Wednesday, July 10, 2013

rodrigo y gabriela show a fresh familiarity at edgefield

A glowing Gabriela at Edgefield on July 6th.
Rodrigo y Gabriela's latest Portland appearance was back to the basics—mostly.

After sharing the Schnitzer stage in 2012 with a five-piece band—a Cuban orchestra dubbed C.U.B.A. (Collective Universal Band Association)—following the release of Area 52, Rod y Gab took the outdoor stage in their most impressive form—as a duo—at Edgefield on Saturday, July 6th. And while opener and C.U.B.A. collaborator Alex Wilson briefly joined the pair on piano, the performance was chiefly the familiar ol' Rod y Gab show we've come to adore—mostly.

Last time in town, the music was full of new sounds but the songs weren't—every one was simply a re-envisioned take on material from the duo's self-titled record and 11:11. But this time, the setlist featured quite the offering of new material. Being only the second date of the tour, Rodrigo mentioned that they'd just come from the studio and were ready to show off songs from the forthcoming album.

As for what was the same:

You could picture Rod y Gab getting pumped up backstage as Rage's f-bomb-filled "Killing in the Name" blared before the set. This was followed by Tool's "The Pot," which meant the duo was ready to take the stage.

Pure power.
After opening the set seated for a new tune, "Hanuman" was the first opportunity for Rod y Gab to strut their stuff, showing off the power metal stance they've both perfected.

As the natural light waned, the pair glowed, and (because I had the luxury of standing literally right underneath them while snapping photos for the first three songs) you could see the subtle, silent cues—speaking volumes with just their eyes—and not only to each other but also the audience. As Gabriela got into the groove, rapping her knuckles with more and more intensity, a brief respite would see her looking out into the crowd with a joyous, childlike smile while she yipped and bounced about the stage, one arm raised, finger pointing skyward.

A tiny hint of "Stairway To Heaven" started off Rod's solo bit. The crowd wanted it so he kept going with the Latin-ized Zeppelin before (intentionally) botching it and mouthing: "I don't remember."

Read the rest and see more photos on OMN.

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