RODRIGO Y GABRIELA REVIEW — OAKLAND

7 04 2012

As I mentioned before, getting access to the Rodrigo y Gabriela show at the Fox Theater in Oakland was no easy task. The show was sold out from the get-go. Luckily for us at the DJ, we’ve built pretty solid rapport with our friends at Another Planet and were able to cover the show. 2012 has been pretty mellow so fair in terms of concerts for July! Nothing too nuts. The RYG was, at times, electric.

Rodrigo y Gabriela Shine at the Fox
By Julio Lara, Daily Journal Staff

OAKLAND — If you’re a Bay Area purist of Rodrigo y Gabriela, the guitar maestros from Mexico, you woke up Friday morning with a bit of an internal conflict.

OK, a rather big one.

On the one hand, you have the purist side of your persona. You’re in love with RYG’s carefully crafted, yet masterfully erratic guitar artistry that has catapulted them into international stardom. RYG’s spanish influenced style is not unique by any stretch of the imagination. Yet, there is something about watching them play with one another that has captured the heart of countless fans. Thursday night’s ticket for their show at the Fox Theater in Oakland was without a doubt the hottest, most difficult to come upon of the Latin music concert year so far. And with good reason — there is something darn near magical about watching the duo treat their guitars like art canvases. 

But on the other hand, there is part of you that went to their show on Thursday and got something you weren’t expecting and, as a RYG purist, perhaps it fell a little short of your initial expectation. So you don’t quite know if you liked the concert or not. What a moral dilemma to have. Those who came to the Fox Theater in Oakland expecting two hours of the duo sitting, picking, plucking and strumming their way to musical nirvana instead got the pair plus the Caribbean rhythm machine C.U.B.A. equipped with piano, brass and percussion to accompany the RYG guitars. If you didn’t do your homework and had no previous experience with “Area 52,” their fifth studio album, you were caught a bit off-guard and it probably didn’t take too long into their rendition of “Santo Domingo,” and “I Like It Like That,” (the former being off of the 52 album) for some in the audience to go, “hey, what gives? Is this even Rodrigo y Gabriela?”

Truth is, the show was incredible. If you read the rest of the review, you’ll see that I talk about the fusion of the music. I went with my brother, Max, to the show. We grew up around music, happen to be a pair of musicians (albeit, I’m retired and haven’t picked up drumsticks in years, but my brother, he’s a genius), and in searching for an underlying theme, we thought that the collaboration between RYG and C.U.B.A. was indeed special.

To me, what stood out what their ability to fill a space like the Fox with so much energy without, singing. That was a first for me. And it’s what impressed me the most. Anyway, here are more photos. Click on it, it’ll take you to my Facebook account. If you want a particular photo, message me, I’ll get you a print.

Once again, thanks for reading. We have Michel Camilo coming up on the 14th. Then, the grand-daddy of them all, MANA! once again on the July! calendar. Followed shortly by another mammoth show at the Fox, CALLE 13.

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