Rodrigo Y Gabriela
April 7, 2012
As the lights went down, the crowd cheered on the Latin guitarists
as they took the stage; and as soon as the first few riffs were heard, the
entire venue exploded with excitement. Not necessarily because the kick ass
guitar duo had just set foot on stage, but because their six-piece band started
playing riffs from the song “The Pot” by Tool. Seconds after people in the
crowd screaming “Oh my god! They're opening with Tool…” the fiery duo led the
dark riffs of Maynard into energetic salsa rock that had every one in the crowd
instantly shimmying and shaking.
Originally known as acoustic solo artists, the Mexico
natives have stepped up their game for their Spring tour. The duo has a full
Cuban ensemble, known as C.U.B.A, accompany them while on stage, which made
their performance last Saturday night nothing short of magical. When the
Flamenco rockers traveled to Cuba to record their new album, Area 52, they recorded with a 13-piece
band. Many critics and fans a like thought that the simplicity that made
Rodrigo Y Gabriela fascinatingly unique would get lost. However, the close to two-hour
set at the Palladium not only showcased how phenomenal the Latin rockers are,
but also demonstrated that they have taken their music to the next level.
Between Rodrigo Sanchez, Gabriela Quintero, and the members
of C.U.B.A the musicianship on stage was undeniable. Through out the entire
set, the music coming from the stage was oozing with greatness that not only
kept the audience entertained, but also kept them dancing. The members of the band doubled many of the leading rhythms in
each song, which amplified the duo's fiery energy. Trumpeter Amik
Guerra and saxophonist Leonardo Castellini Castillo often picked up
the central melodies and played them in conjunction with Rodrigo. Percussionist Bernald
Edwin Sanz Mijares doubled Gabriela on the percussive pieces making the beats
of each song powerful and exotic.
After hearing intricate guitar solos from Rodrigo and Gabriela
who incorporated psychedelic whines of the guitar mixed with song snippets from
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns n' Roses and Stevie Wonder, the lead pair gave
the spot light to members of C.U.B.A, who undoubtedly rocked the house. The
band proved multiple times through out the set that they could hold their own,
as they jammed for a good ten minutes as Rodrigo and Gabriela were off stage.
Toward the end of the show, Rodrigo addressed the crowd by
saying, “Is there anyone in here who loves metal? If so fucking show me!” As
the crowd let out a volatile cheer, he introduced the drummer from the band
White Zombie who accompanied Rodrigo, Gabriela and C.U.B.A on stage. For the
last fifteen minutes of the show, before the band went off for an encore, John Tempest contributed heavy drums to the flamenco rhythms and beats of
Rodrigo and Gabriela's music, which not only caused the crowd to go literally
insane, but also took the energy up a few notches.
Everything about the show was amazing: the
visuals, the music, the crowd and the energy. If Rodrigo Y Gabriela continue in
this direction, the dueling guitarists from Mexico will no longer have a small
name. The sold out performance at the Palladium on Saturday night proved that
the fiery Latin rockers have a bright road ahead of them.
The Crowd: Everyone was doing
their own, drunk, rendition of a salsa/rumba/ tango dance. It was definitely
Critics Bias: I've wanted to see
Rodrigo Y Gabriela for over two years, so to finally see them was amazing! It
was way better than I thought it would be.
Overheard in the
Crowd: “I LOVE TOOL!”
Random Notebook Dump:
To the “street meat” vendors out side of concert venues: $5 is too
expensive for a bacon wrapped hot dog, when you can get a full meal at In-N-Out for the same price.