Richard Baker - keyboards; Graham Lear - drums; Alex Ligertwood - rhythm guitar, vocals; David Margen - bass; Armando Peraza - bongos, conga, vocals; Raul Rekow - conga, vocals; Carlos Santana - guitar, vocals; Orestes Vilató - percussion, timbales, vocals
Carlos Santana returned to the road with another incarnation of Santana for this 1982 tour, promoting Shango, one of the most popular studio discs he ever released. Greg Rollie, the original keyboardist and the band's best-loved vocalist, returned to help out on the disc, though was too busy with Journey to commit to tour with his former boss. Nonetheless, the disc was successful and gave Santana two more radio hits with "Hold On" and "Nowhere To Run."
There is fire in this performance, especially on the older classics such as "Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen," "Oye Como Va," and the ferocious "Incident At Neshabur." The newer material from that period fares just as well, especially "Searchin'" and the title track "Shango," which closes out this performance.
This show, like all Santana shows, is really all about the interplay between Carlos, his guitar, and the percussion segment of the band. Drummer Graham Lear is exceptional, especially since he had to fill in the shows for Michael Shrieve (whose drum solo at Woodstock had become a benchmark). Vocalist Alex Ligertwood is another key player here, especially for his vocals on "Black Magic Woman."
Originally formed in 1966 as the Santana Blues Band, by 1968 they had become what would be one of the last of the great San Francisco-era bands to emerge to national prominence. Promoter Bill Graham shortened the name to simply Santana and pushed the shy Mexican-born guitarist to the forefront of the band, which also included Gregg Rolie on organ and vocals, David Brown on bass, Jose Chepito Areas on percussion, and Michael Shrieve on drums.
Graham was able to get them signed to Columbia Records, and a fluke landed them a gig on their first U.S. tour at the Woodstock Music & Arts Festival, in August of 1969. The rest, as they say, is rock 'n' roll history, after Santana blew the festival away (and the audience who would later see the film and buy the soundtrack) with its distinctly Latin-flavored, blues-based rock.
After the band's third album Santana III, that line-up dissolved. But in 1973, after two solo projects for Carlos (Live With Buddy Miles and an album with Mahavishnu Orchestra guitarist John McLaughlin) Santana reorganized the band with Areas and Shrieve, and several new members that included vocalist Leon Thomas, and later, Greg Walker. Without Rollie to do the well-recognized vocals of the band's earlier hits, Santana became a more instrumentally-driven band than it had been prior. They completely rock out on "Incident At Neshabur" and also give faithful renditions of the hits "No One To Depend On" and "Black Magic Woman" (originally recorded by Fleetwood Mac in 1968).
Carlos Santana (with the help of label exec and mentor Clive Davis) would reinvent himself and his band again the early 1990s, when Supernatural would take him back to the top of the charts. He's been paired with several popular celebrity duets that include Rob Thomas, Michele Branch, Everlast, and Wyclef Jean. In 2000, Santana walked away with an amazing eight Grammy Awards for Supernatural.