Watch Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen perform Iron Maiden's Wasted Years at their debut Smith/Kotzen gig

Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen
(Image credit: Tom Bachonski/YouTube)

Adrian Smith and Richie Kotzen took to the stage for their first-ever live gig as Smith/Kotzen last night (January 20) at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California.

As well as hearing debut live performances of tracks from the pair’s self-titled debut album those in attendance were also treated to a rendition of the 1986 Iron Maiden classic, Wasted Years.

Thanks to a few eagle-eyed attendees, plenty of up-close-and-personal footage from the gig has made its way online, meaning we get to see Smith roll back the years and – with the help of his new bandmate – revisit the track he originally wrote.

With his Jackson X Series signature guitar in hand, Smith can be seen reeling off the intro’s open-string motif, before taking up the lead vocal baton that had previously been held by his Iron Maiden bandmate Bruce Dickinson.

As per the original, a return to the opening melody precedes Smith’s solo – a fiery tour of the E minor pentatonic scale and surrounding area that culminates in some flashy bends and a dive on the whammy bar.

There’s no room for a Kotzen solo, which perhaps feels like a missed opportunity – having the pair trade open-string licks, or maybe harmonize a run or two, could have provided a neat addition to the track.

Joining Smith and Kotzen onstage was Kotzen’s wife and bass player Julia Lage, whose credits include the Latin Grammy-nominated Brazilian rock band Barra De Saia. A selection of videos from the concert can be found below.

Last year, Smith and Kotzen teamed up to release their self-titled debut effort, which was followed up with a four-track EP titled, Better Days

Smith/Kotzen have five more dates in the US as part of their current tour, in a run that will see them play Les Vegas, San Diego, Morro Bay, Ventura and Roseville between the January 23 and 28.

After that, they will head over to the UK to play a string of cities across February and March.

For a full list of tour dates, visit the Smith/Kotzen website.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.