Rodrigo y Gabriela Stop At the Jazz Fest for Their ‘Mettavolution’ Tour

Mexican Classical Guitar Duo Enchant Montreal Audiences

  • The band performed music from their sixth studio album, Mettavolution Courtesy Victor Diaz Lamich

“I think it’s been 15 years [since our first show in Montreal],” Rodrigo Sánchez explained on stage. “We never stop touring, we are like a touring machine.”

On July 3, the Mexican classical guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela graced the Jazz Festival’s stage. The show acted as part of a tour of the band’s sixth studio album, Mettavolution, released earlier this year.

Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero play music that crosses genres, blending metal, jazz, and flamenco with other twists.

Quintero is prolific in flamenco guitar, contributing to the rhythmic component of the music by using her hands for percussion as she strums and beats. As the second half of the duo, Sanchez’s playing often includes an overlay of electric and classical guitar melody. The result is a fusion of genres that often leaves one wondering how it is possible for such music to be created with only two guitars.

The band opened with “Krotona Days,” a fast-paced metal song off their newest album. Sanchez’s fast-paced riffs countered Quintero’s flamenco beat in perfect harmony—a blend of flavours that grasp attention and drip in talent.

“Every night, we do our best to get you inspired, somehow, by something we enjoy doing,” said Quintero on stage.

The guitarist explained that Mettavolution took the band three years to write, a process that included a lot of half-written riffs before, one day, the “key sort of just came to [them], and it unlocked the door to momentum.”

From busking the streets of Dublin, Ireland to soaking up the stage at the Montreal Jazz Festival, the band has come a long way.

“Every night, we do our best to get you inspired, somehow, by something we enjoy doing.” Gabriela Quintero

The duo has released six studio albums and three live albums, all encompassing the unique blend of styles that highlights the musicians’ skill, with fast-paced strumming and plucking.

For the song “Mettavolution,” the entire crowd rose to their feet. They were jamming and dancing, and, on stage, the duo was truly feeling it. Their smiles mimicked the audience’s—the contrasting push and pull of audience and performer.

The third song, “The Soundmaker,” was an older one. Dipping into blues with a bass-heavy classical guitar intro by Sanchez, the song highlighted the duo’s diversity.

Rodrigo y Gabriela also performed their rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes,” a nearly 20 minute voyage into the 1970 classic. The song, which takes up the second half of “Mettavolution”, was performed with time-bending precision. The audience was carried through a style-shifting journey.

Though the band has played all over the world, their humility shined in their performance and through the ways they engaged with their audience, chatting with the crowd in the breaks between songs about themselves, their music, and their intentions as artists. The two owned the stage and entirely captivated the crowd in front of them.

With music that crosses genres, mixing and matching different styles, beats and tempos, it is no surprise that the band is often asked what type of music they play. On stage, Quintero delivered the perfect response.

“It’s just music, man,” she said, as the crowd erupted in cheers. “It’s 12 notes. We have no idea.”

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