On June 22, 2023 the multi award-winning / Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Santana performed at CMAC in Canandaigua, NY. CMAC was one of the lucky venues to get a visit from his current, limited 16 date “1001 Rainbows Tour”. The partially enclosed outdoor venue was slowly filling in with fans, of all ages, eager to see the legend perform. For this tour stop, Santana was the only band performing. The band played a 20 song set for about 2 hours. At the start of the show there were over 7,000 fans in attendance.
With an 8 pm start, giant video screens lit up with a cool video of the Aurora Borealis. Smoke shot up from the back of the stage, under a purple glow from the lights. Nine band members slowly took their places on the stage. They started the show with “Soul Sacrifice” while the video screens are playing scenes from Santana's original Woodstock performance and clips of happy, smiling people from all over the world. For those who weren't on their feet already, they surely were for the next 4 songs. Playing “Jingo”, “Evil Ways", “Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va", the band was on fire! The soon to be 76 year old Santana played seemingly agelessly on the guitar. His classic sound was on point and the backing band was incredible and played extremely tight. Next up was “Everybody’s Everything”. At the end of the song was an awesome bass solo from Benny Rietveld, showcasing his incredible talents, the crowd went wild. Slowing it down Santana had a message before the next song. Here is a snippet,” You have to ignite yourself with enthusiasm. You can’t shake hands with a fist, you have to open up. To open up, you have to be willing, you have to be willing to let go of stupid shit. Let go of fear…Let go of that. We wish you good health, wealth and peace of mind, and joy” breaking into “Europa”. Sprinkled over the next four songs of, “Batuka”, “No One To Depend On”, “Right On/Umi Says' ' and “Yaleo”, Santana wanted to deliver a point. “Stop shootings, stop suicides”, “We are honored to be on this planet”, “I want to make a difference”, “We are priceless and precious” and lastly “Go home, believe in your possibilities, after you smoke weed and drink tequila” as he chuckles sending the fans wildly cheering. Taking the lead vocals for “Put Your Lights On” was guitarist, Tommy Anthony. The whole venue was lit up with cell phones swaying back and forth to the music. This was a cool moment to see. After “Corazon Espinado”, Andy Vargas yells “Everybody put your hands in the air”, the house lights came on, “Let’s hear it for Carlos Santana”! The fans erupt in a cheer and Santana begins the sweet acoustic beginning to “Maria Maria”. The energy and emotion are building in the band while playing the next two songs “Foo Foo” and “ Toussaint L’ Overture”. While hard to beat that energy, Cindy Blackman Santana gave it a shot with a 5-minute epic drum solo! A highlight for me was the overhead camera shots of her playing. She was switching techniques of holding the sticks while her hands were flying around the kit. Close-ups of her footwork on the double bass drum pedals were impressive. She got a standing ovation for her solo! The next song was “Roadhouse Blues” and the band was having a good time on stage. A large moth flew up on stage and bassist Benny playful pretended to shoot it down with his bass while his bandmates laughed at the sight. Winding down the show was “Love, Peace and Happiness” and the ever-popular “Smooth”. The band turned up a notch and had the entire venue up on their feet dancing and singing along. After a career spanning more than 50 years, Santana still has ..."It"!
Santana is: Carlos Santana – guitars, Cindy Blackman Santana – drums, Andy Vargas – vocals, Benny Rietveld – bass, David K Mathews – keyboards, Karl Perazzo – percussion, Paoli Mejias – percussion, Ray Greene – vocals, Tommy Anthony – guitars & vocals
Setlist: Soul Sacrifice, Jingo, Evil Ways, Black Magic Woman/Gypsy, Oye Como Va, Everybody's Everything/ Benny - Bass Solo, Europa, Batuka, No One To Depend On, Right On/ UMI Says, Yaleo, Put Your Lights On, Corazon Espinado, Maria Maria, Foo Foo, Toussaint L’ Overture, Cindy - Drum Solo, Roadhouse Blues(Doors Cover). Love, Peace And Happiness, Smooth