Sixto Rodríguez: See the “Sugar Man” Live

The Rediscovered Folk Rock Legend Finally Brings His Music Home

If you haven’t seen last summer’s Oscar-winning hit documentary Searching for Sugar Man, you should. In an incredibly satisfying case of truth-is-stranger-than-fiction (and the fiction that had arisen around Rodríguez was pretty strange), the film tells the story of tracking down the Detroit musician whose music, all but forgotten in his home country, became massively popular (and subversive) in apartheid-stricken South Africa. Frequently compared with influential musicians such as Bob Dylan, Rodríguez was unaware of his fame and popularity abroad until 1998, when the power of the internet led his daughter to a website dedicated to him, and his career was relaunched.

Rodríguez, Searching for Sugar Man, Sixto Rodríguez

The success of Searching for Sugar Man has at last given Rodríguez the exposure at home he has long deserved. His songs feature prominently in the documentary, and it is easy to understand their influence abroad (and disappointing to think that it’s taken this long for them to be heard here). His two original albums, 1970’s Cold Fact and 1971’s Coming from Reality, consist of simple, heartfelt, and haunting songs that seem to stream from the soul of all mankind:

Were you tortured by your own thirst

In those pleasures that you seek

That made you Tom the curious

That makes you James the weak?

he asks in “Crucify Your Mind,” disappointed in the lack of substance he sees in others. In “I Wonder,” he ponders, with judgment-free curiosity,

I wonder how many times you’ve been had

And I wonder how many plans have gone bad

I wonder how many times you had sex

I wonder do you know who’ll be next.

With his hypnotic voice and earnest lyrics, it’s no wonder demand for Rodríguez has skyrocketed in the U.S. now that he’s resurfaced. Since Searching for Sugar Man‘s release, he has made numerous television appearances, from performances on Jay Leno and David Letterman to a feature on 60 Minutes. Fortunately, a delayed rise to fame hasn’t abated Rodríguez’s willingness or ability to perform, and this year he has several concerts scheduled, including a spot at Coachella in California and a show at New York City’s Beacon Theater. Still incredibly moving and inspiring in his 70’s, Rodríguez is a must-see for anyone seeking stirring, enduring music and a glimpse of one of music’s most intriguing success stories.

Date
Event
Apr 78:00 PM RodriguezBeacon Theater – New York, NY From $248
Apr 108:00 PM RodriguezTown Hall Theatre – New York, NY From $846
Apr 127:30 PM Carrie RodriguezTuner Hall Ballroom – Milwaukee, WI
Apr 167:00 PM RodriguezOrpheum Theatre – Los Angeles, CA From $93
Apr 198:00 PM RodriguezRialto Theatre – Tuscon, AZ
Apr 238:00 PM RodriguezWarfield – San Francisco, CA From $193
Apr 268:00 PM RodriguezCommodore Ballroom – Vancouver, Canada From $182
Apr 279:00 PM RodriguezRoseland Theater – Portland, OR From $62
Apr 298:00 PM RodriguezThe Depot – Salt Lake City – Salt Lake City, UT From $149
Apr 308:00 PM RodriguezOgden Theatre – Denver, CO From $241
May 118:30 PM RodriguezVariety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA From $52
May 137:30 PM RodriguezRyman Auditorium – Nashville, TN From $39
Oct 98:00 PM RodriguezBarclays Center – Brooklyn, NY From $22
Oct 108:00 PM RodriguezRadio City Music Hall – New York, NY From $77

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