By Mike McKenney, Rock At Night New England Correspondent
Venue: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncaseville, Connecticut- Saturday, August 19, 2017 – Santana Transmogrify Tour
Opening the show with on screen images of the Buddha and Indian prayer music, Santana initiates the transformation of the packed Mohegan Sun Arena, to the strands of “O Paradiso” into a blissful evening, full of surprises.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998, Santana has sold more than 100 million records and now at age 70, he has performed to more than 100 million fans at concerts worldwide. In his 40+ year career, He has won ten Grammys and three Latin Grammy Awards. He won nine Grammy’s for 1999’s Supernatural and Album of the Year and Record of the Year for “Smooth”.Santana has also received the Billboard Century Award (1996), and received the Billboard Latin Music Awards’ Lifetime Achievement honor (2009), and was the recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors Award (2013).Carlos Santana is listed by Rolling Stone as #15 on their list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” With his 2014 release of Corazón, Santana is now one of only two bands (Rolling Stones) in Billboard history to have at least one Top Ten album for six consecutive decades, beginning in the 1960’s.
Continuously guiding the audience with their distinct Latin/Blues/Carib inspired signature, for two and a half hours, Carlos and his Santana band, Benny Rietveld (Bass), Andy Vargas (Vocals), Karl Perazzo (Percussion), Tommy Anthony (Guitar/Vocals), Paoli Mejias (Percussion), Ray Greene (Vocals), David K. Mathews (Keyboards), Salvador Santana, (Carlos son) keyboards, and Carlos wife, Cindy Blackman Santana on Drums, seamlessly intertwine old songs, new songs, and covers along the path to a musical Nirvana.
Although last years tour members Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon, Michael Carabello and Michael Shrieve are not on this tour, Santana maintains the latin influences shown on “Maria Maria”, Corazon Espinado”, while the rampant percussion of the Toussaint L’Overture takes on a more Haitian flavor.
This is the high energy version of the Santana, dancing, jumping, fist pumping while encouraging everyone to get up and move, they rolled one hit into another, melding “Evil Ways” and Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” and then later “Trouble Man” ,”Black Magic Woman” and “Gypsy Queen” followed closely by “One Como Va”.
Surprise special guest, sixteen year old Quinn Sullivan, showed his magical guitar prowess on a Stevie Wonder cover of “Higher Ground” and with a searing solo on Swamp Dogg’s “Total Destruction To Your Mind”.
Carlos came right back with a soulful opening of “Mona Lisa” and encouraged the men in attendance to sing it to their wife (on their knees). Not to be outdone, Cindy left her drum kit to sing “I Remember”, a song they did with the Isley Brothers.
The surprises kept coming even during the band introductions, with Carlos introducing his son Salvador on keyboards.
While Tommy Anthony’s intro, turned into a full arena sing along of “Roxanne”, with Tommy’s vocal sounding eerily like Sting.
The mega set wrapped up with “Soul Sacrifice” that featured Cindy preforming a Herculean drum solo (that lasted so long even Carlos commented on her stamina). “Smooth”, “Love, Peace, and Happiness” while band members waved exited the stage one by one during the nights final “For the Highest Good”.
Throughout the evening, Carlos spread inspirational words of Love, Peace, and non-violent solutions to the issues dividing us today. He reminded the crowd to “keep the light in their eyes alive” and that music transcends hate.
- O PARADISO
- ARE YOU READY PEOPLE
- LOVE MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND
- MARIA MARIA
- FOO FOO
- CORAZON ESPINADO
- INCIDENT AT NESHABUR
- EVIL WAYS/ A LOVE SUPREME (Coltrane cover)
- PEACE POWER
- HIGHER GROUND
- TOTAL DESTRUCTION TO YOUR MIND (Swamp Dog cover)
- MONA LISA
- I REMEMBER
- TOUSSAINT L’OVERTURE
- TROUBLE MAN/ BLACK MAGIC WOMAN / GYPSY QUEEN
- OYE COMO VA
- SOUL SACRIFICE-CINDY SOLO
- LOVE, PEACE AND HAPPINESS
- FOR THE HIGHEST GOOD
Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncaseville, CT–August 19, 2017
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