Yngwie Malmsteen performs, gives talk at GearFest 2018

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Fort Wayne, Ind.– In a season of concerts and festivals, GearFest, hosted by Sweetwater, ramps up the summer for a number of musicians and would-be performers. This year’s GearFest was the 17th of the event, which took place on June 22-23, 2018. Among the notable performers and speakers was none other than Yngwie Malmsteen.

The legendary Swedish guitarist performed, and then took part in a question and answer session. According to Blabbermouth.net, the guitarist was asked what advice he would give to those who wanted to be professional musicians. Malmsteen answered in part, “…don’t do something you think other people are gonna like; do what you like and don’t give a shit what other people say.”

His words are necessary in a time when popular articles question the validity of rock music, and state that “rock is dead.” Still, astute listeners will note that performers in a variety of rock genres continue to do groundbreaking, or at least interesting, stuff.

That Malsmsteen spoke in Fort Wayne, Indiana is important. The Summit City is a place with an ever-growing and thus, evolving, music scene that includes punk, metal and several genres in between.

Obviously it will take more than one talk to inspire all the right musicians to contribute their particular styles to the Midwest’s collective sound. But events like GearFest help to put aspiring musicians in touch with those who are household names, and subsequently perhaps, help to inspire another generation of musicians.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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