Rodrigo y Gabriela Sunday, May 11 Rodrigo y Gabriela’s guitar-strumming genius defies

Rodrigo y Gabriela

Sunday, May 11

Rodrigo y Gabriela’s guitar-strumming genius defies description. Imagine mini–Cirque du Soleil acrobats careening down the fretboard of an acoustic guitar—that only begins to describe the superhuman dexterity of the duo’s fingers.

Improbably, such heavenly digits started out shredding in the Mexican heavy-metal scene. In the early 2000s, Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero branched out to busk on the streets of Dublin, their rock aesthetic tempered by flamenco and classical influences. After years of honing their craft around the globe, they get enough sound out of their instruments to fill in for an entire pit orchestra, achieving a playing style that more resembles an Olympic sport.

The duo’s self-titled debut album displays their rock roots in acoustic covers of Metallica’s “Orion” and the ubiquitous “Stairway to Heaven.” But each song is layered with fanciful departures, from country-Western bridges to portions that sound as if they were scored for a Shakespearean tragedy. Since then, the versatile twosome has released another album, 11:11, and contributed heavily to the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides soundtrack (including the devilish “bell-tolling” intro of Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard.)

In their latest album, 9 Dead Alive (which dropped April 28), Rodrigo y Gabriela sought to provide a more intimate experience. “As if me and Rod were in your living room,” explains Quintero in a YouTube interview. Wanting to strip down to their “two guitars, one sound” trademark, each track pays tribute to historical figures who continue to influence the 21st century, from the 10th century’s Eleanor of Aquitaine (a noted historical badass) to the more recently departed Viktor Frankl.

Sanchez said that the new songs have no Latin influence and are pure rock—and there’s nothing wrong with an evolving sound. Removing the flamenco flavor, however, somehow translated into less variation in the tempos’ topography. Previously fragile elements are sacrificed for an edgier, consistently fast-paced tone. 9 Dead Alive will still make its listeners borderline obsessive, but without as many hypnotic interludes to give their heart rates a break.

An evening with the pair coaxing eargasmic guitar porn out of their instruments should probably be an 18-and-over event, but, luckily for budding guitar aficionados of the Pacific Northwest, this show is all-ages. With Zach Heckendorf. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 682-1414, 7 p.m. $41.25.