Sixto Rodriguez, at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles Friday May 30, 2014
Sixto Rodriguez, at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles Friday May 30, 2014 ((Photo by Paty Elias/LA.Com))

We found Sugar Man. Sixto Rodriguez, the '60s folk singer from Detroit, appeared Friday under the starlit night at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. The elusive singer-songwriter did not appear to be anywhere near as old as his 71 years nor did he sound as if any time had gone by.

Though absent from the music scene and the public eye, his demeanor was that of a musician who had never stopped playing.

“My parents are both Mexican,” he quipped, in case you where wondering.

He asked the audience if anybody was from Detroit, and there were, as sections of the crowd cheered

Backed by a three-piece band, Rodriguez filled the air with his poetic, lyrical style and soft, resonant guitar licks that transported the crowd to another place and time as the high energy of the audience adjusted to the music.

Rodriguez's own long, strange trip began in the late 1960s. He recorded off and on, never achieving any kind of success (until now). He was dropped by his record label and soon quit music.

As chronicled in the movie "Searching for Sugar Man," Rodriguez became a cult figure in South Africa and didn't even know it.

In recent years it was rumored that Rodriguez had died. The documentary film chronicles the efforts of two of his South African fans to see if the death rumors were true -- and if not, find out what became of the mysterious singer who became so famous in their faraway country.

"Searching for Sugar Man" won the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary and the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Much to the audience's chagrin, the show ended fairly early.

Rodriguez wraps up his tour today and tomorrow. What's next for this elusive performer is a anybody's guess.

 

Song set list from Rodriguez's performance:

“Climb Up on My Music”
“This is Not a Song, It’s and Outburst: Or, The Establishment Blues”
“I Wonder”
“Love Me or Leave Me”
“Lucille”
“Only Good For Conversation”
“Crucify Your Mind”
“Sugar Man”
“Inner City Blues”
“To Whom It May Concern”
“Blue Suede Shoes”
“Rich Folks Hoax”
“Like Janis”
“Learnin’ the Blues”
“You’d Like to Admit It”
“Fever”
“Forget It”
 
Encore:
“I’m Gonna Live Till I Die”