Within days of each other, two rock greats who both played at Woodstock on the same day, August 16, 1969, made appearances in the bay area! First on Friday night at the Amalie Arena was guitar legend, Carlos Santana and his band! Santana is #20 on Rolling Stones 100 Greatest Guitarists list. 70 year-old Santana has won 10 Grammys and 3 Latin Grammys with his blend of Latin rock fusion sound.
Carlos walked onstage in a Lightning jersey personalized with his name on it which drew thunderous applause in the house of the Tampa hockey team! Opening video screen shows Santana playing Woodstock. His setlist included “Smooth” his 2000 megahit with Rob Thomas, “Evil Ways”, “Oye Como Va” and “Mona Lisa”. A cover of the Police’ hit “Roxanne” and “Soul Sacrifice”, which was played at Woodstock. Santana’s band of eight includes his wife Cindy Blackman on drums. Superb musicianship all around, Santana’s unmistakable sound is as incredible today and it was at Woodstock! If you are headed to Vegas anytime soon, you can catch Santana at the House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. He has a residency during November and January and further into 2018.
On Monday night, Ruth Eckerd Hall hosted The Who’s lead singer Roger Daltrey! The Who’s Woodstock performance was at 5:00 a.m. playing the entire album of “Tommy”. It is still a much talked about part of the festival. Opening for Daltrey was folk singer Leslie Mendelson, who has a new album out called “Love and Murder” which includes a duet with the Dead’s Bob Weir.
Daltrey is working solo from his Who bandmates for a five-show run starting in Clearwater. It was a full house and Who fans were there in droves, vintage Who T-shirts reigned supreme. Opening with “Overture” and “It’s A Boy” going into “Pinball Wizard” all from the classic rock movie “Tommy” had the fans on their feet. More Who treats “I Can See for Miles” and “Behind Blue Eyes” followed. Leo Sayer and Eddie Cochran scored cover tunes on Daltrey’s setlist with “Giving It All Away” and “Summertime Blues”. “Who Are You” and “Baba O’Reilly” were what most Who fans were waiting for and they were not left disappointed, they rocked. Along with Daltrey is Pete Townsend’s son Simon on guitar who sang a great version of “Going Mobile”. Some solo band members also play as touring members with The Who, top notch players.
Daltrey talked about The Who playing South America recently with Guns & Roses and how they played 3 hour shows. He said “That is crazy” with a laugh. He joked about 55 years on the road and not being able to hear much without technology help. Easy going and having a laugh, talking to people in the front and still throwing a microphone around, at 73, Daltrey is the consummate front-man whether with The Who or solo. He started a charity with Pete Townsend called Teen Cancer Trust in the UK and now there is Teen Cancer America to give back to teens who they say is who made them who they are! He and Townsend give much of their time to this close to their heart cause. www.teencanceramerica.org
photos by Vicky Sulllivan / Rock the Lens Photography