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Santana with Earth, Wind and Fire

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70’s Legends Bring A Fun Filled Evening for the Whole Family to South Florida – Photos and Feature on the Concert at ITHINK Financial Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, FL

The incredibly talented Carlos Santana made his triumphant return to sunny South Florida this past Friday, bringing his good friends Earth, Wind & Fire along on his Miraculous Supernatural tour. One of the two Florida stops on the final leg of this tour, Carlos delivered an incredible performance filled with amazing lights and sounds to the completely sold-out ITHINK Financial Amphitheater. The crowd was filled with audience members young and old, all grooving to the wonderfully cathartic music that was emanating from the front of the stage. From folks that might have been around to catch one of Santana’s first shows, to younger attendees dressed to the nines in 70’s-era hippie garb, to the young kids that thought they were going to be dragged along to another boring “adult” event but ended up having a blast, everybody in the audience was dancing the night away without a care in the world, and it was great to see everyone return to the field to enjoy live music after the past three years of uncertainty.

Kicking off the festivities that night was the incredible Earth, Wind, & Fire band, who have been playing shows for almost as long as Santana himself. As the house lights dimmed and the background music faded to a silence, the stage began to glow in a red light as the nine members of EWF, clad in sequin-studded costumes that shined as bright as their musical talents, appeared on stage and kicked off into the first song Shining Star. The group wasted no time, with rapid fire staccato performances of the next four songs (including their hit Getaway) without as much as even a pause in between for the band catch a breath. This created an effect of a constant sonic sea of music that reminded me of a DJ’s pause-less mix, except not only expertly performed live, but with real instruments and a choreography of nine people! Earth Wind & Fire continued to display their fantastic talents as they powered through more of their extensive catalogue, culminating in a stunning finale featuring their most famous songs Let’s Groove, and of course their biggest hit September. After the band bid adieu to the cheering crowd and disappeared into the back, the lights came back on as the techs got to work getting the stage ready for the next part of the show.

After a short wait while the crew finished their duties, the lights dimmed once again and a tribal intro video began to play on the giant LED screen that flanked both bands as they performed. As Carlos’ impressively large backing band (including his wife Cindy Blackman Santana on one of the three drum kits) came into the lights and took their positions on stage, the intro beats of Soul Sacrifice began to play and Carlos appeared on stage playing the buttery smooth licks of the song on his gold-foil covered guitar. Carlos, and his amazing six string skill, was one of the people that inspired me to learn guitar in the first place, and his masterful playing is just as impressive at 75 years old as it was 50 years ago at Woodstock. Working through a setlist filled with Santana classics like Evil WaysOye Como Va, Black Magic Woman, and even a rare performance of No One To Depend On, the band serenaded the dancing masses to much acclaim from the crowd. After almost two full hours of music, the band finally took an encore break before reappearing on stage for a massive four song encore, which began with band introductions and an incredible drum solo by Cindy Blackman Santana. Finishing up their time on stage, the band performed their smash hit Smooth and a cover of The Doors’ song Roadhouse Blues, before taking their final bow and departing from the stage. As always Santana put on an absolutely amazing show and I cannot wait for the band to come back to South Florida and wow us again!

Gleb Barabanov is South Florida Insider's Vice President, Graphic Designer and Webmaster, as well as a Photographer and Writer covering events all over the world. Originally born in Odessa, Ukraine, Gleb now calls the sunny Florida area home, where he attended Full Sail University and received a Bachelors of Arts in Film Production. Gleb is obsessed with music, cameras, guitars, and his Shiba Inu, Yoshi

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