Carlos Santana - guitar, vocals
Gregg Rolie - keyboards, piano, lead vocals
Neal Schon - guitar
David Brown - bass
Michael Shrieve - drums
Jose Chepito Areas - percussion, conga, timbales
Mike Carabello - percussion, conga, tambourine, vocals
Thomas "Coke" Escovedo - percussion
By July of 1971, Santana was one of the most popular and commercially successful bands on the planet; and with Bill Graham managing and being such an instrumental part of their early success, they were the obvious choice to play the final set at the Fillmore West on closing night.
This set is notable for many reasons, perhaps the two most obvious being that it was the last to feature members from the classic "Woodstock-era" lineup and that it captures the group as they were splintering into two distinctive directions. On the one hand, Greg Rolie - along with several other band members - insisted on emphasizing the hard-rocking, Latin-flavored sound that established the band initially, while Carlos was growing beyond rock music and becoming more interested in the spiritual, ethereal and particularly spontaneous improvisational elements in the music of artists like John Coltrane and Miles Davis. This set also features the teenage guitar prodigy Neal Schon, who after turning down an offer to join Eric Clapton's band, Derek and the Dominos, joined the Santana lineup. His addition gave the band a powerful dual lead guitar attack and injected the band with even more energy.
From the first song of the set, when they sink their teeth into a sizzling version of the fusion piece "Incident At Neshabur," the band members prove they were masters of synthesizing diverse musical elements into a sound all their own. Though this is only a 15-minute excerpt from their hour-long set that night, it is representative of Santana at their best.