So if you missed the SANTANA concert with THE DOOBIE BROTHERS sharing the stage at Dos Equis Pavilion, you missed a star-studded night. By that I mean the set lists for both bands was simply one hit after another. The show was delayed for almost an hour due to mother nature putting on her very own light show with quite a storm! It certainly didn’t stop the standing room only audience, even though it started pouring out on the lawn. Up on the front row we felt the rain gently kiss our faces as though it were misters on a hot Summer night.
By the time THE DOOBIE BROTHERS stepped on stage as the opening act, the crowd was already clapping and cheering. “Rockin Down The Highway” started off the night and the band’s unmistakable classic harmonies filled the room.John Cowan displayed super strong vocals on “Take Me In Your Arms” and Tom Johnston entertained us not only musically but visually with his metal flake magenta Fender Strat.Bill Payne blew us away with a keyboard solo that led right into Mark Russo‘s sax stylings. A shout out to SANTANA from the DOOBIES caused a spontaneous eruption of screams from the audience! “Taking It To The Streets” had the audience up on their feet clapping in time and singing all the words.
Ed Toth gave us a strong drum intro into “Jesus Is Just All Right” as the crowd went completely wild. A no holds barred version of “Long Train Running” highlighted a blistering sax solo with searing notes so high you’d think they might break glass. This was the point in the evening where I couldn’t help but jump up to my feet and dance uncontrollably. “China Grove”, “Black Water” and “Listen To The Music” rounded out the set before a quick break and SANTANAS’ grand entrance on stage.
The video screen showing classic images and video clips of the historic Woodstock Music Festival opened their set. Neon pink and orange peace signs floated on either side of the center video screen. It was quite a heartwarming video montage. The Supernatural Now Tour is a celebration of the 50 year anniversary of Woodstock which was a career catapulting moment for Carlos Santana and his music. Another milestone being celebrated was the 20 year anniversary of his comeback album Supernatural. Carlos graced the stage wearing all white playing his one off gold leaf private stock Paul Reed Smith.
One of the beautiful things about this show for me is how when I looked around I saw people of all ages and all nationalities. The youngest fan I encountered was 11 years old and I saw little old ladies that reminded me of my own mother. As a matter of fact, 20 years ago I took my mom to the SUPERNATURAL show at this very venue. ”Jingo Lo Ba“ had the audience up and dancing to the Latin percussion as though it were a tribal initiation. ”Evil Ways” had Carlos expertly shredding the seemingly endless lead solo. The sound of ”Yaleo” was so full on my head almost couldn’t contain it. After tearing up the fretboard on that “Yaleo” solo he gently eased into “Hey Now” with the lights focused on the audience.
“Hope You’re Feeling Better” featured his two vocalists Andy Vargas and Ray Greene. Both wowed us with their soulful vocal abilities laced with some Hispanic styled rap. THE DOOBIE BROTHERS joined them on stage for a version of the cover song ”She’s Not There” and I could feel the bass vibrations of Benny Reitveld rumble straight through my body. The lovely aroma of incense heightened our experience of an expertly crafted exploration of sounds.
Another montage of video footage highlighting Carlos’ career led us into ”Game Of Love“ as the video segued into live shots of the current evenings audience singing and dancing and having the time of their lives. Cindy Blackman, Carl Perazzo and Paulo Mejia‘s Complemented each other during an unexpected version of ”September” by EARTH WIND AND FIRE.
”Smooth” rounded out the evening before Carlos gave us a heartfelt blessing encouraging us to “CHANGE THE WORLD INTO A PLANET OF WONDERMENT.” It was truly an honor to be a witness and a special part of this show and I Believe everyone in the audience had the same feeling. If you get a chance to see Supernatural Now in another city, I would say it is a must! You won’t regret it and you’ll be a part of a truly historical moment in time!
LIVE IMAGES: JOE GUZMAN/GUZPIX
LIVE WORDS: DEBBIE IRENE IDE