Words & Photos by Rod Snyder

Muy Caliente! Two words that come to mind when thinking how to describe the last night of Carlos Santana’s Transmogrify Tour. On this particular night in Atlantic City, the entire band was firing on all cylinders – from the moment Santana took to the stage, the crowd was already dancing in the seats and in the aisles.

“Corazón Espinado” was one of many, that really had the sold-out crowd on their feet dancing and moving to the rhythm of the song. “Jingo” followed, and had great interplay between the triple combo of drums, congos and percussion. A crazy tribal video was shown on the screen as they performed the song, just to get things to a more primitive state. Just the music and people dancing, with a little sweat thrown in for good measure.

The band performed some of their classic hits, with a few covers and reworked songs. They did a cover of Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain”, but sang the lyrics for Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing”, before closing the song with the chorus of “Waiting in Vain”. The mash-up worked quite well.

Santana & Co. closed the their main set with a rousing one two punch of “Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va” before returning for a few encores. No time was wasted as the sounds of the congos that open the instrumental jam “Soul Sacrifice”, made famous at Woodstock in 1969, ran through our bodies. Anytime I hear that song, I always think back to the video of a young Carlos Santana at Woodstock, so it was great to experience this in person. “Smooth”, a major hit from 1999’s Supernatural album was up next. No Rob Thomas on vocals, but Andy Vargas and Ray Greene sounded great on this, and were spectacular all night long. They topped off an epic performance with “Love, Peace & Happiness/For the Highest Good”.

Luckily the floors of the Event Center can handle this much reverberation, dancing and sweet Spanish music as it does. I wonder how they test the load limit prior to construction?

If you still want to catch Santana live, he is doing a residency in Las Vegas at the House of Blues beginning September 13, 2017.


O paradiso
Are you ready
Love makes the world go round
Foo foo
Corazón espinado
Evil ways
Higher ground
Total destruction of your mind
Mona Lisa
I remember
Toussaint L’Ouverture
Waiting in vain W/ Sexual healing lyrics
Lamento/Black magic woman/Gypsy queen
Oye como va

Soul Sacrifice
Love, peace & happiness
For the highest good


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