Rodrigo y Gabriela hit the Beacon Theater to begin a three show run at the iconic venue, the first date of a large world tour in support of their new album 9 Dead Alive.
The energy was palpable outside the Beacon on a beautiful spring day in anticipation of the dynamic duo’s near legendary live set. As soon as Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero took the stage the large room took on an electric charged feeling which stayed for the duration of the nearly two hour jam fest.
The set list was heavy on the new album for most of the show, which did not disappoint with it’s many different tempos and intricate guitar work. The pair took turns addressing the crowd with anecdotes and stories about music. Early on, Rodrigo mentioned that they are not used to playing seated venues and urged everyone to stand up and let loose, when most didn’t comply he joked that they were playing ten more minutes and were out! Shortly after the crowd rose and mostly stayed that way, which was so much more liberating and free as this is music you need to dance to.
The last forty-five minutes of the gig were not “planned” or on a set list but brought out some classic tunes of theirs such as “Tamacun”, which was in the pilot episode of the hit series Breaking Bad. Also hit a home run with a sing along version of the Radiohead classic “Creep”. Each took the stage for impressive and varied solos and was amazed at the simplicity of the setup, two acoustic guitars and a few pedals. They play their own “drums” on the guitars which oddly enough can produce many different tones of percussion. It really was a treat to watch the wizard like precision in which they create the many different sounds all while hammering out chords and sizzling laser like soloing.
You can’t put these two amazing guitarists in any one category, but I heard tones of Metallica and Led Zeppelin in some of the ridiculous solos as well as the obvious Flamenco roots. Their years in Ireland has also brought a Celtic feel at times which when mixed with their proud Mexican heritage washes away anything but the music, and the music is great.
Rodrigo y Gabriela is on tour following the Beacon stint and I urge you to catch what is sure to become one of the more exciting acts of the year.
Article and Photos by Shayne Hanley