Carlos Santana, The Man, The Show, The Living Legend

He is 71 years young and still going strong.

By Claude Puggioni

Recently, I had the thrill and the honor of experiencing a living legend in concert at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and see Carlos Santana live!  The show was to start at 8:15 p.m. with no other bands opening for Santana. This gave an even higher level of importance to the Santana show. To everyone’s surprise, at 8:10 p.m. from backstage, we heard the distinctive lead guitar sound that can only be Carlos Santana.  Santana casually walked out on stage with guitar in hand and the show began.

Santana has been paying his unique brand of music for over 50 years, and his stage presence is unprecedented as he holds the crowd memorized by merely playing and holding one long note. The crowd goes wild, standing on their feet and cheering him on to play more. We all knew that we were in the presence of greatness touched by the hand of God, and we felt it.

I knew I was bestowed with a great honor just being witness to Carlos Santana and his fantastic band as they played there Latin American style of music but distinctly Santana. They played for two hours straight with no more than a five-minute break, not bad for a 71-year-old performer. The room was pumping, and we were all dancing and singing along as Santana played many of his greatest hits which some of us grew up with. His sharp wit and humorous comments have not waned over the years, his mind is still sharp.

The crowd demographic was as mixed as it could be from 21-year-olds to fans well in into senior years and we all danced with and next to each other, talked and mingled for the entire concert. Santana and his music has a way of bridging gaps and bringing people together of all ages.

A little trivia that many people don’t know is that Santana was born in Mexico and immigrated to San Francisco in his teenage years. In 1966 he formed the Santana Blues Band, and the rest is history.

One doesn’t need to know the song to realize it is Carlos Santana playing lead guitar on it.  His sound is so unique and distinctive that I don’t know of another guitarist in music history that is similar in playing style.  As soon as Santana plucks his first string, anyone that knows his sound will know who it is behind the lead guitar. It was a unique and heartwarming experience for me to see him live and I will carry the memory in my heart forever especially knowing Santana is now in his senior years and who knows when he will retire?

Keep on rocking to the end, my friend.

5.00 avg. rating (94% score) - 1 vote

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