Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Hollow Body: Rodrigo y Gabriela @ Stubb's BBQ, 9/3/10

September 6, 2010

Once upon a time, back in 2006, I was in the midst of a live music binge that would end up being the precipitating factor in starting this site. I think I went to 5 shows in a week, a bizarre mix of Bob Dylan, a Bridge School Benefit, She Wants Revenge, and Snoop Dogg. Back in those days, I had a boyfriend, and I would drag him to these shows. In return, he would drag me to his occasional show. From this, I learned that I will never ever ever date anyone with such different musical tastes; seeing Jack Johnson so many times in our 5 years was damaging.

Anyway, one of those shows during that binge was Gomez, and opening for them was Rodrigo y Gabriela. I remember being very impressed, and that after their set it was all downhill with Gomez. I had not seen them since, but knew that they’d become very popular, to the point of selling out Stubb’s this past Friday.

My concert buddy Mel happened to be visiting me for this show, and I was excited to take her to one of Austin’s most unique venues. We ate BBQ before, admittedly at Ironworks and not at Stubb’s (too crowded), before making our way into the crowd in search of a good spot to perch.

The previous evening we had been to the Austin Machete premier, so between that and this we were getting our Latin culture lesson. After what seemed like a long time to set up two guitars, the duo emerged on stage to an excitable crowd.

When you first see Rodrigo y Gabriela play, you tend to do two things: 1) look for a drummer hiding in the back and 2) become hypnotized by how fast their hands move. Their precision and speed, as well as the dynamic between the two and the rawness of their sound leave the audience mesmerized. There’s nothing to hide behind here- yet this isn’t a folk guitar jam band performance. Gabriela is often bouncing around like a rabbit, and Rodrigo moves around the stage as if dancing with the guitar. The two seem to almost be wind up toys in their movements.

Personally, I have trouble with instrumental sets- after the initial ‘wow these two are talented’ thing wears off, my mind starts to wander. But I come back into focus with their cover of ‘Orion’, which was introduced by Gabriela stating their admiration for Metallica.

My ears perked up again when Rodrigo played ‘Master of Puppets’ into ‘South of Heaven’ followed by Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’, which made me think of my last show here: Robert Plant.

Two drunken guys in front of us had been balancing their drinks on a rafter above us, and then would inexplicable hang their hands up on the rafter causing drinks to fall off onto unsuspecting bystanders’ heads more than once. I don’t think I’ll ever stand in this area again. We also had someone pass out flat on the ground next to us- it’s always interesting to watch what the crowd will do when this happens. There were way more drunk people at this show than at my typical metal show….or perhaps metalheads just handle their alcohol better.

Towards the end of the set, I overheard someone say, “this makes me want to pick up the guitar- but I know I’d never be this good’. This brought the entire set into perspective for me. There aren’t two people on stage playing classical pieces that were written ages ago. They are relevant and fresh, using an old method of delivery to present pieces inspired by new classics: Metallica, Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Hendrix, Pantera. They are also presenting their metal tinged guitar work to an audience that would probably not normally listen to those kinds of bands. Therefore, Rodrigo y Gabriela have carved out a unique space in the music world; something that’s so difficult to do these days. And even if I got bored at times, I appreciate their artistry.

As they closed with ‘Buster Voodoo’, I thought about Jimi Hendrix in relation to this duo, and how many different types of Guitar Gods there are.


  1. I just saw Rodrigo y Gabriela perform at Ravinia, outside of Chicago.
    They have some amazing recordings and experiencing them live, awesome!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

A New Level: Metallica, Pantera, and Mammoth VH @ SoFi Stadium Los Angeles, 8/25/23

“Now a new look in my eyes my spirit riseForget the pastPresent tense works and lastsGot shit on, pissed on,…

September 4, 2023

Gimme Danger: Iggy Pop & The Losers with Grace McKagan @ The Pearl Las Vegas, 4/29/23

“Gimme danger, little strangerAnd I feel with you at easeGimme danger, little strangerAnd I’ll feel your disease There’s nothing in…

May 29, 2023

Kill or Become: Cannibal Corpse, Dark Funeral, Immolation, Black Anvil at House of Blues Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay 11/25/22

“Living out the days and nights in absolute fearNever knowing when and where thethreat of the undead draws nearThoughts of…

December 3, 2022

Looks That Kill: Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Poison, & Joan Jett & The Blackhearts @ Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, 9/9/22

“Now, listen up She’s a razor sharp If she don’t get her way She’ll slice you apart Now she’s a…

September 19, 2022

A Dangerous Meeting: Mercyful Fate, High on Fire, Paradise Lost, Fugitive, Suicidal Tendencies, Bone Thugs -n- Harmony, Frozen Soul, Emperor, Mayhem, Carcass, and Wolves in the Throne Room @ Psycho Las Vegas @ Resort World, 8/19-21/22

“Oh, they should have knownNot to play with the powers of HellSome people have lost their waySome people have lost…

August 30, 2022

Among the Living: Anthrax 40th Anniversary Tour with Black Label Society @ Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, 7/28/22

“I’m the walking dudeI can see all the worldTwist your minds with fearI’m the man with the powerAmong the living,…

August 19, 2022

Mad World: Tears for Fears, Garbage @ Kia Forum in Los Angeles, 6/4/22

“And I find it kind of funny I find it kind of sad The dreams in which I’m dying Are…

June 12, 2022

She Sells Sanctuary: The Cult, Des Roc @ House of Blues Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay

“The sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive And the sparkle in your eyes Keeps me alive, keeps me alive…

May 27, 2022

Rock You Like A Hurricane: Scorpions, Skid Row @ Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas

“It’s early morning, the sun comes out Last night was shaking and pretty loud My cat is purring, it scratches…

April 15, 2022

Turbo Lover: 50 Years of Heavy Metal with Judas Priest and Queensrÿche @ Zappos Theater, Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino Las Vegas, 3/13/22

“We hold each other closer, as we shift to overdrive And everything goes rushing by, with every nerve alive We…

March 22, 2022