Santana @ The Rabobank Arena, Bakersfield CA 09/27/11

It’s hard to categorize Santana. Psychedelic 60s guitar guru? Jam band maestro? Rock en Espanol? Whatever Santana is, I kid you not, he/they’re an act not to be missed. My friend from work, ‘La Dianne’ joined me at this gig. I wish I could have taken my dad along…but knowing him he probably would have fallen asleep midway through Come on, the concert was 3 frickin hours long! And quite honestly i don’t remember a lot of tracks being performed. It seemed like there only a dozen or so true songs played, with an equal amount of solos, free form jamming, and sociopolitical as well as spiritual commentary. All of that amounted to 3+ hours. And I can take only so much jamming and commentary. Whether I liked such aspects or not, there was no denying that the man AND the band performed as if they were in their prime and never lost the magic: Santana was powerful, precise, inspiring and wildly entertaining.

All the percussionists had a solo piece. Karl Perazzo did an impressive solo on timbales that got the crowd going. Santana is using dual drummers. Cindy Blackman had one solo piece while the great Dennis Chambers had the second drum solo attached to “Soul Sacrifice.” Another impressive aspect to the show was regarding song selection and how some numbers seemed “related” to each other. For example Oye Como Va melted into Maria Maria, and Corazon Espinado seamlessly flowed into Guajira – practically the same song structure, key and phrasings. The sound was crystal clear with lots of thump from the drummers as well as pristine singing and guitar playing. The sound truly was perfect. The Rabobank arena was packed. It was definitely a sell out crowd with a diverse mix of ages. I like how a group like this can cross generations. To my immediate right a father and son were sitting together. And all throughout the arena you could see the differences in ages. I got to move around and venture to different parts of the arena, making it to the lower level near Dennis Chamber’s drum setup. The show was great and affordable too.

1. Spark of the Divine / Sun Ra
2. Taboo / Back In Black (AC/DC cover)
3. Singing Wings, Crying Beasts / Black Magic Woman / Gypsy Queen
4. Oye Como Va
5. Maria Maria
6. Foo Foo
7. Corazón Espinado/Guajira
8. Jingo
9. Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile)
10. No One To Depend On
11. Open Invitation
12. Evil Ways / A Love Supreme (Coltrane)
13. Sunshine of Your Love (Cream cover)
14. Smooth / Dame Tu Amor
15. Woodstock Chant / Soul Sacrifice + Dennis Chambers drum solo
16. Bridegroom / Into the Night
17. Love, Peace & Happiness / Freedom

Downer of the night: the absence of “Samba Pa Ti.” How could they not play that!

Awesomest moment: The Corazon Espinado/Guajira seque. Too cool. Dad would have loved that. Oh and talking to the fan wearing an original RUSH: Moving Pictures tour shirt. That was beyond cool. The following images from that gig were taken by J. Gomez. No copyright infringement intended.

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Posted on October 2, 2012, in Concerts: 2005-2011, Santana and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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