Former metal heads turned flamenco rock sensation, Rodrigo y Gabriela took to the stage at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall this weekend, mesmerising fans as they plucked their way through 1 hour and 45 minutes of pure unadulterated music gold.
Having not played Birmingham for two years now, fans were eager to hear both new and old favourites from the duo. The pair wanted to do something different with this tour though and as such came with no pre-ordained set list, but instead invited fans to shout out requests which they played with zeal.
A melting pot of flamenco, jazz and metal, the audience was left with gaping jaws as Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero battled through hits like Tamacun, Diablo Rojo, Russian Messenger and Hanuman. With their roots in heavy metal and of course Birmingham being the epicenter, the pair delighted the audience with their own renditions of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, Metallica’s Orion and Black Sabbath’s War Pigs. The pinnacle of the evening for me though was their version of Radiohead’s Creep which really did cause a few goosebumps.
Due to the nature of the venue, the evening felt more like An Audience With…. which wasn’t a bad thing at all, promoting the pair to talk to the audience, something which they don’t normally do, not in this much depth anyway. Six fans received an early Christmas present when Rodrigo plucked them out of the audience to join them on the stage. Feeling a little star stuck from the looks of things, the six sat on the stage, watching their idols intently, Rodrigo as he showcased his solo skills and Gabriela who demonstrated such incredible rhythm. With a camera atop each of their numerous guitars fans could actually watch up-close how furiously their fingers moved across the strings. Sometimes I don’t think even the camera could keep up with the sheer ferocity of movements.
A truly spectacular evening and one that will stay with me for a long time, if you ever get chance to see Rodrigo y Gabriela whether on the festival circuit or on tour make sure you do. It’s one of those sights (and sounds) that just had to be experienced.