Two guitars, no lyrics, packed house...live at UC Berkeley
Updated: Jan 17
Rodrigo y Gabriela, the classical guitar duo from Mexico, play their acoustic guitars in a no frills stage set up. No fancy lights or slide shows. No drums, bass or keys to be found. In their music, you can hear influences by a number of genres from Metal to Flamenco. They first broke into the music scene in Dublin, Ireland whilst they were living for eight years. Rodrigo Y Gabriela have released five studio albums, three live albums and one EP. In 2011, they collaborated with Hans Zimmer on the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides soundtrack. They also worked on the soundtrack for Puss in Boots, and Shrek. They've even performed at The White House for President Barack Obama.
Rodrigo Sánchez (born 1974) and Gabriela Quintero (born 1973) grew up in middle-class families in Mexico City. Their parents listened to flamenco, jazz, and rock music, but they were both exposed to heavy metal, like Metallica, which proved influential to their sound.
This is the third time I've seen them perform and they never fall flat. They played for 90 minutes, strumming their guitars as if it was sped up in fast motion. One can hardly see their hands as they are blurred in front of the instrument. Gabriela uses her guitar as a drum at the same time, whilst strumming in a very unique manner that you probably won't ever seen duplicated by anyone else. Together Rodrigo Y Gabriela provide a chemistry on stage that is rare.
The duo have been a romantic couple since they were in their teens, but they decided to call it quits as a couple in 2012, and are now simply a musical duo performing on the stage and writing and recording music together. Romantic ties or not Rodrigo Y Gabriela have a chemistry together that comes through in their music. The first time I saw them it reminded of a passionate lovemaking session with guitars rather than bodies. Extraordinary and unique to say the least.
As far as the audience goes....that night in Berkeley they drew a demographic of all ages, and walks of life. All cultures, ethnicities and age groups were represented from 15-80! And the audience was in its glory riding on the passion of these two musicians. At one point the duo did some Pink Floyd and other popular songs. And they played them flawlessly. I'm sure Roger Waters would've been very proud of their interpretation. Truly beautiful sight and sounds abound in the UC Theatre at Berkeley that evening! Although I may prefer singer songwriters, and rocking tunes with lyrics...these two never disappoint and I would for sure see them next time they roll into town. Two thumbs up for Rodrigo Y Gabriela.