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June 5, 2014

Latino-flavored rock heats up Jacobs Pavilion

By Aaron Cutteridge

Carlos Santana brought his brand of classic rock to Jacobs Pavilion May 29 in support of his new album “Corazón,” his first completely Latin speaking album and 22nd studio album, which had a May 6 release date.

Santana and his musicians went on-stage shortly after 8 p.m., and immediately set the very casual atmosphere with extended jam sessions on almost every song and Santana showcasing his deft guitar-playing brilliance.

The supporting musician in this iteration of Santana’s band consisted of 10 players made up of two lead singers who shared and supported the singing duties all night including singing many of the lyrics of classic Santana songs in Spanish.

The stunning percussion section had a main drummer, a percussionist using congas, cowbells, cymbals, maracas and other percussion instruments and another full-time conga player maintained a perfect synchronization with each other and the rest of the band.
Clevelanders took to Twitter to sound off about their experience during and after the show.

“#Santana wow what a legend Carlos Santana is the best,” tweeted @cubicinch400 from Brooklyn, Ohio.

“#Still riding high after seeing #Santana last night. What a fabulous show!! #Legend,” @root4browns tweeted.

Santana casually walked around the stage, negotiating the wires and cables — a rare sight on a modern concert stage.

All of the musicians, with the exception of the vocalists, were using wired instruments instead of the now common wireless transmitters for their instruments.

The Latino ambience permeated the crowd as many rose to their feet with ‘Black Magic Woman’ and ‘Oye Como Va’ and the sway of the crowd in unison to the music even had a casual, flowing manner instead of some frenetic gyration.

“I just saw a legend. #Santana,” tweeted @kujo1999.

To bear witness to Carlos Santana live and not invoke the title of a guitar god would be a disservice to a man whose career spans over 50 years and more than 35 albums — solo and collaborative — at the ease of his manner on stage as his fingers dance easily over the frets of his guitar.

The love of his craft and adoration of music was symbolized when, late in the two-and-a-half hour show, Santana introduced the members of his band.

After each introduction and mini-solo by that person, Santana tells the crowd to enjoy them and steps to the side of the stage and watches his troupe do a rousing rendition of The Police’s “Roxanne.”

A highlight was when Santana took a moment to speak to the audience about his life and how he wants everyone to become a more compassionate person and there is no reason for the hate in the world.

He poignantly talked of how the government, 30 years after the Vietnam War, admitted they should not have been there.

Santana said he feels in 30 years or sooner, the government will reveal it was a mistake to go to war with Afghanistan.

Santana’s music has transcended generations, religions, race, cultures and creed. His message of love, peace and global unity are as fresh today as they were in the sixties.

The audience at Jacobs Pavilion reflected that with people in their twenties and people in their sixties and seventies all coming together for this incredible performer.