I’m like you in that I prefer to ride the volume knob on my guitar as opposed to switching channels. It feels more natural and organic to me (for my playing, anyway). The Corso does this brilliantly. Part of why is that it has a relatively clean preamp and gets most of its gain from the power tubes. I was floored at how well it cleaned up when rolling the volume back. It’s really addictive once you start messing with the volume to get different tones out of the Corso and it’s really impressive what can be done with just that. How well it works in a band context unmic’d is something I can’t vouch for, but I’d say it’s worth a try. If it doesn’t work out, it’s really easy to sell it for at or near what you paid for it, so you’d just be out the time invested to try it. I think you’ll like it though.