Sure Carlos Santana can make you dance.
But he wants to make you listen – to yourself.
Several times during his intimate show Monday at the House of Blues in Anaheim, Santana counseled the audience to just take a breath, find their inner core, their beam of light, what makes them “holy, sacred and divine.” To strive for equality, justice and freedom.
Santana isn’t just an iconic, legendary guitarist, he is the shaman of Latin-Afro rock.
And this wasn’t just a 2 ½-hour concert, it was a spiritual healing – with a groove.
In a black Adidas jacket and black leather pants, Santana celebrated life with heart-pumping guitar jams, licking his fingers before launching into a frantic solo, bending his back as he bent a string, grimacing in ecstasy during an especially emotional “Europa.”
He can make a guitar wail and cry, then make it roar like a Mustang engine.
His words can be equally biting, like when he took a jab at President Trump and former top White House adviser Steve Bannon.
Santana’s poke at POTUS 45 sparked one fan to tell him what he could do with his feelings. This is, after all, Orange County.
But you don’t just get Santana’s music, you get his heart and soul. His spirituality. And you somehow find your own.
Of course, the showstoppers were classic standards, “Evil Ways,” “Black Magic Woman,” and “Oye Como Va,” all done faithfully and with much energy by lead singers Andy Vargas and Ray Greene. As if by magic, everybody in the crowd…