Deja-vu is the most glorious thing when it involves Carlos Santana. While entering the 200 section at the Molson Amphitheatre, I was serenaded to my seat as Santana feverously plucked his smoldering strings. I watched his fingers fly up and down the neck of his guitar as I clumsily stumbled over people to find my unoccupied musical heaven. Vivid memories of my last Santana concert experience flooded my mind. I’m sure my pupils dilated with mnemonic delight and anticipation. This time around, my seats were intimately close to the stage. I could smell his incense burning and was blinded by the shine off the trumpet. Submerged by the sensual sounds, I closed my eyes and felt the breeze caress my hair. In that moment, everything was perfect.
The concert started off with a bunch of crowd pleasing songs. There wasn’t one person who could resist the urge to express themselves through the art of dance! When the trio of Black Magic Woman, Oye Como Va, and Maria Maria surged through the wall of speakers, the aisles were lined with couples dancing and the masses were slowly slithering inches away from their seats. The breeze became scarce but it didn’t seem to bother anyone. The band’s dynamic is punctuated with comedic and inspiring banter that created instant chemistry and participation from the audience. The most memorable part of any Santana concert is how the band members are showcased with epic solos. No one goes unnoticed. Mouths gaped open in amazement when Santana’s wife, Cindy Blackman, took the stage and tirelessly banged out her drum solo. Her energy was contagious. And for anyone who thinks the bass guitar is just a background instrument think again. Watch Benny Rietveld slap his bass without any accompaniment and you will have a whole new respect for bass players.
The night rounded out with other favourites including Foo Foo, Europa, Jingo, and Evil Ways. The venue erupted during the encore and every seat was vacant. Soul Sacrifice had everyone ecstatically chanting. After seeing Santana live for the second time, I can say with the utmost confidence, you are guaranteed to relish every second while you samba in your seat!