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  • Writer's pictureBill Hernandez

Review: Carlos Santana



Carlos Santana

 The legendary sound of Carlos Santana can easily be recognized with a single pluck of a guitar string. His style of playing is unlike any other player in the world. His guitar licks are copied by guitar players worldwide and while it is often copied, it can never be duplicated. Last night, South Floridians got the chance to see this legendary guitar player/songwriter in all his glory and to hear forty years of unforgettable music.

The band took the stage without Carlos Santana and started the show. The band opened with the intro to O Paradiso with Santana taking the stage about a minute into the set opener. Arriving to a standing ovation, Santana infused the Hard Rock Live ( Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Hollywood) venue with wailing guitar riffs that resonated throughout. For the first few songs, the crowd stayed on their feet until Santana broke out with the classic instrumental Europa, which allowed them to sit down and relax a bit, but that didn't last long at all


Santana's Are You Ready, which was released this year, started another round of amazing tunes from this master guitarist. Other songs that followed included the classic Evil Ways, A love Supreme, and Maria Maria.

Two singers, Andy Vargas and Ray Green held duel vocal duties for the night and their vocals complimented Santana's music perfectly. In addition to this stellar night of musical perfection, Green was celebrating a birthday. Santana surprised Green with a birthday cake and flowers while the band and the audience sang an extra special Happy Birthday to the vocalist. Apart from being fantastic vocalists, Green and Vargas are also accomplished musicians as well, lending a hand by playing trumpet, maracas, tambourines and a series of other musical instruments.

Santana's drummer, and wife of almost seven years, Cindy Blackman-Santana performed non-stop during the two-hour and twenty minute concert and performed amazingly. Two-thirds through the concert, Blackman-Santana did an eight minute drum solo that shook the roof of the venue and finished to a standing ovation.

Following the drum solo, Santana busted into Oye Como Va, Mona Lisa, and an unexpected medly of hits that included Total Destruction Of Your Mind / Dancing In The Street / Proud Mary / Satisfaction / Day Tripper / and then finishing the medley with the song that they started with, Destruction Of Your Mind.

The night's performance ended with a hit that Santana had with Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas titled Smooth. The audience certainly clamored for more and Santana obliged by returning with an unforgettable guitar instrumental which satisfied the crowd and brought to end an amazing show that is one of the best concerts I have seen in the last twenty years.

 For more information about  Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Hollywood, 


please visit their website at


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