Rodrigo y Gabriela at the London PalladiumCultureMusicLive music
It’s been two years since the Mexican acoustic guitar duo last performed in London at the Royal Albert Hall. As well as having their songs featured in hit movies including Shrek, Pirates of the Caribbean, Puss in Boots and in a pilot episode of Breaking Bad, the long-time friends have played alongside Beyoncé at the White House State Dinner with Mexico in 2010. With their music, these musicians stick to their roots, acknowledging the large influence heavy metal has had on their work, and they are also in the midst of creating a new album that acknowledges the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa in 2014.
As this was their first time playing in the London Palladium, in a relaxed seven-minute conversation with the audience, Rodrigo stated that he’s not used to performing in venues with chairs, and especially those that are mounted to the floor. He prefers a more open space, where people can dance and be free. Sure enough, dance and be free is exactly what last night’s crowd did.
The Mexican guitarists started with the first song from their album 9 Dead Alive, entitled The Soundmaker. The stage was dark, except for a hazy red backdrop and four small but dazzling lights. Rodrigo y Gabriela don’t need much though, demonstrating how the minimalist vibe of their set induces you to focus solely on their music.
Following the opener, Misty Moses began playing and there wasn’t a single moment during the entire show that the audience wasn’t up on its feet, jumping, clapping, going wild over the duo’s magical hands, which moved at a speed faster than light. They ended with Tamacun, one of their most popular songs, and a reminder of what makes them so captivating.
Rodrigo y Gabriela put on a show that not only was amazing to watch, but was interactive and appropriate for all ages and all people. Despite admitting to a lack of a set list and not remembering many of the songs that they write, the pair feed so well off each other that it’s impossible to tell. Their style of performance works for them and ultimately, as Rodrigo said, “we are not here because we are the fucking stars of the night”. Instead, they are there to play for a group of people with whom they can share every second of their magical journey.
Photos: Connor Picken
For further information about Rodrigo y Gabriela and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Tamacun here: