Greg Rollie - keyboards, vocals; Alphonso Johnson - bass; Michael Shrieve - drums; Chepito Areas - percussion; Chester D. Thompson - drums, percussion; Armando Peraza - percussion; Carlos Santana - lead guitar, vocals
Another brilliant show from Carlos Santana and company, who rarely leave an audience disappointed. Santana had been on the music scene for two decades when this show, the second of two recorded on this date, was captured for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. Today, this concert marks the halfway period in the band's long and memorable musical career. Plenty of Santana gems appear in this setlist, including a powerful version of "No One To Depend On."
Santana had assembled 75% of the original classic Woodstock-era lineup for this retrospective tour, along with ace sax player, Wayne Shorter (on loan from Weather Report). For this tour, he developed a hybrid of the classic lineup and the band he had recently been touring with. There is a strange balance that keeps it all together (mainly the overt use of Latin percussion), despite the fact that old Santana material sounds radically different than the late 1970s and '80s songs.
Originally formed in 1966 as the Santana Blues Band (the name came about because the Musician's Local 802 Union required one member to be listed as the leader and the group picked Santana, although at the time he was just one of the members), by 1968 they had become what would be the last of the golden era San Francisco bands to emerge to national prominence.
Promoter Bill Graham shortened the name to Santana and pushed the shy Mexican-born guitarist to the forefront of the band, which also included Gregg Rollie on organ and vocals, David Brown on bass, Jose Cheapito Areas on percussion, and Michele 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, 1969. Santana blew the festival away, with its distinctly Latin-flavored, blues based rock and their reputation cast an even larger net with film and soundtrack releases of the event.
After the band's third album, Santana III, the Woodstock-era line-up dissolved. Rollie and guitarist Neil Schon would later form Journey. Between 1973 and the early 1990s, Carlos bounced back and forth between a number of solo albums and group line-ups that continually changed. Without Rollie to do the well-recognized vocals of the band's earlier hits, Santana became a more instrumentally-driven band.
Carlos Santana (with the help of label exec and mentor Clive Davis) would re-invent himself and his band again in 1999, when Supernatural would take them back to the top of the charts on the strength of several popular celebrity duets that included Rob Thomas, Michelle Branch, Everlast, and Wyclef Jean. In 2000, Santana walked away with an amazing eight Grammy Awards for Supernatural.