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Concert Reviews
Santana
(Palace of Auburn Hills, MI - April 18th, 2008)

We all know that Santana is the primary exponent of Latin-tinged rock, particularly due to its combination of Latin percussion (congas, timbales, etc.) with bandleader Carlos Santana's distinctive, high-pitched lead guitar playing always leading the way.

Indeed, the group as a whole was the last major act to emerge from the psychedelic San Francisco music scene of the 1960s and it enjoyed massive success at the end of the decade and into the early '70s. In-house personel and musical changes then gradually occured, but by the late '90s Santana made a surprising (and yet monumental) comeback with what was to be their/his best-selling release, winning a boat-load of Grammy Awards, 'Supernatural.'

It may have been because of that one album 'Supernatural' that the vast majority of this crowd here tonight was @ the age of 30, but that aside the house was full and the house was alive!

Beginning with what was called an Aoand Video intro, basically it was a video of a dove flying, talks from what we think was a spirtualist, and towards the end with Carlos himself.

Music wise Santana's guitar leapt straight into action with 'Peace/Jingo' and was quickly followed by 'Life is For Living,' 'Everybody's Everything,' 'Batuka/No One To Depend On' and 'Capri/Maria Maria.' Indeed it was after the fourth song Carlos addressed the crowd to talk about peace and love and how we (as in men) should always take care of our women, because when they're not happy nothing happens!

And yes it might be true that while most people probably didn’t get to hear the old favorites they were hoping for Carlos - and an outstanding band of drummers, percussionists, brass, keys and bass - got a packed house onto their feet and showed that he still has the magic tonight.

Continuing on with 'Foo Foo,' 'Corazon Espinado,' 'Incident At Neshabur,' 'BMW/Gypsy Queen' and 'Oye Vomo Va,' intersperced throughout the night there were video montages of a very young Carlos way back to his teens, still photos of the Santana Bros. Band, and a collection of photos from the 60's up to present day.

Bringing the show around its final bend, Carlos brought out the nights opener Derek Trucks for a rousing rendition of 'Exodus' and kept him there for 'Right On.' And then he brought the whole musical affair to an end with 'Brotherhood.' 'Yaleo' (that included a wicked Bongo & Drum solo!), and 'Apache/Smooth/Dame.'

After an encore that included 'Soul Sacrifice' and 'Angel Chant/ Into The Night' - which was introduced with a back drop video of Woodstock crowd scenes - he and his band had played for a solid 2 1/2 hours ... and which for most of us could have happily extended for another hour or more!

Review & Photos By: Ramon Trevino





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