Could you please explain me why past perfect in this sentence? I think past simple can fit too?
Is it to emphasize the completion of the playing?
The reference time is now so play should be past simple
A year ago Rhodes had played just a handful of live shows. Now, 12 months later, he is something of a veteran, having supported Sam Smith, London Grammar, Laura Marling, Nick Mulvey and Rufus Wainwright.