Dave Matthews Gives High Praise to Rodriguez At Pine Knob Show

Dave Matthews gave props to Rodriguez, the Detroit-born singer-songwriter whose story was told in the Academy Award-winning 2012 documentary Searching for Sugar Man, during DMB’s Tuesday night show at Pine Knob.

If you haven’t seen or heard about the film, Rodriguez unknowingly became wildly popular in South Africa during the final years of apartheid in that country due to underground radio airplay. The film captures him doing his first concert there years later and finding out how much he’d meant to so many people.

That’s where Matthews comes in. He grew up in South Africa during that time and came under the spell of Rodriguez’s music. Introducing a cover of “Sugar Man,” Matthews told the crowd how shocked he’d been when he moved to the U.S. that virtually no one here knew about Rodriguez. 

He explained that Rodriguez was as important to him “as Bob Dylan, as Cat Stevens, as Marvin Gaye,” and [yet] all these people never heard of him?” He was like, “What is happening?! I’m losing my mind!”

Matthews ended the story by telling the crowd that he’d gotten to meet Rodriguez before the show and “it was a highlight of [his] life.” He thanked his “new friend Rodriguez,” before launching into a stripped down version of “Sugar Man.”

Afterwards, he told everyone, “If you want to find some new music that’s not so new, you should go out and buy Cold Fact, Rodriguez’s 1970 debut album