Michael Angelo Batio in Chihuahua, Chih. August 23, 2016

Yesterday was the opening of a new musical instruments store here in Chihuahua (Northern Mexico). They called it Guitar World and it's the very first time we have had a store like this here. They carry Dean, Jackson, Charvel, Schecter, Fender, Ibanez. You name it. Also Marshalls, Vox, Orange and a lot of other cool brands.

Anyway the onwer figured that he need to start with something big so he booked Michael Angelo Batio, along with Elliott Rubinson (bass player extraordinary and owner of Dean Guitars and DW Drums) to come and do a clinic.

Turns out, way more people than they figured showed up. Every guitar player in town, and pretty much everyone who plays in a rock band locally figured, hey why not?. I saw people I haven't seen in years. All together in the same place.

With so much people, they got rid of the clinic concept pretty fast and went for a full on concert on the parking lot outside of the store. They started way later than they had announced but nobody really complained. They actually used gear from the store. A couple of Marshall half stacks for MAB and an Ampeg for Mr. Elliott. Also, they obviously only played Dean guitars.

Now let me tell you guys. I have never been the biggest fan around of MAB. Extreme technique bores me to tears if there's no song around, and his tone for what I have seen on youtube vids and the like has always seemed cold and lifeless to me. But yesterday was fun. As in really fun.

He did his whole bunch of tributes. A Randy Rhoads one (Crazy Train and Mr. Crowley) a Metallica one (For whom the bell tolls, master, sanitarium, sandman) a Pantera one, a Led Zep one, and a lot of stories between each song, like how it was hanging out with Dimebag or with the Metallica guys in sunset blvd. He also obviously played No Boundaries and of course, his double neck guitar.

He was funny, and a little crazy. He obviously loves what he does, and his technique is obviously something to behold.

What really surprised me was his tone. I don't know if it was the Marshalls, or the pedals he was using, but it was truly excellent. His Zep tones were spot on, and I totally wasn't expecting that. Either his tone improved a 1000 times, this wasn't his usual setup, or the you tube videos don't do justice to his live sound at all.

After the mini concert there was a meet and greet inside the store. The lines were pretty long and I needed to get home, so I didn't stay. He took pictures with everybody and signed old Nitro cassettes and MAB cds, as well as guitars as long as they were of the Dean brand.

Cool sidenote: Because of the way the event was prepared, people were walking all over the place, even behind the stage while MAB an Elliott were playing. Turns out, right when I was standing behind MAB checking on his amps, he turns around and says that he needs someone to take a picture with his cellphone. He spots me and tells me, hey you, come up to the stage!

So up I go and I take a pic of him and Elliot with all the crowd behind. That was cool. But apparently nobody took a pic of me doing it so I don't have that to keep. I have been getting texts all morning from friends that saw me up there. Hopefully he'll upload the pics to his FB so I can write in them "hey, I took those!!" hehehe.


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