Santana | 07.12.17

There was definitely a free, loving, and peaceful feel to the show and the audience responded favorably.

Santana, 2017. Photo by Jamie Schroeder

The Fabulous Fox Theatre, St. Louis

There are concerts, and then there are concerts. Most performances are fun and make for a great night, but there’s something about seeing a musical legend that transcends the typical concert experience. There’s the expectation that what you’re about to see will be surreal, even life-changing for some. Santana is one of those artists.

Without the need for introductions or openings acts, Carlos Santana came straight out of the gate with guns blazing Wednesday night at The Fabulous Fox Theatre. The stage was lit with electrifying color and a large digital LED screen that helped set the mood throughout the evening. There was definitely a free, loving, and peaceful feel to the show and the audience responded favorably. He didn’t shy away from political or taboo banter, but overall his message of hope and peace seemed welcomed.

As would be expected, Santana mixed numerous classic hits from throughout the decades with his newer music. His band included Andy Vargas and Ray Greene on vocals, his wife Cindy Blackman Santana on drums, David Mathews on keyboard, Benny Rietveld on bass, and Tommy Anthony on guitar, with Karl Perazzo and Paoli Mejais on percussion. Some of the songs included “Maria Maria,” “Corazon Espinado,” “Evil Ways,” “Mona Lisa,” “Smooth,” “Europa,” “Oye Como Va,” and “Black Magic Woman.””

Deep in the middle of the concert, The Isley Brothers came out to sing a handful of songs with Santana from their forthcoming album Power of Peace. Santana referred to the album, set to be released on July 28, as “songs to change the consciousness of the United States.” One of the most memorable tracks from the collaborative performance was a song written and performed by Cindy entitled “I Remember.” Her vocals hit a bittersweet note throughout the song that both soothed the soul and pulled at the heartstrings. Also included in the night’s performance were “Shout” and “What the World Needs Now.”

As a lifelong Santana fan, seeing him perform for the first time ever was an epic experience. Hearing him speak was extremely inspiring and profound. Lots of performers try to attain that same kind of deep and heavy message in their performance, but when you hear Carlos Santa speak, you know his words come from decades of experience. Santana’s music has inspired generations and liberated people through decades of social movements and has helped to unite people. | Jennifer Manjarez

View Jamie Schroeder’s complete Santana album on our Facebook page

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