Santana Brings His

Smooth Sounding 

Guitar And Awesome

Band To Blossom

August 9, 2019

It’s been over five years since Carlos Santana has graced a stage in northeastern Ohio.  Thousands of fans of all ages packed Blossom Music Center on Wednesday evening to hear this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer play his brand of Latin infused rock. 

 

Opening the show with “Soul Sacrifice,” concert goers got a taste of what made Santana famous fifty years ago at Woodstock.

 

However, this tour is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of his multi-platinum, multi-Grammy winning album Supernatural and they proceeded to play six tunes from that lp. 

 

He and his incredible band which includes his wife, Cindy Blackman Santana on drums, Andy Vargas and Ray Greene on vocals, Benny Retveld on bass, keyboardist David Mathews and percussionists Karl Parazzo and Paoli Mejias were spot-on all night long.

 

The sound was perhaps the best I have ever heard at Blossom.  Every instrument and vocal was crystal clear.  

 

And the tone of Santana’s guitar is just incredible.  Proving once again, it’s not the brand of guitar, but the person playing it who makes it sound good.

 

Of course, he played the hits such as “Evil Ways” and “Black Magic Woman.”

 

During “Oye Como Va” the large screen projected vintage images, album covers and video clips of Santana from throughout his career. 

 

The band was clearly enjoying themselves on stage.  At different points throughout the show, they would throw in snippets of other songs such “Chim Chim Cheree,” “Land of a Thousand Dances,” “Satisfaction” and “Day Tripper” to name a few.

 

After “Game of Love,”  Santana encouraged the audience to “Go Santana Bananas!” on “Breaking Down The Door.”

 

The over two hour light and sound spectacle came to a close with “Smooth” a portion of Earth Wind and Fire’s “September” and a nice cover of The Isley Brothers “Love, Peace and Happiness.”

 

Another band from the San Francisco area, The Doobie Brothers opened the show.

 

Two original members, Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons along with long-time guitarist/violinist John McFee brought the classic rock sounds of the ‘70s to Cuyahoga Falls.

 

Songs like “Rockin’ Down The Highway” “Jesus Is Just Alright” and “China Grove” prove once again, that they should be in the Rock Hall.  

“Takin’ It To The Streets” was the only Michael McDonald era tune that made the set.

 

The band closed the show with the one two punch of “Black Water” and “Listen To The Music,” making it a perfect evening of classic rock and roll. 

Review and photos by Greg Drugan

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