The 2022 Brit Awards took place last night (February 8), and as expected there were plenty of tasty electric guitar moments for us to sink our teeth into. One performance that particularly caught us by surprise was that of UK rapper Dave, who offered up a live rendition of his track, In the Fire.
However, in a bid to up the ante, Dave flipped the script and took to the stage wielding a Gibson Les Paul – a Les Paul, may we add, that had been converted into a literal flamethrower.
That’s right: Dave closed out the entire show with the help of fellow rappers Fredo, Ghetts, Meekz and Giggs, as well as a personalized LP that shot out huge blasts of fire as he shredded an outro solo. Check it out in the video below.
It wasn’t all style over substance, though. Yes, the flame-throwing Les Paul stole the show, but Dave’s guitar technique shouldn’t be overlooked.
Starting on an acoustic guitar, Dave flexed his impressive fingerpicking skills – complete with sleek arpeggios and descending melody lines – before briefly taking up position behind the piano for a few verses.
After retrieving his Les Paul, the rapper then made his way round the pentatonic scale, and migrated his way up the neck for a series of bends that were accompanied by stage-spanning waves of fire that shot from the guitar’s headstock.
The performance capped off a successful evening for Dave, who was nominated in four categories and ultimately scooped the Brit Award for Best Hip Hop/Grime/Rap Act.
It’s clear that Dave had been leafing through the annals of rock ‘n’ roll history while choreographing his performance, given the prominence flame-throwing guitars have had throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
Kiss, for example, are well-known advocates of the flaming six-string. Ace Frehley in particular has a reputation of similarly fiery antics, having played a Les Paul that sported both a smoking pickup and a rocket launcher.
Likewise, Tommy Thayer has also been partial to a flame-throwing-guitar or two throughout his Kiss career.
More recently, Rammstein’s pyro expert Nicolai Sabottka has been championing the flame-thrower guitar, and used one during the band’s Bråvalla Festival set in 2013 – footage of which can be found above.