Rodrigo y Gabriela at Melomania
Rodrigo y Gabriela boast a musical partnership of nearly 20 years, having delighted audiences worldwide with their signature rock and flamenco-influenced guitar duets, not to mention several notable covers. Their musical chemistry and instrumental prowess make them, as one might expect, an act best experienced live. Though usually expected on massive stages, the Mexican duo took a short break from their packed tour schedule to take part in the Richer Sounds Richer Unsigned series, resulting in an electric set in one of the most intimate of settings.
Performing exclusively at Cambridge Audio’s Melomania space meant a reduced setlist to a crowd of approximately 100; however, there was no shortage of showstoppers (not to mention the excellent audio quality). Perhaps this was more akin to their humble origins on the busking scene, making the show even more charming. Mettavolution, the band’s fifth studio album, was showcased in near entirety, starting with the upbeat Krotona Days. It was instantly a masterclass in musicianship, with Gabriela setting an impressive pace on rhythm guitar and Rodrigo on lead electric. The speed and elaborateness of some of their shredding was, frankly, hard to believe – evidently the result of years and years of perfecting.
Continuing with tracks such as Witness Tree and the rockier Mettavolution, the evening had a more spontaneous feel than most, with the duo deliberating between tracks and getting a real feel for the crowd. Refreshingly free-flowing, they disclosed that they don’t even turn up to soundchecks anymore, “so things are never boring”. The highlight of the night, however, was a creative and breathtaking reimagining of Pink Floyd’s Echoes – all 20-odd minutes of it. From the classic motifs to experimental futuristic progression midway through, they held every bit of attention – especially when rocking out together.
Often, modern songs are expected to consist of music and lyrics in perfect harmony. But Rodrigo y Gabriela – with their impossibly flawless sync – are proof that an entire room can still be transfixed by pure music and rhythm. Just two individuals equipped with their guitars and sheer passion, they were minimalistic and yet highly decorative at the same time. Some fans may have been disappointed by the limited selection and the omission of their best-known hit Tamacun, but consider it a teaser for the tour and you’ll soon realise the pair have deliberately left the crowd craving more.
Photos: Arianna Cavalensi
For further information and future events visit Rodrigo y Gabriela’s website here.
Watch the video for Mettavolution here: