Rodrigo y Gabriela at House of Blues, 7/21/2013
I've never been huge on the metal genre, always appreciative of what those musicians do, but never adapting my ears to the music's volume and intensity. Strap two acoustic guitars on some serious metal players, though, and the story changes.
Rodrigo y Gabriela found their musical roots performing black metal in Mexico before they ever thought of giving it a try as an acoustic duo. Thankfully, they did make the switch and after many successful years of touring they made their way to the big stage at House of Blues Sunday night.
The duo of Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero met in the early '90s and eventually performed in a metal band together by the name of Tierra Acida. After moving around a bit, they finally found themselves halfway across the globe on the streets of Dublin, Ireland, busking to make a living and promote their music.
Gaining a great bit of notoriety in the Dublin scene after the release of their first record, Re-Foc, they started to get bigger and bigger gigs throughout Ireland and the rest of Europe. By the time their self-titled album came out in 2006 and became their first major commercial success in America, they had been selling out large venues abroad for years.
It was right about that time when the group had the chance to play some major U.S. festivals like Bonnaroo and Coachella, and their popularity spread like wildfire. I didn't get the chance to see Rod y Gab when they played HOB in September 2010, but I'm sure it was just as busy as it was Sunday night.
Arriving a bit early, to ensure parking since all the One Direction fans were taking up all of the spaces, an unexpected opener took the stage right at the designated 9 p.m. start time. I'm not going to lie, I was hoping Rod y Gab would be the only act that night, so I didn't pay much attention to the two dudes on stage. From what I could tell, it was some good folk-pop a la G. Love, but I only really listened to a song or two, not enough to warrant a proper review.
An hour later, a minute or two before 10 o'clock, the lights dimmed and Rodrigo y Gabriela happily took the stage. After a quick mistep due to some technical difficulties with Gabriela's guitar, they opened the show with a new tune followed quickly by "Diablo Roja" from their self-titled record. The crowd was clapping and stomping along almost immediately to the raucous guitar work of the skilled duo, which would become a common theme as the night went along.
Actually, I'm pretty sure the girl behind me clapped for the entire last 45 minutes of the show, an impressive feat in anyone's eyes but a bit annoying during the slow parts. At least she had good rhythm.