Review of Santana and Earth, Wind & Fire Live In Ill
Rob Grabowski and Tom Antonson surprised Santana and Earth, Wind & Fire In The Act at their July 2 concert at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Tinley Park, Illinois. Check out Tom’s review and Rob’s photos!
On July 1, Tinley Park Illinois welcomed over 22,000 people to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater to see the legendary Carlos Santana along with special guests, Earth Wind and Fire. The diverse crowd included individuals from very young to old, of all races, creeds and religions, all united under the pretense that music doesn’t have to have any barriers.
Earth, Wind and Fire came out blazing and warmed up (pun intended) the sold-out crowd with hits such as “Shining Star”, The Beatles, “Got To Get You Into My Life”, “Rock That!”, “September” and “Let’s Groove”. The entire crowd danced and danced along with the 11 band members on stage as if every spectator had just joined the band. There was no denying that they were one of the greatest singing and dancing groups to ever grace a stage.
The show was immediately stolen when Carlos Santana practically slipped on stage amid fog and bright lights. Santana’s gigantic cigar and incense sticks helped set the mood and added to the effects on stage. While these effects were interesting, nothing could have topped his bright white tracksuit. Santana’s costume was so white, in the spotlight, he shone like an angel and had the choir of cherubs supporting him. He made sure to share the spotlight with every member of his band throughout the show with grace and class.
In fact, it didn’t really feel like a show, more like a private jam session between one of the most legendary guitarists of all time and some of his closest friends and family. This includes his wife, Cindy Blackman-Santana as one of three percussionists on stage. There was no shortage of talent and percussion on stage and they held the rhythm with impeccable precision.
While there was plenty of talent on stage, Santana made sure to pay homage to the legendary musicians who shaped his playing style and helped him achieve his own legendary status as a top guitarist. This included nods to the Chicago blues community with Buddy Guy, as well as various musical legends including Stevie Ray Vaughn and Eric Clapton. Santana also treated the crowd to some Chicago blues-style riffs and made sure to address and thank everyone in the crowd along with “Jesus, Sweet Baby Jesus.”
Overall, Santana pleased the crowd with her song choices and effortless guitar riffs. Each song seemed to coalesce into a gigantic compilation of guitar goodness. This included his smooth guitar work throughout the 18-song set which included hits such as; “Oye Como Va”, “Black Magic Woman”, as well as “Joy” which was a collaboration with country legend Chris Stapelton. The set also included covers of “Shes Not There” by The Zombies as well as excerpts from “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by “George Harrison”. A crowd favorite was “Put Your Lights On” which had their cellphone flashlights dancing, singing and waving, which put on quite a show. “Maria, Maria” had all the ladies in attendance swooning and as Mr. Santana entered the opening notes of “Smooth,” his legendary collaboration with Rob Thomas, the frantic crowd was dancing and singing as if everyone was old. friends. It was truly a show to remember, and it’s amazing how even at 74, legends such as Carlos Santana can still sell out huge venues, but it’s no surprise with the man who invented the term, smooth!