9th March 1998 Standard Bank Arena Johannesburg

The Set List

  1. I Wonder
  2. Only Good For Conversation
  3. Can’t Get Away
  4. Crucify Your Mind
  5. Jane S. Piddy
  6. To Whom It May Concern
  7. Like Janis
  8. Inner City Blues
  9. Street Boy
  10. A Most Disgusting Song
  11. Halfway Up The Stairs
  12. I Think Of You
  13. Rich Folks Hoax
  14. Climb Up On My Music
    Encores:
  15. Sugar Man
  16. Establishment Blues
  17. Forget It

The Star Tonight 12 March 1998

Time and time again

by Peter Feldman

The legend that is Rodriguez simply couldn’t believe his eyes or his ears at the fanatical response he evoked at his opening Johannesburg concert on Monday. I don’t know who was more awestruck, the performer or his capacity audience. He couldn’t stop grinning. The minute he stepped onstage, in a smart dress-suit and clutching his guitar, the arena exploded. And as he casually strummed the opening bars to I Wonder, the crowd rose to their feet in sheer adoration. It was a magical moment in music, and an eerie kind of a time-warp, in which this folk-rock icon rekindled a string of memories of an age of stirring protest. The songs have not dated and have as much relevance today as they did when Vietnam, the draft and campus drugs were high on the political agenda.

Young people, many not yet born when Rodriguez stormed the barriers in South Africa, one of the few countries to embrace the man and his music, sat transfixed as the hits unfolded. The voice has not been corroded by time – only made better. The hardcore cynicism, the angst and the disillusionment remain dramatically intact. Sugar Man, Inner City Blues, Cnrcify Your Mind, Jane S Piddy, the highly emotive Street Boy, Rich Folks Hoax, Slip Away and Establishment Blues formed the core of a concert nobody ever dreamt would actually happen here in Gauteng. After all, the rumour was the man was dead … how wrong could one be. Rodriguez was so delighted to be onstage, and so overwhelmed by the occasion, that he kept asking for the house lights to be turned up to remind himself it was not an illusion. He also took great delight in shaking hands with various members of Big Sky, which gave him solid support throughout.

Big Sky, with an energetic Steve Louw at the helm, provided a tight set with a nicely honed country-rock edge. They waded through many of their hits, including Waiting For The Dawn, Another Country and Get Down With Mr Green, and introduced the right mood for a happening.

Wow!

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Brian Currin’s Tour Diary | RODRIGUEZ and BIG SKY

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