On a few Tuesday nights back, Rodrigo y Gabriela brought their mind-blowing flamenco-style rock songs to The Paramount Theater in Seattle for the first night of their North American tour to promote their new album, Area 52, for which they teamed up with the 13-piece orchestra C.U.B.A. to produce remixes of their previous songs.

They have taken their sound and made it into something even more complex, where old favorites like “Diablo Rojo” and “Tamacun” explode with a new fulness and energy. C.U.B.A. adds volume and depth to the fantastic duo, but doesn’t overpower them. Their magnificent finger-picking and hand percussion still stand out. And they had so much energy, laughing and jumping around the stage, which Gabriela pointed out as the excitement of the first night of a tour. But when they played, rather than sit on chairs, they sat on their amps, lending an intimate practice-space feel to the layout of the stage. The duo even burned incense. The bassist scatted on an entire song, and the pianist ended Juan Loco with an elaborate solo to rival some of Rodrigo’s faster finger-picking.

Each instrumentalist in C.U.B.A. is truly a Rodrigo or Gabriela of their own instrument, and this combination of artistic forces is an exciting new direction for the band.

Originally from San Francisco, CA, Victoria lives in Seattle, WA, and completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography at Seattle University. Her passion is making live music look as great as it sounds. She is the sole Seattle contributor for Live Music Blog, and her work has been featured in Seattle Music Insider, The Stranger, and Seattle Weekly. Her 2012 BFA thesis, "Seattle DIY: Live Music," has been displayed at various venues in the Seattle area. For a behind the scenes look at music, she shoots in-studio performances at local radio station KEXP.