LIVE REVIEW + PHOTOS: Santana in Boston, MA (08.05.23)
Carlos Santana’s performance at Boston’s MGM Fenway music venue was undoubtedly a memorable and electrifying experience for the audience. The setlist was a perfect blend of Santana’s classic hits and well-known covers, showcasing his signature Latin-infused rock style and virtuoso guitar playing.
The show kicked off with “Soul Sacrifice,” a powerful and energetic instrumental that immediately set the tone for the night. Santana’s guitar skills were on full display right from the start, captivating the crowd with his soulful and expressive skills.
The inclusion of covers like “Jin-go-lo-ba,” “Evil Ways,” “Oye cómo va,” and “No One to Depend On” brought nostalgic vibes to the performance. Santana’s unique interpretations of these songs paid homage to the original artists while infusing them with his distinctive flair.
The medley of “Black Magic Woman” and “Gypsy Queen” was a highlight of the night, showcasing Santana’s ability to fuse different musical elements seamlessly. The crowd swayed and sang along, enjoying every moment of this classic hit.
One aspect of the show that was noticeable was how much he talked and communicated with his band mates. I feel his back was mostly to the audience throughout the show, whether there were technical difficulties, or he was trying to effectively orchestrate seamless transitions between the rhythm section and the various instruments in the band. There was also a moment or two where he spoke with the audience about music connecting everyone and about his continued support for the Black Panthers and other freedom fighters over the years as well as the importance of racial equality.
Santana’s band members had their moments to shine, particularly during “Everybody’s Everything” with a captivating bass solo and the lively rhythm of “Batuka.”. As the show progressed, the energy in the venue only grew, reaching its peak during the encore. “Are You Ready” featured an impressive drum solo by Cindy Blackman Santana (Santana’s Wife) adding an extra layer of excitement to the performance. The covers of “Doing It to Death,” “Roadhouse Blues,” and “Love, Peace and Happiness” brought the night to a powerful and satisfying conclusion.
The grand finale of the concert was the iconic hit “Smooth.” The familiar melodies and infectious rhythms had the entire crowd dancing and singing along.
Santana’s performance at Boston’s MGM Fenway music venue was a masterclass in musicianship, bringing together a mix of classic hits, well-loved covers, and soulful guitar solos. The concert provided an unforgettable experience for both longtime fans and newcomers. With his exceptional talent and genuine passion for music, Santana continues to prove why he is a true legend in the world of rock and Latin-infused music.
Photos – Santana at MGM Music Hall at Fenway on August 5th: