Rodrigo y Gabriela sound like a four-piece band.
But two guitars is all they have at their disposal. And that’s all they need on Mettavolution Live, a full-show recording of their career-spanning Oct. 22, 2019, concert in Paris on the Mettavolution tour.
High-impact as they are, Rodrigo y Gabriela temper their speed and complexity with attention to every chord; each arpeggio; each harmonic sustain and delay; every smack of the guitar’s body and every plunk of the bottom string to imbue the music with the tone and texture necessary to prevent it from becoming a simple onslaught of sound.
The audience is the key third member, clapping beats to the instrumental melodies, cheering particularly inhuman musical accomplishments and being left high enough in the mix to make a substantial contribution to the recording. And when songs unexpectedly screech to an end, there’s a split second of silence to prove their attentiveness before they explode in a roar of approval.
From early, original tunes like “Tamacun” to their 21-minute rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes,” which first appeared on 2019’s Mettavolution, RyG don’t muff a note or fudge a single lick. But the perfection does nothing to dampen the power of these performances.