Carlos Santana in Concert
I saw Carlos Santana in the early 90s when he played at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre. Before the concert started I remember sitting, not too far from the stage, with little excitement or anticipation. At the time I didn’t know very much about the man and his music, other than that he was a guitarist, and wouldn’t even have been at the concert if I hadn’t been invited and given a free ticket.
With no hype the band walked on stage and launched straight into Spirit, their first number, the impact of which was sensational. I was absolutely taken aback by the energy of the band and, contrary to my image at the time of electric guitarists, there was no sign of heavy makeup, no strutting around the stage, and absolutely no posing. The focus was entirely on the music.
When the band was introduced I was astonished to hear that on bass was Alphonso Johnson, and percussion Paulinho Da Costa, two world renowned musicians.
The concert was about two hours long, after which Santana and his band left the stage to rapturous applause. They soon returned and gave an incredible two-hour encore!
Most of the time I was standing but, like other members of the audience, I would occasionally sit down to take a rest.
Of all the performances I have seen, this concert must rate as one of the best.