A review of Rodrigo y Gabriela at the Beacon

My sweet, sexy husband asked for only one thing for his birthday: tickets to Rodrigo y Gabriela‘s concert at the Beacon.

So Thursday night we were there, both of us keyed up for a live rendition of the music we play so often at home.

The opening band was pitiful. Boring. Sabin was puzzled about why the dynamic Spanish musicians would have that act as an opener. “Listening to these kids is like highway hypnosis,” he said. “They’re in flatline all the time.” He decided that Rodrigo y Gabriela chose them as contrast, so they would sound even better when they came on stage.

Sabin’s grandfather was a concert pianist, his 77-year-old father still plays piano every day, and Sabin grew up with music permeating every aspect of his life. He attended concerts all the time and he took music lessons. He has fine discernment about musical skill and talent.

The lady next to me put her head on her husband’s shoulder, closed her eyes, and snoozed during the opener. The lady in front of me poured herself into her iPhone email. Most folks just chattered, because that opening band was a lot like muzak, but less appealing. I couldn’t stop giggling at Sabin’s dismay. When the valium-esque opening band said good-bye, everyone cheered enthusiastically.

Then heaven opened its gates: rich, gorgeous, astonishing sound poured forth. It was exuberant and it was full and it was structured and it was excellent. That’s what Sabin and I talked about for the next few days: Rodrigo y Gabriela’s excellence. Their intelligence.

I’m not just saying that because one song was a Dostoyevsky tribute!

These are two virtuoso musicians whose fanatic discipline and dedication to their craft shows. They embody the hard work and uncompromising devotion that goes along with art at a stratospheric level, and they play with the passion and delight and joy that is immanent and infectious in art of that caliber.

They are also consummate entertainers. Lovely Gabriela’s hand looked like a hummingbird, it moved so inhumanly fast over the guitar; I couldn’t believe how much sound she got out of her instrument. She was an abiding pleasure to hear. Rodrigo was funny and warm-hearted and masterfully in command, not a single note out of place. The musical dialogue between their guitars was awe-inspiring, mind-blowing. They gave 178% of themselves to the show–they gave everything, and it was evident.

It was a great show to be present for, and did what great art does: it transformed and elevated us, the viewers. It changed our state-of-being.

I am very grateful for Sabin’s choice of birthday presents, which was as much a gift for me as for him!

 


Traci L. Slatton

Author Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, and the award-winning, internationally published author of a dozen books of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.

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