Santana with Earth Wind & Fire
The Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater The Miraculous Supernatural 2022 Tour Wantagh, NY August 13, 2022
By Mike Perciaccante
During his long career, Carlos Santana has won 10 Grammy Awards. In 1966, in San Francisco, the Mexican-American guitarist and songwriter formed his eponymously named band. Since that time, Santana (the band) has undergone numerous lineup changes. Carlos Santana has remained the only constant member. The guitarist and band cemented its place in history with its iconic appearance at Woodstock. The group’s first three Columbia Records albums--Santana (1969), Abraxas (1970), and Santana III (1971)--are considered to be among the all-time classic albums of not only the rock era, but of any era. With a sound that is a mixture of jazz fusion, jamband rock, pop, folk, funk, blues, salsa, R&B and, of course, Latin music, Santana and his band have released over two dozen albums and is listed as one of the best-selling groups of all time. Santana’s “classic” line-up featuring (Gregg Rolie, Mike Carabello, Michael Shrieve, David Brown, José Areas and, of course, Carlos Santana) was inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2000, the Santana won six Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards. In 2015, Carlos Santana (with co-writer Ashley Kahn) released his memoir The Universal Tone: Bringing My Story to Light (Little, Brown and Company). The Santana band is currently comprised of: Carlos Santana (lead guitar, percussion and vocals), Benny Rietveld (bass), Karl Perazzo (percussion), Andy Vargas (vocals), Tommy Anthony (rhythm guitar and vocals), David K. Mathews (keyboards) Paoli Mejías (percussion), Ray Greene (vocals) and Cindy Blackman Santana (drums). For over 50 years, Earth, Wind & Fire has delivered a musical mélange that combines funk, pop, jazz, R&B, soul, disco, EDM, Latin, and Afro pop. They are one of the most innovative and commercially successful acts in history. During its career, Earth Wind & Fire has sold over 90 million records, making it one of the world’s best-selling bands – ever. Earth Wind & Fire was founded in 1969 by Maurice White. The group’s members have included: Philip Bailey, Verdine White, Ralph Johnson, Larry Dunn, Al McKay, Roland Bautista, Robert Brookins, Sonny Emory, Ronnie Laws, Sheldon Reynolds and Andrew Woolfolk. Currently Bailey (vocals, conga, and percussion), Verdine White (bass, percussion and vocals) and Johnson (vocals and percussion) [members of the band’s classic lineup] continue to perform with Earth Wind & Fire. They are joined by B. David Whitworth (percussion and vocals), musical director Myron McKinley (keyboards), John Paris (drums and vocals), Philip Doron Bailey (vocals and percussion), Morris O’Connor (lead guitar and vocals), Serg Dimitrijevic (rhythm guitar and vocals), Gary Bias (saxophone), Reggie Young (trombone) and Bobby Burns Jr. (trumpet). Over the course of its career, the band has won 6 Grammys and four American Music Awards. Earth Wind & Fire has received many accolated including induction into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the NAACP Image Award Hall of Fame. In addition, it has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. On a pleasant mid-August Saturday evening at Jones Beach, Santana and Earth Wind & Fire treated an enthusiastic Long Island audience to a wonderful night of old school, good time music. Earth Wind & Fire were on first and did not disappoint. The large band delivered a fantastic performance that provided the audience with a trip back to the ‘70s complete with glitzy and flashy clothes, choreographed dance moves, great harmonies, a top-notch brass section and funky bass lines – in short, a party. The band was not only firing on all cylinders but obviously was having a blast while providing its enthusiastic fans with a chance to bop to the beat, dance and sing along with their heroes. Earth Wind & Fire stormed the stage with a ferocious version of “Shining Star” and continued with an amazing 18-song funk, soul and boogie set that included: “Rock That,” “Fantasy,” “September,” Lets Groove,” an excellent cover of “Got To Get You Into My Life” and an amazing version of “Boogie Wonderland.”
After a short intermission, Santana took the stage. The legend and his band delivered a performance that featured a mix of English and Spanish singing as the music touched on and blended a vast mixture of genres and styles (on which Santana and his cohorts proved themselves to be virtuoso musicians). Santana starts the vast majority of his shows with a rousing version “Soul Sacrifice” followed by “Jingo.” This evening proved to be no different. “Evil Ways,” brought the fans to their feet and the dancing began. The evening’s highlights included: “Black Magic Woman” which effortlessly segued into “Gypsy Queen;” “No One To Depend On;” “Maria Maria” as well as the Tito Puente-penned classic “Oye Como Va” (which received a standing ovation).
Santana and his band members clearly loved every minute of the evening and fed off the audience members’ energy. The band jammed the night away, extending some songs and thus allowing Carlos Santana to deliver his signature solos as well as some wonderfully inspired improvisations. Santana is a guitar maestro. His hands move with a speed and precision across the fretboard that it must be seen (and heard) to be believed. As the evening progressed, the multi-cultural and multi-generational audience continued to dance and sing along to virtually every tune, most notably “Life For The Living” and “Corazón Espinado.” Following “Foo Foo,” the band took a moment and then delivered the encores. The first encore was “Toussaint L’Ouverture.” The tour is billed as The Miraculous Supernatural 2022 Tour, and as such it shouldn’t surprise even casual fans that Santana saved “Smooth” for the encores. During the mega-hit, the crowd danced, played air guitar, acted out the lyrics and sang along. The performance ended with covers of the ‘60s classics, “Roadhouse Blues” (by the Doors) and “Love, Peace and Happiness” (by the Chambers Brothers). The double bill of Santana and Earth Wind & Fire was a stroke of genius. The high-energy performances gave the fans an opportunity to be nostalgic while living in the present and all the while remembering how many great songs that these two acts have contributed to the soundtracks of their lives.