Rodrigo y Gabriela

Rodrigo y Gabriela: acoustic rock stars?I tried to think of something witty to write about Rodrigo y Gabriela, somehow tying them to wine in some tangential way as a flimsy excuse to blog about them in these vinous pages.

But what the hell. I can’t remember the last time a performance made my jaw drop like this one. Buskers from Mexico City by way of Dublin, Rodrigo and Gabriela squeeze every last sound out of two acoustic guitars: lyrical picados, thunderous rasgueados, pulsing, primial cajónista percussion. It’s like flamenco crossed with ranchera crossed with raw rock ‘n roll. Check out their blistering performance on Letterman, or check out the video they’ve got posted on their site. They’re playing the Portland Zoo series August 31st.

See you there, vato!

[UPDATE: quick review of the concert in the comments] 

3 comments

3 Comments so far

  1. Ziraud September 3rd, 2007 11:27 am

    ¡Magnífico! An amazing evening with two people thoroughly into what they’re doing. E and I got (by sheer luck) great seats just above stage right:

    Rod & Gab chez Zoo

    A blurry cellphone pic, to be sure, but check out the image behind them. They had tiny cameras at their feet AND attached to the ends of their guitars, which someone cut back and forth between – a completely cool effect, especially considering how much of their action is on the fretboad, from picking to rhythm. The lower angle on Gabriela, head tossed back and fingers flying, couldn’t be more rock and roll.

    At one point, Rodrigo remarked that they’d never played a venue with kids before (“so I probably shouldn’t say things like ‘fuck’… Fuck.”) And to be sure, their act isn’t a mellow evening of Spanish guitar stylings suitable for the whole suburban family. An amalgam of the trash metal they grew up with and the street performances that kept them fed for years in Dublin, their performance is stocked with Metallica, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd quotes. In fact, they led us through the first verse of “Wish You Were Here,” letting the audience do all the singing – not sure if the senior citizens in attendance chimed in, though.

    Near the end of the evening, Rodrigo said “okay, we’re going to dim the lights so you can get out your cellphones and make some fuckin’ video for fuckin’ YouTube.” (He says “fookin,” the only trace of his time in Ireland I could hear in his English.) Who am I not to do as the man says? Here’s the end of the concert (note to attorneys: so little music, so crappy the sound, so many the links to RodGab.com) for your wonderment.

    But I’m sure you’ll agree it’s no match for seeing them live, hombres.

  2. Ziraud September 5th, 2007 12:44 pm

    Looks like they’ve been lured back to PDX for a Halloween show at the Crystal Ballroom.

  3. Ziraud October 4th, 2007 9:00 am

    … which has now been cancelled, tragically. To see if they’ll be busking in a town near you, check their Tour page.