Santana brings his West Coast creation to Boston’s own Blue Hills Bank Pavilion

Photos by Micah Gummel
Review by King Dale
Show Photos HERE
Carlos Santana is one of the most influential artists of our generation. Born in Mexico, Carlos moved to San Francisco as a teenager. It was a time when America’s youth was migrating there as well. While the corner of Haight and Ashbury streets got all the attention. It was the gatherings in Golden Gate Park, which shaped the culture and the music scene. That’s were a young Carlos was forming his musical roots. Like a lot guitar players from that era, He started out playing Blues. In fact, when he first formed his band it was called the Santana Blues Band.
As he was hanging around the park one summer’s day, he could here all the different sounds around him. Bands would set up there equipment in the park and jam. Which would create a blend of sounds. The bands would hold court in various areas of the park. In one area you might have a blues band playing, in one area a folk artist or a jazz trio.
Carlos got the idea to start blending all the sounds he had heard. As his music was progressing he had a brush with his past. One day in the park he noticed a pair of Latin performers who were really delivering a great percussion sound. Going up his father played in a Mariachi band. So that sound really hit home for him. Blend these sounds together and there you have it, “Santana”.
Forty-six years later and a member of the Rock N’ Roll hall of fame, Carlos Santana and his band performed at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion. With images of the Woodstock festival on the video screen, you could here the Rain Chant intro from the soundtrack coming from the PA system as the band entered the stage. That could only mean one thing. That’s right “Soul Sacrifice”. Minus the drum solo, the band played the song with just as much passion and intensity that they did at Woodstock almost forty-six years ago to the day. That certainly set the tone for the night.
With one of the best rhythm sections around, a killer keyboardist and a horn section to boot. And that guitar tone that’s among the best of rocks greatest guitar icons. The Santana Band delivered an energetic set that got the crowd on there feet. Following the eruption of “Europa”. Carlos’ son, Salvador Santana, joined the band on stage.
Like his father, and grandfather before him. Salvador Santana has found a way to bring those incredible Latin rhythms and style to a modern audience. Already an accomplished keyboard player, Salvador blends his style with a modern day Hip Hop approach. With “Summer’s Day” and his political and powerful “Rise Up” got everybody up on his or her feet. Then the dance party started with the title track of his latest album “Fantasy Reality” (get yours today on the Various Music label).
The song that got me dancing was “Jingo” one of my all time favorites. One of the most uplifting things you could every experience. If this song doesn’t get you moving, nothing will. Following that was their first hit single “Evil Ways”. A song that the legendary concert promoter Bill Graham got them to play. The band concluded the set with there smash hit “Smooth”. A Rob Thomas song that appeared on the multi Grammy winning album “Supernatural”.
Of course that got the crowd going absolutely nuts. Which prompted an incredible encore of their smash hit “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”. Always a fan favorite. The band finished up the night with an outstanding rendition of “Toussaint L’Overture”. With Carlos showing that he’s still one of the greatest guitar virtuosos of our time. I’m not sure what the Spanish translation is for the chorus. But if I was to guess, I would say it means “Kick Ass Jammin’”.

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