Another small solo gig at A&M Music Center has come and gone…just like that.

So what and how did I do?

Decently-packed store today, good to see some familiar faces and meet new ones. Also got to see from friends that I’d not seen in at least 20 years, so that was cool. Strangely, when I play intimate settings, I am more nervous because everyone is really watching me. I can hear all my mistakes but if they can’t, then fine by me!

Started off with “316” by Van Halen and then proceeded to do Jeff Beck’s “Greensleeves” as always. Played “Amazing Grace” (Steve Vai version) a lot better than last time, and that made me proud. Chucked in “I Want You(She’s So Heavy)” by The Beatles and then segues nicely into “Blackbird” but it wasn’t planned that way. Just seemed to flow nicely.

The real doozy was my little tribute to Allan Holdsworth. I know that his playing alone is a nightmare to even attempt to recreate, so I did the best with the hands I’ve got. Wish I had his eight-fret stretch but so be it. Did bits of “Tokyo Dream” into “Road Games” into some “Metal Fatigue”. I was literally sweating! And then I capped it off with a VERY loose modal chord thing kinda like “Sixteen Men Of Tain” to end it (and prevent myself from having further anxiety!) I may not have nailed his stuff well but I gave it the ol’ college try.

Also did some Hendrix with a nod to Robin Trower, as well as some Al DiMeola-ish stuff and a rendition of “Eruption” by Van Halen (again!) Ended the set with the Steve Vai version (again!!) of “Christmas Time Is Here”. Not sure how that was received but I doubt anyone heard it played quite like that.

Almost forgot: I did a bit of “Purple Rain” and then surprised everyone with the intro to “When Doves Cry”. I think that shocked everyone 🙂

Not only did I have a good time playing, but the store did QUITE well with sales! That’s the key to me doing Small Business Saturday for A&M Music: If Mr. Maisano made some nice sales, then it was a tremendous success. And that’s all I could really ask for.

Even if I played cheap versions of Holdsworth licks!