An Iowa musician is now a proud Guinness World Record holder after helping the soft opening of a West Des Moines music venue hit the right note.

Jon Locker, a local bassist, helped kick off the newly renovated Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines with a bang on Monday, February 25th. He played through a record-breaking 81 amps at the same time for five minutes straight on his guitar, shattering the previous record of 50.

Photo Credit: KCCI
Photo Credit: KCCI

Locker admitted that the act of playing through more than six-dozen amplifiers at a time is "more of a party trick" than a practical way to showcase live music, but was happy to do it at a place he loves. Hundreds attended his performance to see the world-record broken for themselves.

Furthermore, Locker was able to fully test the capabilities of the Val Air Ballroom's brand new acoustics, which were installed during a lengthy remodeling/renovating project. Sam Summers, owner of the ballroom, and his team have been renovating the concert hall, which has been around since the 1930s.

Per KCCI, the project cost nearly $15 million. The main focus for the remodel was installing a new sound system (evidently, one capable of handling the power and noise of 81 amps) along with adding material on the ceiling and roof to prevent sound-bleed throughout the surrounding neighborhood, for which the venue has received complaints in years past.

Photo Credit: KCCI
Photo Credit: KCCI

The Val Air Ballroom has been a staple venue for West Des Moines and the state capital for year:

Val Air Ballroom is a historic live music venue featuring a diverse range of artists located in West Des Moines, Iowa. Originally an outdoor dance venue in the 1940s, the space was eventually enclosed to form a venue space for music, school dances, and the like. - per the Val Air Ballroom's official website

Greensky Bluegrass is the first official show scheduled for the remodeled venue this Thursday, February 29th. Following that, artists like Chase Matthew, Flogging Molly, and the Eli Young Band are all set to perform later this year.

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Read more about Iowa's Jon Locker breaking a Guinness World Record at the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines, IA on KCCI's website.

Clint Black at Five Flags Center in Dubuque, IA

Clint Black, Lisa Hartman Black, and their daughter Lily Pearl Black performing at Five Flags Center in Dubuque, IA on Sunday, November 20th.

Gallery Credit: Steve Pulaski

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