Rodrigo y Gabriela rock the first of two sold-out shows at The Belly Up, in a night of dynamic duos.
Warming up the crowd for Rodrigo y Gabriela was the Irish acoustic guitar and drum bundle of Ryan Sheridan. Their full sound of fast-paced guitar strokes and dynamic drum licks gave you a taste of what is to follow. The night had you asking; what exactly is a bass player?
With a tour spanning from Budapest to San Diego, the guitar pair Rodrigo y Gabriela played their final performances from a 52-show tour before heading back to their home town of Mexico City, Mexico. Showing no signs of fatigue, it was a guitar flurry played with fury in a hurry; their style of flamenco rumba had you making an approving face that the scent of stinky cheese while eating candy, the “Oh yeah, thats awesomely bad.” The intertwining guitars rumble, tumble, and muddle the senses, forcing you to stomp your feet along with Gabriela’s guitar smacks that mimic a drum. The performance paints a picture of bulls forcing their way through a crowded forest. The dynamic sound created by Rodrigo and Gabriela create with only the two members is more complete than some seven-piece bands.
The audience was highly involved, clapping and stomping to the beat, cheering at every moment they could, and even joining the stage; turning the stage into a dance floor. Although most of the setlist was of the blistering rhythm of flamenco, there were signs of delicacy. All eyes were fixated on Gabriela as she elegantly picked and ripped through her solo rendition “Aula Magna”. The gradual build had everyone soaking in silence before dipping into a funk that forced everyone to smack their hands together.
Shying away from their originals, Rodrigo confesses—with his Spanish accent—an idea that has probably been on his mind all night, “We’re going to play some fucking metal”. The duo shreds flamenco fire of Megadeath’s “Holy Wars” as they inconspicuously transitioning right into Metallica’s “Orion” proceeding to slay “From Whom the Bell Tolls” giving the night some extra grit.
Ending the night with appreciative thank-you’s to the audience and their stellar sound crew— addressing the crew by their full names— gave the night the intimacy that we have come to expect from The Belly Up.