Mar 20, 2013

Rodriguez @ Enmore Theatre

The Academy Award winning documentary "Searching For Sugar Man" has focused the world's attention on Sixto Rodriguez. So much so that the man has sold out the Enmore Theatre three times in one week on this tour. Last night was the first of these shows and I went along for the ride. Mainly because the girl is a big fan. She has seen him live before and reported that those shows were a bit hit and miss. In fact there was hesitancy to attend this show because of that reason. But sometimes you have to go with the flow. And I dived in as well despite myself only being slightly familiar with his material. I knew the 'hits' but not much else. In the end I had a good time. The music was enjoyable and his songwriting really stood out. I do think though that the legend and myth of the man has become actually bigger than the man himself. Undoubtedly an important talent I don't think however he was/is revolutionary in his approach. His melodies are fairly average, but his message and lyrics shine through strongly. Of course his hard life has made him a fairly frail 70 year old. He has to be helped on stage and his guitar playing is fairly hit and miss. But his voice still holds strong fairly soundly. It's gentle yet forceful and is full of warmth and spirit.

The show itself was a bit up and down, but the ups were very enjoyable. His backing band were strong support. The Break feature formers members of Midnight Oil and The Violent Femmes and they were able and supportive. Especially great was the trumpet player. "Sugar Man" was undoubtedly the crowd favourite of the night. Its stick in your brain melody is easily his most pop like number and it went down a treat. Other "Cold Fact" songs shone such as "Like Janis" (the girl's favourite) and "Inner City Blues" (my favourite). "Only Good For Conversation" and "Crucify Your Mind" brought a harder edge and were pretty great as well. The downs were mainly the covers which felt like filler. Especially "I Only Have Eyes For You", which was close to embarrasing. On the other hand the encore featured two covers which were wonderful. The Dylan classic "Like A Rolling Stone" and a Midnight Oil song in "Redneck Wonderland" which closed the night off sweetly and nicely. A good night all round and most importantly I think the girl left with a smile on her face.    

Set List
You'd Like To Admit It
Only Good For Conversation
Crucify Your Mind
Just One Of Those Things (Cole Porter cover)
To Whom It May Concern
Dead End Street (Lou Rawls cover)
Sugar Man
I Think Of You
Inner City Blues
I Wonder
Blue Suede Shoes (Elvis Presley Cover)
Like Janis
Rich Folks Hoax
This Is Not A Song It’s An Outburst: Or The Establishment Blues
Can't Get Away
I Only Have Eyes For You (The Flamingos cover)
Forget It

Like A Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan cover)
Redneck Wonderland (Midnight Oil cover)


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