Watch Mateus Asato shred while John Petrucci lays down the funk

Mateus Asato and John Petrucci jamming on stage
(Image credit: Mateus Asato/Instagram)

Back in 2021, John Petrucci assembled an all-star cast of electric guitar heroes to take part in his Guitar Universe 3.0 guitar camp, which was billed as “four days and nights of performing, shredding and intense rock ‘n’ roll”.

Among those recruited by Trooch were Animals As Leaders’ Tosin Abasi, Megadeth’s Kiko Loureiro and Born Of Osiris’s Jason Richardson, as well as Dave LaRue, Mike Mangini, Andy Wood and Rena Petrucci.

Mateus Asato was also on the bill, and now Instagram’s foremost neo-soul shredder has shared a throwback clip from the camp, which sees Petrucci lay down the funk while Asato unleashes six-string fury on his fretboard.

Armed with his Suhr Standard Legacy BK, Asato receives sonic support from an Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty-wielding Petrucci, who busies himself with some throaty rhythm riffs, percussive palm muted strums and extended chord progressions.

Asato is therefore given free rein to start his solo passage with sustained slides before venturing into a handful of Trooch-approved scale licks. The ante is well and truly upped soon after, with Asato diving into his big bag of tricks for face-melting licks, whammy-laden lead lines and hammer-on and pull-off passages that effortlessly migrate up and down the fretboard.

In the throwback post, Asato recalled, “Around one year ago I had the honor to share the stage with one of my biggest influences as a player. John Petrucci was kind enough to ask me to be part of his guitar camp – and we ended up jamming in the end. 

“That was my first performance since 2020 and that was unforgettable to me,” he continued. “Also how stupid of me trying to play all these notes knowing that John had played them all – and 10 times better and prettier than my way?

“This encounter has changed my life. John isn’t only a tremendous player and composer but a phenomenal person. Thanks for having me.”

Petrucci soon responded to Asato's throwback, commenting on the video, “We really had an unforgettable time that week Mateus and I’m the lucky one for having you grace us with your beautiful playing. Truly inspiring and such a pleasure to finally meet you and get to share the stage together.”

Prior to the event, the pair met virtually to discuss the Guitar Universe 3.0, in which Petrucci praised Asato for his “beautiful” playing.

“I’m super excited to have you do this,” he said at the time. “I’ve done two camps already and we’ve had some of the greatest players in the world join me as guest instructors. We’re looking to change things up a little bit and add some different people in, and your name came up immediately.

“Thanks for doing this and I can’t wait to see you play in person,” he continued. “Your playing is beautiful and awesome. What a player you are. You have a gift.”

Since returning from his Instagram hiatus earlier this year, Asato has been plenty busy on social media. As well as covering ABBA, The Beatles, Leonard Cohen and Tears For Fears, he’s also published new music in the form of new song, The Cure.

Asato will take part in another guitar camp next year – though not with Petrucci – after it was announced he would be a guest tutor for Joe Satriani’s G4 V6.0 Experience.

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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.