Take one pair of Mexican heavy-metal rockers, transplant them to Ireland, hand them a couple of acoustic guitars, and see what they come up with; that's the recipe for Rodrigo y Gabriela, a duo whose blazing fingers and tightly interwoven arrangements alternate between laconic ear-tickling and a hectic energy more likely to be found in punk rock than in an acoustic ensemble. They hunch over their instruments with the intensity of pinball wizards, Rodrigo Sanchez's left hand spiraling up and down his fretboard, laying out lush melodies, while Gabriela Quintero's right hand works in a blurred arc, simultaneously strumming and tapping out subdivided rhythms on the body of her guitar. Heavy-metallurgists are famous for their mathematically layered scales and arpeggios, and RyG have brought that etudinal mindset to their acoustic endeavors. But de-electrified and undistorted, the flood of notes carries more impact for its clarity, especially in lovingly performed covers of Metallica's "Orion" and Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven." Seeing the pair live, it might seem, is less about enjoying a flashy stage show and more about proving to one's self that such sound could be produced by only two little boxes of wood. With Lovers Duo. 18+.
Mon., Aug. 18, 7:30 p.m., 2008