¡hola! Growing up in Miami in the nineteen sixties and seventies, the was plenty of Latin music about us in the thick South Florida air. Like Celia Cruz, Iris Chacon, and Jose Feliciano, ...but nothing struck my young music loving mind like the sounds of the Santana band emanating from the transistor radio on my bike handlebars. "I ain't got nobody, that I can depend on", wow! "Evil Ways", "Oye, Como Va"...Carlos was everywhere.
I'd seen my first Carlos Santana in concert in Lakeland, Fl in December 1978. Eddie Money, and Bob Welch were the opening acts, but that didn't stop me from going! lol The venue at the time was horrible, but no matter, Santana rocked! My second show was at the Sunrise Musical Theater in 1982, another stellar evening, in a much more relaxed enviroment.
Needless to say, I was delighted (and a little nervous) when word came that I'd be able to photograph and review the Santana concert last Thursday at the Amway Center in Orlando. It had been 35 years since my last Santana gig!
Carlos casually walked on stage at 7:10 and kicked into the night's opener "O Paradiso" followed by "Are you Ready" and "Love makes the World Go 'Round". Just like that(!), our time to photograph the band had come to an end. As we made our way to our seats "Maria, Maria" was being performed. What a beautiful tune.
A half dozen songs later, we come to a raucous "Evil Ways", followed by a beautiful cover of John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme". Then...then came "Total Destruction to Your Mind". Whew! Psychedelic Santana! This tune was introduced by Carlos asking for requests, the crowd roars, Carlos laughs saying "Yeah, Ok...we smoked enough Pot backstage, we'll play them all! "LaBama", "Guantanamera"...we're going to play them all!".
That tune stretched into a medley featuring "Dancing in the Street", "Proud Mary", "Satisfaction", and "Day Tripper". The remainder of the set included "Mona Lisa" and "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen/Oye Coco Va".
The band took a short break, returning to the stage to the sounds of the "Woodstock Chant" (YouTube it, lol) ripping into "Soul Sacrifice", sounding every bit as good as it did at Woodstock! Next..."Smooth". Loved it! But in the hometown of the tunes lead singer, one had to ask "Where's Rob Thomas"!
Mr Santana and band wrapped up the evening with a Chambers Brothers cover - "Love, Peace and Happiness", which lead into a very interesting closer "For the Highest Good". These two songs remind one what a Spiritual being/leader Carlos Santana is. So much so, in recent years he's talked of leaving the stage for the pulpit.
Whatever make you happy Carlos. Personally, I think you did it all right from your stage. Thank you. Peace Brother.
Tune into On The FlipSide November 6th, at 7pm, here on WFIT for a night of Latin flavored rock n roll!