Later, Carlos takes time to describe his very optimistic view of humanity in transition, saying mankind demonstrates compassion when things are at their worst. Appropriately, this monologue segues into a beautiful rendition of the guitar prayer, “Novus,” which is followed by a series of fluid instrumentals, “Europa (Earth's Cry, Heaven's Smile)"/"I Want You.” From 1972, we get the hit “No One To Depend On” before Santana goes all the way back to the 1960s psychedelic styled “Duende"/"Open Invitation.”
Along with the soloists drawn from his group, Santana brings on guest performers such as the husband/wife vocal team of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks for the slow, soulful blues of “Make Somebody Happy"/"Right On Be Free.” Finally, we think the show is over but, for the encore, we get “Soul Sacrifice” with some unusual guitar leads, including the "007 Theme." But wait, there’s more! That means the gentle “Samba Pa Ti,” “Into The Night”, and the extended “Love, Peace And Happiness"/"Freedom,” in which all the band introductions are made.
It’s hard to imagine what more any concert goer could ask for from a performance. There’s an extremely tight band onstage capable of keeping the pace going and going with shifting time signatures, interweaving textures, varying vocal styles, and relentless energy. There’s one virtuoso guitarist surrounded by a fleet of outstanding players and singers, and the main man doesn’t hog the spotlight.
There’s outstanding material from start to finish, and whether or not all the selections were “hits” or not isn’t the point. This concert is an event that will fill your living room in all its corners and is one you’ll want to revisit from time to time. The bonuses, interviews with both Carlos and Cindy Santana, are insightful and revealing. I join the chorus of those who suggest listening to the interviews first to better appreciate the experience.