Rodrigo y Gabriela Are Guitar Geniuses!
What happens when you combine a Mexican classical guitar duo with an Irish brother rock duo? A night of amazing music in Philly!
Hudson Taylor warmed up the crowd as openers, and Rodrigo y Gabriela wowed the crowd with their amazing guitar work this past Friday night at the Franklin Music Hall in Philadelphia.
It was such a treat to see Hudson Taylor and Rodrigo y Gabriela on Friday night!
I even got a chance to get up close and personal – including an interview with Hudson Taylor – on the night of the show. Keep reading to find out more!
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The venue might be called Franklin Music Hall now, but for many Philadelphians, it will always be known as the Electric Factory.
The original Electric Factory was opened in 1968 by Sheldon Kaplan, Herbert Spivak, Jerry Spivak and Allen Spivak. This first incarnation of Electric Factory only stayed open until 1973. It was originally located in an old tire warehouse on the corner of 22nd and Arch Streets in the Center City area of Philadelphia. Shortly after opening, they brought on Larry Magid to book their shows.
In 1995, the current venue, which is a converted electric factory located on N. 7th Street between Willow and Spring Garden Streets, was opened. Electric Factory holds up to 3,000 people, and is all standing-room only. The venue has been the filming location of several live shows of bands including Yellowcard and The Fray.
Even though the ownership has changed, the inside of Franklin Music Hall remains the same.
In 2018, many live music fans in the area were surprised when it was announced that the venue was being sold to The Bowery Presents. The new owners temporarily called the venue “North Seventh” and held a contest to come up with the new name. The winner was Franklin Music Hall, and the venue name was officially changed in October of 2018.
Tip #1: There are lots of good places near the venue to grab a few beers or get something to eat before the show. On Spring Garden Street within a few blocks of the venue is Silk City Diner and Yards Brewing Company. Another great place is Roy-Pitz Barrel House.
There is a nice bar inside Franklin Music Hall. They also have food trucks set up inside the venue.
Tip #2: There is a parking lot right at the venue. Space is limited and it fills up fast. There was another lot further down 7th Street, but beware – they don’t advertise the price and once you’re in, you are pretty much stuck. You can also park along 7th Street, but note that all the parking there is metered, and you have to pay the meter until midnight. If you are willing to walk a little further, you can find parking along Spring Garden Street as well.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
If you’d like to know more about Hudson Taylor, check out my post from the last time I caught them in Philly this past February.
Hudson Taylor Takes Over World Cafe Live Upstairs!
I also had a chance to interview Harry and Alfie before this show. You can read the interview here:
Hudson Taylor Talks About Their Current U.S. Tour And What’s Next!
Hudson Taylor took the stage at 8 p.m. and opened with one of their high energy tunes – Travellin’ – which got the audience tapping their toes and clapping right away.
One of the things I love most about Hudson Taylor, are the harmonies that they create when they sing. Their song “Care” is a perfect example of those harmonies.
Hudson Taylor continued to impress the crowd with their set, which included Harry’s favorite (did you read our interview?) “Butterflies”.
The guys invited the audience to participate in both “Don’t Know Why” and “Pray For the Day”, which the crowd happily went along with. After interviewing Hudson Taylor, I know how important it is to them for the fans to have fun, and they certainly make sure of that every time they take the stage.
Hudson Taylor warming up on the crowd on Friday night.
Hudson Taylor wrapped up their short opening set with “Battles”. Based on the crowd’s reaction to them, I think it’s safe to say that Hudson Taylor picked up a few new fans Friday night.
I’m pretty sure Hudson Taylor gained some new fans Friday night.
Hudson Taylor is wrapping up their visit to the states this month before heading back to Europe. You can keep up with them on their website.
RODRIGO Y GABRIELA
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Rodrigo (Sanchez) y Gabriela (Quintero) are classical guitarists based in Mexico City. They cite their influences as everything from nuevo flamenco, rock, and heavy metal.
Rodrigo y Gabriela both grew up in Mexico City. For both, their parents raised them with music in the house – flamenco, jazz, and rock. However, both also had an affinity for heavy metal as well, which heavily influenced the music they eventually made.
Rodrigo y Gabriela are an amazing guitar duo out of Mexico.
The duo met at the age of 15 at the House of Culture. Their mutual interest in music drew them together, and they eventually became a couple. By the late 1990’s, Rodrigo y Gabriela began playing together in the resort towns on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.
After a few years, the duo got frustrated with the Mexican rock scene and decided to move to Europe to further their career. They landed in Dublin, where they started playing in pubs and busking on the street. Eventually, they began to be noticed by some fellow musicians including Damien Rice. They hired a manager and recorded a 9-track demo called Foc, which was eventually recorded and released in 2002 as re-Foc.
Their album Rodrigo y Gabriela was released in 2006, entering the Irish Music Charts at #1. The album includes covers of Led Zeppelin and Metallica, as well as original works.
In 2009, Rodrigo y Gabriela released their album 11:11. With the new album, the duo began gaining popularity in the U.S., with their music being featured on everything from popular television series to Monday Night Football.
In 2011, the duo was asked to write and record music for the score of the hit movie Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Following this success, two more albums were released – Area 52 – which was their first album backed by other musicians, and 9 Dead Alive.
Rodrigo y Gabriela’s latest album is called Mettavolution. It was released earlier this year, and contains a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes”.
Rodrigo y Gabriela took the stage at 9 p.m. Both were dressed in black, with Rodrigo adding some color with his blue hair. The duo immediately started playing and the crowd was instantly mesmerized.
I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of instrumental music. While I appreciate some of it and like to listen to it while doing certain things – like writing – I like songs with lyrics. For me, there’s nothing better than singing along with my favorite song.
Rodrigo y Gabriela are super talented and can keep a crowd involved in the show just with their guitars.
And while Rodrigo y Gabriela didn’t change my mind about instrumental only music, they certainly convinced me of the amount of talent they have. The guitar playing is intense. I was exhausted just watching. Gabriela in particular has some of the fastest hands I’ve ever seen.
Gabriela stuck to her acoustic guitar for the entire show, but Rodrigo switched between acoustic and electric. What was amazing to me was the different types of sounds he could get out of the acoustic guitar. There were times you never would have guessed that he was playing an acoustic guitar and not an electric one.
Rodrigo y Gabriela are high energy. They spent most of the show moving up and back on the stage. There were a couple of instances where they slowed it down and sat down to play, including on their version of Pink Floyd’s “Echoes”.
One of the quieter moments of the show.
Rodrigo y Gabriela clearly love what they are doing. Gabriela in particular had a big smile on her face for most of the show, and seemed to eat up the support and love she was getting from the fans. The duo shared that they were in the middle of the tour and really loving every minute. They talked about how the new album is about evolution through revolution, and they hoped to inspire people and make them feel better.
Gabriela talked about the inspiration for the song “Electric Soul”. She said that both she and Rodrigo had dealt with anxiety and this song helped them to manage it. Gabriela said that they had learned to live with anxiety as a friend.
Rodrigo y Gabriela came back on stage for an amazing encore that even had a little “Stairway to Heaven” mixed in. After they were done performing, the two spent quite a bit of time acknowledging their many fans and showing their appreciation.
Rodrigo y Gabriela blew the crowd away Friday night.
Rodrigo y Gabriela will be on the road in the U.S. throughout the summer, before heading to Europe in the fall. You can see all of their upcoming tour dates on their website.
Are you a fan of Rodrigo y Gabriela? How about Hudson Taylor? Let us know. Please comment below or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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