On This Day in History

On this date in history, 6/18/1999, Santana played a show at Deer Creek just 3 days after releasing what would wind up being the biggest album of their career, the award winning Supernatural. This review isn’t about that album and this concert really wasn’t about it, either. I’m not sure if they even played any songs from that album on this night, and if so, they hadn’t achieved the mythic status they would eventually attain. Basically, this was a pure Santana show, full of the intoxicating percussion, bluesy guitar, soulful vocals, and all around joyous and peaceful vibe that Carlos and the band perfected in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. It is nearly impossible to have a bad time at a Santana show, especially an outdoor one like this was. The entire crowd is on its collective feat, swaying and dancing, smiling and singing. I had seen Santana and Jeff Beck a few years prior, and my focus was primarily on Jeff Beck that night, because he is my favorite living guitarist. This night was all about Carlos for me. His tone is instantly recognizable to anyone with an ear for gorgeous sound, and his playing is always perfect for the songs the band performs. He adds the spice that makes the meal go from tasty to absolutely delicious. The band that opened the show was called Ozomatli, and their music was the perfect complimentary style to Santana, full of their own blend of percussion and positive vibes. Near the end of their set, everyone in the band grabbed a drum or some piece of percussion to march through the pavilion and into the lawn to bring the drum circle to the people. It was a beautiful prelude to my favorite Santana performance. This one had it all; great friends, great weather, and a healthy dose of music for the soul. I would see Carlos and band just one more time after this and it followed the insane success that attended Supernatural. Sadly, the success ruined a good thing for me, but that is a story for another time…

Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic

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