KLOS 2014 COMPANY PICNIC
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
July 26, 2014
Photos and writing by TourBusLive.com
It’s hard to believe that we’d never seen the man live in concert before – but we hadn’t. So the 2014 KLOS COMPANY PICNIC was the perfect opportunity to do just that! And there, under the warm (or, more specifically, muggy) summer air over Orange County’s Irvine Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, we finally got our chance to witness CARLOS SANTANA live on stage!
At 67 years of age, and with a career going back more than 45 years, you might think CARLOS SANTANA would have slowed down by now. But he’s done no such thing. Aside from being an active and ardent philanthropist (his MILAGRO FOUNDATION has generously donated in excess of $3 million thus far to assist disadvantaged youth), SANTANA is still living life out there on the road, touring both Canada and the U.S. not only on his own, but he has also scheduled nearly twenty shows this summer co-headlining with the infamous Rod Stewart!
SANTANA’s own shows (which end with an upcoming 2015 two-month-long residency at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas) are currently in support of his newest release, CORAZÓN, an album that allowed the legendary Mexican-born fusion rock guitarist to show off the nostalgic side of his Hispanic roots with his first album recorded entirely with Spanish lyrics and based solely on Latin music genres. And if his brilliance wasn’t enough, the album features guest spots by several other well-known musicians, including Gloria Estefan, Romeo Santos, Pitbull, Juanes, and even Ziggy Marley.
After a really exciting opening set by his own son, the 31-year-old SALVADOR SANTANA (primarily a keyboardist, who wisely doesn’t play guitar on stage during his own set, which would be pretty daring and probably a bit trite), CARLOS SANTANA took the stage and began to do what he does best – captivating his audience with his rich tones and highly identifiable guitar style. Backing his already-amazing band, SANTANA glided easily between providing depth through his rhythmic guitar and then stepping to the forefront, cutting through the air with his soaring yet sensual guitar solos.
Pulling out all the stops pretty early in the set list, SANTANA ripped through a perfect back-to-back duo of his best known songs from his 1970 album “Abraxas” – starting with his cover of the 1968 Fleetwood Mac song (yes, I said Fleetwood Mac) “Black Magic Woman”, followed immediately by the standard (as it was recorded on the album) nearly two-minute-long instrumental ending to “Black Magic Woman,” a song called “Gypsy Queen,” which was written by Hungarian jazz guitarist Gabor Szabo. Never heard of him? Well, now you know. Neither song written by SANTANA, but the cover medley easily became Santana’s biggest hit single of his early career. And why not – the musicians involved, aside from SANTANA and his band, included the soon-to-be-members-of-70s-mega-boy-band-Journey – both NEAL SCHON on guitar (a natural-born guitar prodigy who was then only fifteen and already playing with the SANTANA BLUES BAND) and GREGG ROLIE on keyboards and vocals. No wonder the song(s) did so well. But I digress.
As “Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen” wrapped up, SANTANA stepped easily into the next song – his cover of Tito Puente’s “Oye Como Va!” At that point, nearly every audience member was on their feet for the rest of the show – dancing the night away to a set that spanned the entire range of SANTANA’s brilliant career. And it seemed SANTANA himself was enjoying the night as much as his fans – as he welcomed back on stage, for a few songs, his show-opener son SALVADOR. It was really something to see not one, but two generations of SANTANA on stage together.
And when SANTANA finally waved goodnight, it wasn’t until I checked my watch that I realized two hours had suddenly gone by in what felt like only a few minutes. Time only flies like that when you are REALLY having fun!
Yeah, there is good reason why Rolling Stone magazine listed SANTANA at an incredible number 20 on their “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list. So glad we finally got to see him ourselves – right there at the 2014 KLOS Company Picnic.
**Spotted in the crowd: Many of the KLOS Blood Drive donors/ticket winners wearing their new KLOS Blood Drive t-shirts. Also spotted was JENNA GUSTAFSON, the KLOS listener who won the contest to get up on stage and introduce the entire show alongside morning show host Frank (who was Heidi-less for the evening)!! Oh, and many of the KLOS DJs were out and about for the Company Picnic. If you got your photo with any of them – be sure to tag them on social media!
You can Donate to Santana’s MILAGRO FOUNDATION here:
GALAXY DANCE INTRO
- TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE
- EVERYBODY’S EVERYTHING
- BLACK MAGIC WOMAN/ GYPSY QUEEN
- OYE COMO VA
- MARIA MARIA
- FOO FOO
- CORAZON ESPINADO (with Salvador Santana)
- SO MUCH TROUBLE IN THE WORLD (with Salvador Santana and Adam Lasher)
- INNER CITY BLUES (with Salvador Santana and Adam Lasher)
- HOPE YOU’RE FEELING BETTER
- SAMBA PA TI
- LA FLACA
- SMOOTH/ DAME TU AMOR
- WOODSTOCK CHANT
- SOUL SACRIFICE