Concert Review: Rodrigo y Gabriela at Stubb’s

Rodrigo y Gabriela live at Stubb's (photo by Mari Hernandez)

RodGab. Oh, RodGab. The Mexican duo of Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero can blow away an audience without saying a word. Their most recent sold-out show at Stubb’s Saturday day was no different.

This time though, they brought along some friends. As part of their tour for their latest album, Area 52, they were accompanied by C.U.B.A, a 13 piece Cuban orchestra from Havana. The album is also Rodrigo y Gabriela’s first collaboration with other musicians.

The album’s nine tracks are re-interpretations of familiar songs: “Ixtapa,” “Juan Loco,” “Tamacun,” and “Diablo Rojo” from 2006’s Rodrigo y Gabriela and “Hanuman,” “11:11,” “Santo Domingo,” “Logos,” and “Master Marqui” from 2009’s 11:11.

The result is outstanding. Horns, Saxophone, bass and drums combine with Rodrigo y Gabriela’s mind-bending guitar work to produce a funky, rock-tinged, Fania-inspired sound. One could even say that the collaboration opens up another way of experiencing their music. The result is one that must be seen live to get the full, high-energy effect.

As you can expect from their show, they immediately jump into the music. The whole set was a production, really. Halfway through, C.U.B.A leaves to let Rodrigo y Gabriela take the stage.

“It’s a pleasure for us to play for you tonight,” Gabriela said.

C.U.B.A. came back on stage to help finish the set, and the duo dedicated “11:11” to their crew. Given the cheers coming from the audience, there was no doubt that they were thinking it was a pleasure to hear them play.

Live photos by Mari Hernandez.

Angela Maldonado

Senior Editor - Angela Maldonado hails from Selena Town, aka Corpus Christi, but has made Austin her home since 2002. Her background is in journalism and radio, formerly serving as a producer for NPR’s Latino USA. In her stint with the show, she interviewed some awesome bands and had a nice chat with Joan Jett. In her previous life as a media gypsy, Angela wrangled huge inflatables on radio remotes, ran live broadcasts, promoted books and worked as an editorial assistant at the Austin American-Statesman.

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