The concert kicked off Santana’s 29-city Supernatural Now Tour, which commemorates two of the legendary guitarist’s most momentous occasions: the 20th anniversary of his multi-Grammy-award winning album, Supernatural, and the 50th anniversary of his historic performance at Woodstock.
In 1969, when Carlos Santana and his band walked onto the stage at the legendary Woodstock Music Festival, they were unknowns. They didn’t even have an album released.
Santana followed with their second album, Abraxas, in September 1970.
Abraxas included two of Santana's most enduring and well-known hits, "Oye Como Va", and "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen".
Abraxas spent six weeks at #1 on the Billboard chart at the end of 1970. The album remained on the charts for 88 weeks and was certified 4x platinum in 1986. In 2003 the album was ranked number 205 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
Our Phoenix concert featured a four-song opener, starting with “Soul Sacrifice” and ending with “Evil Ways” that was perfection! High energy, flawlessly executed—so good that we had to dance instead of taking photos.
Those early 1970s songs were my favorite Santana classics for decades. But the best was yet to come, including one of the most amazing comebacks in rock history.
Clive Davis, who had worked with Santana a decade earlier at Columbia Records, signed Carlos Santana and his band, and encouraged him to record a star-studded album with mostly younger artists.
The result was 1999's Supernatural, which included collaborations with Everlast, Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, Cee Lo Green, Dave Matthews and others.
However, the lead single was what grabbed the attention of both the music industry, and fans (including me). "Smooth”, a dynamic cha-cha stop-start number co-written and sung by Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, was laced throughout with Santana's guitar fills and runs.
“Smooth” spent 12 consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1999. It was the first chart-topping song in Carlos Santana’s long-running career (even bigger than “Black Magic Woman”, which peaked at number 4 in 1971.
When Rob Thomas came on stage in Phoenix to perform “Smooth,” Carlos thanked him for composing the hit for Santana, singing it with them, and for reviving his career.
But beyond all the awards and sales, Supernatural carries a higher meaning for Carlos Santana. As he told Rolling Stone, “It’s a personal invitation from me to people: remember your divinity.”
Even if you’ve seen Santana before, go and witness his current concert if you can. Carlos Santana is 71, but he’s still at the top of his game, and his bandmates are star-studded and amazing.
I’m tempted to go to his concert again when the tour hits Vegas this fall, and see if my theory is accurate, once the show is fully refined.
Plus, the Doobie Brothers to lead off…Three hours of musical heaven!
Carlos Santana has collaborated with so many diverse performers throughout his fifty-year career. Who would he like to work with next?
“Sting,” he says.
Oh yea, sign me up for that one too!
July 2 – Salt Lake City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre
July 3 – Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center
July 6 – Dallas, TX @ Dos Equis Pavilion
July 9 – Austin, TX @ Austin360 Amphitheater
July 11 – Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center
July 12 – St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
August 3 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
August 4 – Chicago, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
August 6 – Toronto, ON @ Budweiser Stage
August 7 – Cleveland, OH @ Blossom Music Center
August 9 – Indianapolis, IN @ Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
August 10 – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
August 11 – Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
August 13 – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
August 14 – Washington, DC @ Jiffy Lube Live
August 16 – Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Amphitheater
August 18 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
August 20 – Boston, MA @ Xfinity Center
August 21 – Hartford, CT @ XFINITY Theatre
August 23 – Saratoga, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
August 24 – Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion
August 25 – Wantagh, NY @ Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater