Thursday, December 14, 2006
Rodrigo y Gabriela at the Savoy
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, under no circumstances should the mystical powers of a chicken baguette be underestimated and so it was that last Monday evening I found myself with an unexplainable longing for one of Abrakebabra’s finest. I reckon that one should always give into one’s whimsical notions now and again so, in an impromptu moment of madness, I concluded that the only course of action open to me was to jump into the car and go and get one. After a brief trip into town, I found a parking space and headed on foot for Abrakebabra on Patrick Street.
As I passed by the Savoy, I was slightly bemused to notice that it was open on a Monday evening and that there seemed to be a lot of people milling about. Suddenly I remembered that Rodrigo y Gabriela were playing that evening and, as I had always wanted to see them play, I decided to chance my arm and wander over in the slightly mad hope that there might be some tickets available on the door. Fortunately, my luck was in and after parting with a cool €30, I was on my way!
Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero are two incredibly talented Mexican guitarists who met as teenagers in Mexico City. In 1999, the decided to head for Europe and landed in Dublin where they ended up busking, playing at weddings and corporate functions and anything that came their way. Eventually, they became better known, got better gigs, travelled around Europe and the rest, as they say, is history. Their latest album went to number one in Ireland, they’ve appeared on “Later with Jools Holland” on BBC2 recently and are scheduled to perform on David Letterman’s show in the USA next week. Not bad for a couple of wayward Mexicans who started out busking on the streets of Dublin!
Anyway, back to the concert. Prior to that evening I had never actually even heard any music by Rodrigo y Gabriela but I had read a lot about them and while I was excited by the prospect I wasn’t 100% sure of what to expect. The Savoy was absolutely packed and the duo were greeted with a rapturous applause when they took to the stage. What followed was a blissful two hours of unbelievable music that completely blew me away. I love going into a gig with no idea of what to expect only for it to turn out to be something mind-blowingly amazing. Musically, it was a virtuoso performance by two exceptionally talented musicians who obviously love what they do.
The first thing to strike me was the variety and range of sounds that I was hearing, I had to constantly remind myself that these were just two people with guitars as the skill with which they also employed them as percussion instruments to produce sounds beyond the normal range of an acoustic guitar was staggering. The second aspect of their playing that left me totally awestruck was the incomparable manual dexterity being engaged to produce their music. The large video screens in the Savoy really allowed the audience to appreciate the skilfulness of these musicians and at times I just found myself gawking open-mouthed and thinking that what I was seeing was simply impossible. I unequivocally enjoyed every track they played from their masterful rendition of the classic jazz tune “Take Five” to their captivating heavy metal covers, all of which were enthused with their own inimitable Latin magic. If you ever get a chance to see them play, don’t pass it up.
Finally, for those of you that care, I eventually managed to get my hands on a chicken baguette after the concert and it was absolutely yummy. On the other hand, that was after a very strange bunch of French people who were giving away free sandwiches with French sausage on Patrick Street tried to fob off their wares upon me... if anyone knows what the frick that was all about, I’d love to know!
Links to this post: