Rodrigo y Gabriella

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Rodrigo y Gabriella
Live In Japan / with Bonus DVD

Rubyworks
3.5 out of 5 stars

Having seen Rodrigo y Gabriella twice in the past two years I would consider myself a fan of their live show, however I have never been too keen on their studio efforts. I must say, Live In Japan is the perfect summation of what Rodrigo y Gabriella’s high energy live show is all about.

Having been active for the better part of seven years, Rodrigo y Gabriella met in Mexico City while playing in a thrash metal band.  After trading their electric guitars for classical guitars and refining their practice they first broke through in Ireland, where they had moved to escape the fledgling Mexican music scene.  From there their rise to worldwide stardom was quick. With a foundation build on a fast rhythmic style of classical guitar playing which has pretty much taken them across the world over the past two years, their instrumental music has reached beyond language barriers and Live In Japan is a testament to that.

Recorded on the night of their Japanese debut at Tokyo’s Duo Club on March 30, 2008, Live in Japan features a mix of songs from their self-titled third album along with older live favorites including Metallica’s “Orion” and “One,” Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five,” and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”  The album also features a new song “OK Tokyo” and well as two solo jam sections (one for each of them), which I find myself skipping each time I play the album.

The accompanying DVD is a nice bonus but not anything to drool over. Even though it is mixed in 5.1 the 5-songs don’t include any of the above mentioned cover songs and is pretty low-fi by today’s HD standards.

For those in favor of Rodrigo y Gabriellas’ live show, this is definitely and album to check out and for those who are still unfamiliar, it is probably about time to see what all the hype is about.

– Jonathan Keller

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