunk from its heyday in, first, Las Vegas and then in Southern California. I lament that the design of some of the Hilton’s rooms was unfriendly to good sound. Regardless, given the shift in the show landscape and the supreme importance of an audio show in Southern California, I’d say that T.H.E. Show is on the ascent. For which Emiko Carlin as well as Maurice Jung deserve some credit.

Emiko joined Dylan Gardner, Lori Lieberman, and Robert B (Bob Bucciarelli) for a Saturday night concert that was recorded live on a J-Corder reel-to-reel. Expect a vinyl release before year’s end. And, if the seas don’t rise much faster than predicted, expect an even better T.H.E. Show in 2020.

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