By Don Chareunsy, Vegas DeLuxe editor
Carlos Santana’s guitar genius and skills and his band’s pulsating and potent music were on full display during Santana’s first two performances of the celebrated band’s two-year residency at the new Rogue Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel on Wednesday and Thursday nights. Our contributing photographer Erik Kabik was there both nights for our fabulous photo coverage.
Supernatural Santana: A Trip Through the Hits is quintessential Santana. Yes, there are the hits, including “Oye Como Va,” “Black Magic Woman,” “Maria Maria” (which is dedicated to my friend KVBC anchor Maria Silva, although Santana doesn’t know it) and the biggest hit of the band’s career, the multiple Grammy Award-winning “Smooth.”
The outspoken Santana speaks his mind and convictions. On non-media night one, as one non-media friend recounted to me, Santana said, “Rather than weapons of mass destruction, we should use weapons of mass compassion. It’s cheaper.” And “fear is an expensive thing … just ask Bush and Cheney.” Oh, snap! On night two, Santana praised President Obama and suggested that marijuana be legalized to fund education. And keeping to his promise in pre-residency interviews, Santana’s set varied from night one to night two.
It would be wrong not to credit the incredible and energetic band: Tommy Anthony, rhythm guitar; Dennis Chambers, drums; Jeff Cressman, trombone; Tony Lindsay, vocals; Bill Ortiz, trumpet; Karl Perazzo, timbales; Raul Rekow, congas; Benny Rietveld, bass; Chester Thompson, keyboards; and Andy Vargas, vocals. Frank the Plumber, who recently designed Madonna’s Sticky & Sweet Tour, created Santana’s colorful, hippie and trippy set.
Santana had last night off and resumes the party tonight. Supernatural Santana is truly out of this world for Santana fans, and that’s exactly how the guitar legend would want it, man.
Click HERE for Vegas DeLuxe’s first-night coverage and photo gallery.
Click HERE for Editor Johnny Kats’ take in The Kats Report.
Click HERE for Las Vegas Sun writer Mark Whittington’s story.