I had been waiting in anticipation for Saturday night since we scrambled to get our Rodriguez tickets in October last year. And I’m happy to report back that it was worth every second of the wait. He exudes a wonderful combination of strength, humour, mystery and frailty. At the ripe old age of 70 he still knows how to rock a pair of leather pants and he certainly brought the house down at Carnival City for the 5 000 odd fans that were lucky enough to get tickets.
Saturday was a dream come true for many South African’s. ‘I Wonder’ and ‘Sugarman’ were iconic in the 90’s and if you searched through any average South African’s LP case you would more than likely find the Cold Fact Album alongside the Beatles, Neil Young and Simon & Garfunkel. His anti-establishment lyrics became the soundtrack for many of us growing up in the Apartheid era and many of us believed we would never see him perform live. Afterall not so long ago the rumours of him committing suicide after singing “Forget it” on stage, weren’t rumours. We believed it to be the truth, well I did anyway! So Saturday a musical hero had been resurrected for me.
There were no bright lights or fancy stage setups. Instead there was a man and his guitar in its purest form. An old soul that captured our attention for two hours and in those two hours we were transported back in time. I have been to many concerts over the last couple of years but this concert must rate as one of the most eagerly anticipated. It’s only now that Rodriguez is being given a much-deserved second chance internationally that we have the pleasure of rediscovering him all over again in South Africa.