July 12, 2010
By: Evan J. Thomas
What can you say about a man who at 20 years old amazed thousands of mud caked onlookers at the original Woodstock that hasn’t already been said? I mean come on; Rolling Stone Magazine in 2003 named this guitar god the 15th greatest guitar player of all time. This critically acclaimed artist has won 10 Grammy Awards and 3 Latin Grammy awards during his illustrious career. He has collaborated with the who’s who of the music industry. He has appeared on FOX’s number one show American Idol. He recently was idolized in the Guitar Hero 5 video game as a character option. So again, what can be said of Carlos Santana that hasn’t already been mentioned? Not much can be said.
Carlos Santana and his band conveniently named Santana graced the sultry stage last Friday night at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheater in Tinley Park, Illinois. If you have never seen Santana live you are definitely missing out on seeing an icon perform his craft. Santana’s blues-based guitar rifts are masterful and blend perfectly with the rhythmic percussions and seductive vocals provided. Since Santana doesn’t tour with all the big name singers who have collaborated in the past he does have two very worthy and harmonic vocalists who at times dual with each other or belt out individual tunes. Santana’s devoted followers grooved to the two plus hour set jam packed with his collection of hits which included “Black Magic Woman”, “Oye Como Va”, “Maria, Maria” and many more.
Moments after the 4th song concluded there was a news worthy moment on stage. Santana proposed to his girlfriend and drummer Cindy Blackman. The moment came as Blackman finished her drum solo; Carlos then dropped to his knee and proposed in front of the surprised audience. Blackman accepted his proposal as they eventually kissed. The crowd erupted in celebration for the happy couple as the next song began.
The evening began with another legendary performer and the much decorated English singer and songwriter Steve Winwood as the opening act. Winwood’s career has been just as brilliant and well traveled as his counter part Santana. Winwood’s distinguished career began at the tender age of 14 when he joined The Spencer Davis Group. He formed the band Blind Faith with all world guitarist and songwriter Eric Clapton. Winwood has also been in the bands Traffic and Go and he has had a stellar career as a solo artist. Winwood and his band performed his most popular tunes like “Higher Ground”, and “Gimme Some Lovin”.
Seeing and hearing these two celebrated icons will bring you back to a time where music was music and not a spectacle that you see in the music industry of today. Sometimes you go to concerts for the “stage show” and sometimes you just want to sit back and enjoy great musicians. This was that performance.
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