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RODRIGO Y GABRIELA
Shepherd's Bush Empire, London
metal duo Rodrigo y Gabriela continue to prove that they really are a
sensation by selling out The Empire for five consecutive nights, and
this a year after they last played London in support of the 11:11 album.
Only now are the mainstream press latching on to what a lot of fans have
clearly known for a long time now.
This, the last night of the run, was full to capacity and contained fans
new and old. Support came from Testament's Alex Skolnick (who had
guested on the 11:11 album), his 3 piece band featuring an upright bass
and providing a stripped down more jazz oriented sound. He seemed to go
down pretty well, and provided an interesting take on Judas Priest's
Gabriela came on and the roar went up, and they started playing
while facing each other. As the sound built, the playing styles soon
becomes apparent; Rodrigo providing the fast intricate guitar solos and
Gabriela the fast yet rhythmic six string (and guitar body thumping)
Early up was Hanuman, the band's tribute to Carlos Santana, and the
Hendrix inspired Buster Voodoo is another favourite. Acoustic guitars
have never been so full bodied or so captivating. This is full on rock
music, with some neat metal picking; remember the pair were once in a
thrash band together, it's just now the axe is acoustic.
fairly energetic, fluctuating between moving around to sitting on the
semicircle of crates laid out. Either way, plenty of foot stomping to
match the nodding heads.
Throughout the set both took turns to talk to the crowd, taking time to
show their appreciation of the audience. Equally, solos were traded, and
guitar moods and paces changed too. 11:11, Ixtapa and Juan Loco all went
down well, but up to this point the sound had been more restrained than
I have seen in the past.
It was only when
Skolnick joined the band for Atman that things started to pick up. At
the end of a 5 night run it is more than understandable, and the music
was certainly passionate enough to bring the audience to life. The real
rousers were, of course Diablo Rojo and Tamacun which closed the show.
By then the entire venue was on its feet.
Despite the slow start and the lack of any covers, this was still a very
fine show that entranced rock fans, guitar head and music lovers in
Set list: Intro/Hanuman - inspired by Carlos Santana/ Vikingman/ Satori/
Buster Voodoo' - inspired by Jimi Hendrix/ Triveni Chac Mool - inspired
by Jorge Reyes, the Mexican composer who combined traditional Mexican
Instrumentation with new technology. Reyes died in February 2009/ Hora
Zero - Inspired by Argentine tango composer and bandoneon virtuoso Astor
Piazzola/ 11:11 - inspired by Pink Floyd/ Ixtapa/ Gabriela's Solo/ Juan
Loco/ Atman - inspired by Dimebag Darrell (with Alex Skolnick)/
Rodrigo's solo/ Savitri - inspired by John McLaughlin and Zakir
Hussian's ground breaking 1970's world fusion ensemble Shakti / Diablo
Photos by Noel Buckley
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