A photojournal by Eric Franklin Shook
I’m going to start off simple in this coverage. When Scot told me that AXPONA was an option, I got excited. What audiophile wouldn’t? We all love to see the new hot gear and hear our favorite tracks on different equipment, over and over, and over and sometimes once more over again. But I’m not an audiophile who’s all about the gear. It’s about the music right?
Well, yeah, it is, but I could have stayed home to listen to music. So what’s the big deal? Why all the excitement? It’s the people. Audiophilia is known as a “solitary pursuit”, but for many of us, it’s a chance to see old friends and make new ones. Dealers, showgoers, manufacturers, press writers and the occasional celebrity. All with one thing in common: alcohol. No, I’m kidding, that is not the tie that binds us, but it’s close.
It’s that being an audiophile or music lover, which ever title you prefer, is a lonely place out in the real world but here in the windy city of Chicago (of which had beautiful weather this weekend) we’re lucky to have events like AXPONA who hosts our little “audiophile sleepover party” — except we all get out own rooms, most of us. I won’t mention who doesn’t.
I arrived at 5pm on Friday roughly about eight hours later than I scheduled. Why? American Airlines decided to cancel my 7am flight the night before at 9pm, rebooking me for a flight out of Dallas-Fort Worth at 8am central time. Which sounds all fine and dandy from certain angles, but I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. You can see the problem.
Having already taken my sleep medication (LAPHROAIG 10), I find myself on hold with the airline for an hour or so before it’s a situation of resolved sorts that I’ll now be leaving RDU at 3pm eastern time. Frustrated I pass out immediately after the call, forgetting to reset my alarm, I’m up at 3am.
I pound through the new day, murmuring little obscenities towards American Airlines, because a full day of show coverage is now lost and I’ll be missing the team meeting with my Part-Time Audiophile crew. I finally arrive in Chicago, make my way on the shuttle and check in. While doing so I hear a vendor or four say “It’s beer thirty!”, and you know what it is.
There are a lot of reasons to attend an audio show, but for me — it’s the people.
Here’s a glimpse.