Rodrigo y Gabriela at the Forum
Rodrigo y Gabriela’s excellent concert at The Forum made everyone forget London and its cold weather for an hour and a half. The Mexican duo clearly loves playing and showed it by delivering a powerful performance to thank the fans who attended the final sold-out show of their tour.
Shifting from old tunes to newer material, the two-piece played their hearts out in front of an enthusiastic audience, some of whom were so excited that they often were told to quieten down. The musicians were no less animated, though, as they were passionately playing to the point of breaking all of the five guitars available for the show. Gabriela was particularly intense, almost blending with her instrument to become as one; such was her dedication to make it sound as good as possible.
The most upbeat songs, influenced by wildly differing styles such as Irish traditional music and heavy metal (as in Hanuman), entertained the public in an irresistible urge to move to the rhythm and were the focus of the performance. However, there were some more slow-paced melodies too, like Chac Mool, and such tracks brought about the feeling that if all the fans closed their eyes, they might as well have been strolling down a narrow street in a typical Mexican barrio during a hot summer. 11:11, for instance, has a typical Spanish-like feel, reminiscent of classic folklore tunes, yet adapted for a modern audience, as a beer bottle was turned into an instrument, creating distorted sounds.
Halfway through the concert, pianist Alex Wilson featured as a special guest; the three musicians played previously released tracks that have been recently reinterpreted for Rodrigo y Gabriela’s album Area 52, recorded with the C.U.B.A. orchestra. An interesting collaboration indeed, but the two Mexican musicians really don’t require any additional support; their skill alone can enthral any audience.
Sometimes no words are needed to make good, meaningful music. It may take a musical ear to be able to tell one song from another, but when it comes to entertainment, Rodrigo y Gabriela are hard to beat.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
To find out more about Rodrigo y Gabriela, click here.
Watch a live performance of Hanuman here: