Live At The House Of Blues,
Las Vegas

Santana IV

Celebrating the release of Santana IV in the Spring of 2016, guitarist Carlos Santana, keyboardist and singer Gregg Rolie, guitarist Neal Schon, percussionist Michael Carabello and drummer Michael Shrieve assembled on stage together for the first time since 1973 to perform for a captive audience at the House Of Blues inside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. The “classic” Santana lineup of the early 70s swung through their most monumental pieces of music, and it was all captured on video. Released as Live At The House Of Blues Las Vegas, you can get the whole thing on Blu-ray Disc, DVD, two CDs and the usual digital outlets.

For this historical performance, the core five members were joined by Karl Perazzo (percussion, vocals), Benny Rietveld (bass) and David K. Mathews (keyboards). They waste little time as the show opens with “Soul Sacrifice,” fueled by a percussive assault and those infamous power breaks. This is the song Santana played at Woodstock — essentially the song that put them on the map after the movie came out. Perazzo, Carabello and Shrieve tumble through a bumpy minefield in the home stretch, and the energy of those magic moments in 1969 on an upstate New York farm swallows the House of Blues whole. Along with the obvious contenders — “Evil Ways” “Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va” — there’s “Everybody’s Everything” and “No One To Depend On,” both of which feature Santana and Schon taking turns on the signature solos. Of course, there are plenty more stinging guitar folies on “Samba Pa Ti” and the newer “Sueños.”

Other tracks from Santana IV on the setlist include “Come As You Are,” with Santana taking the vocal and leading the charge, the tribal-like "Yambu,” and the encore of “Love Makes The World Go Round” and “Freedom In Your Mind” featuring singer Ronald Isley of the Isley Brothers. As a unit, you’d never know this band hasn’t been together since the 70s. Then you realize they’re all pros and as players, they’ve only gotten better. Some of the jams are simply off the charts. As it is, Live At The House Of Blues, Las Vegas is the only show the classic lineup has done so far since the release of Santana IV. If that’s it, you can at least watch, listen and treasure what went down one mad March Monday in 2016.

~ Shawn Perry

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