[pullquote quote=”There was little use of the microphone aside from a couple of scat bursts from the bass player and enthusiastic f-bomb laden explanations from the title duo.” credit=”Frank E. Lee”]It was an amazing display of technical mastery and a joyous celebration of music last night at a sold-out XRT show at the Chicago Theatre. Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero started their twisty musical journey playing thrash metal in Mexico, moved to some street gigs in Ireland where they got a business break from Damien Rice and ended up on the storied boards of State street with a crack 6 piece band of Cubans (and near Cubans according to Mr. Sanchez’ introduction.) There was a solid core of Latin/Gypsy flamenco fury that informed every song, but that was only the starting point for excursions into psychedelic rock, pop, folk, jazz and metal.

Rod Y Gab, who were working with a band for the first time since their heavy days, shared the stage by themselves for the middle part of the show, strumming and plucking the strings and banging their guitars  all the while leaping about and pacing around with the kind of choreography that only comes with supreme confidence and telepathic rapport.

There was little use of the microphone aside from a couple of scat bursts from the bass player, some chanting from the horn section and enthusiastic f-bomb laden backsells and explanations in somewhat broken english from the title duo. (Stage announcements are hard!)

There were one or two slow numbers played while seated in front of the Marshall stack, but most of the set list was played at blinding speed with perfect timing. A large screen portrayed real-time footage of the show, standard procedure now for big arena concerts, and it worked like a charm in the cozy confines of the Chicago Theatre, allowing close up views of amazing fretwork and blissed out facial expressions and even a Joshua Light Show type liquid display. It was filmed in glorious, grainy black and white in the style of a vintage documentary of a fantastic performance for the ages, which indeed, it was. Opener Bobby Long played a short but powerful set of acoustic tunes and even complimented us on our nice lake.

Rodrigo y Gabriela Live From Studio X

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