Rodrigo y Gabriela

What a show!

The concert was more like a day at the footie (from what I see on the news and hear about 🙂 ). They were exhorting each section of the crowd to clap to a certain beat, or en-masse (not that we needed any encouragement to clap to every rhythm, and hoot and holler), had their Mexican fan club who were waving flags, and they tossed out soccer balls at the end.

That’s not to say the music wasn’t magnificent. For just the two of them, with two guitars, they filled the room and evoked the same volume back from the audience. Gabriela focuses more on the rhythm, using the whole body of the guitar, with that complex right-hand work, while Rodrigo plays that wonderful fusion of jazz/latin/rock/metal melodic lines.

Of course, the crowning moment was Stairway to Heaven. Rodrigo had just come back from a quick break (while Gabriela had been showing off her solo chops), and he started throwing out riffs to the audience while she left the stage for a break. After a while, he started into the opening bars, to explosive applause, weaving in various flamenco-ey embellishments and riffed around until Gabriela came back. At that point they started into the song’s heavier middle section and the audience erupted into cheers.

The light show was very good, too. It consisted mainly of the black drop, with a mesh of white spots in fog, or a plain back wash of red or blue with some wandering spots. Over the colours, they overlayed black and white mini-cam output at something like 12 fps, from guitar mounted cameras, or from fixed ones close in to the pair. You saw a strobe-like version of the amazingly fast hand movements as they played, to great effect.

By the way, Gabriela is apparently much more the metal fan. She was making the horns at the end of most songs. She also talks to the audience more, while Rodrigo gets up and stalks the stage, waving us into clapping or chanting.

The audience was also filled with Pink Floyd tragics. At one point, Rodrigo started a set of chord changes that I didn’t immediately recognise. As I did, there came a swell of singing from the crowd as people burst into the words of Wish You Were Here. They sang the entire song without a loss of beat, while RyG continued to play.

This was an amazing show. I immediately urge all who couldn’t make it, and have the CDs, to put them on and turn them up to 11. If you don’t have them, go and buy them. Now.

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