Carlos Santana Live Your Light Auckland 2008


Carlos Santana graced Auckland last night with an amazing concert at the Vector Arena last night. Starting with Jingo and ending with favourites such as Black Magic Woman, the man who is on a crusade for world peace showed that te decades have not slowed him down.

While most people probably didn’t get to hear the old favourites they were hoping for Carlos and an outstanding band of drummers, percussionists, brass, keys and bass got an Auckland crowd onto their feet and showed that he still has the magic. This isn’t a man living off his old songs, this is a musician, a master craftsman who constantly reinvents himself while still paying homage to his roots.

He and his band played for a solid 2 1/2 hours which for most of us could have happily extended for another hour or more. I can’t remember the names of his band, but would go and see any of them on their own. Carlos is not afraid of being outshone by his musicians, rather he brings the best he can find and gives them all a chance to show their chops.

The only negative is that the Vector Arena still hasn’t got their sound sorted. Sitting upstairs with one ear facing the speakers and the other ear getting the echo it was probably far more noticable than for the people sittingdownstairs facing the stage. Every beat started in the ear facing the speakers and then came back to the other one. This would have been novel once in one of the awesome drum solo’s, but after a while it got a bit tiring to a musician who likes to hear exactly what is happening. The sound people never got the vocal levels right either and it was often difficult to hear the lyrics and I don’t think they did the singers justice. Of course in general a Santana fan doesn’t go to hear vocals butwhat we heard sounded like they could have been very good.

Other than that, I now have a new Santana concert to remember and even more admiration for a man who not only keeps growing musically and spiritually, but seems true to his convictions and for all that he has achieved, remains a humble man.

A final note, Blue King Brown from Australia who were the supporting act couldn’t have been better for the job. Their music was authentic but in a similar vein and they warmed up the crowd superbly. I’ll be checking out their MySpace Page and looking out for an album. I’ll be watching out for their next visit here.

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3 thoughts on “Carlos Santana Live Your Light Auckland 2008

  1. Hey, thanks heaps for that extra info, what an amazing group of muso’s. As to the sound, I’m not surprised it was good for you because you were close to the speakers and facing the right way:)

  2. Great review! I just need to find photos now!
    I was in row 12 on the floor and the sound seemed perfect, probably the best for any concert I’ve been to (but I’m in the stands for the Foo Fighters so I hope they sort it out).

    The band, incase you’re wondering, was:
    Carlos Santana (lead guitar, of course)
    Chester Thompson (keyboards)
    Raul Rekow (Congas/Percussion, was on right at gig)
    Karl Perrazo (Timbales/Percussion, was on left at gig)
    Dennis Chambers (Drums, was in centre)
    Benny Rietveld (Bass guitar)
    Tommy Antony (rhythm guitar)
    Tony Lindsay & Andy Vargas (Vox)
    Bill Ortiz (Trumpet)
    Jeff Cressman (Trombone)

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