August 18, 2000
Santana hits it with Everlast.
Story and Photo by Phil BonyataNine Grammy awards, the biggest album of 1999 and complete overexposure has Santana atop the commercial mountain.
This is probably the greatest comeback in rock history. In fact, it is more than a comeback. Santana has never known this type of exposure and riches. Santana owes it all to Rob Thomas.
Without him and his hip, young appeal, Santana would be living the life of a washed-up 70's guitar hero. Just as Run DMC reinvigorated Aerosmith with their 80's remake of "Walk This Way" Thomas of Matchbox Twenty, Dave Matthews, Lauryn Hill and other rock pups infused Santana's Latin rhythms with a hipper and more contemporary sound. Every over-the-hill guitar hero like Jeff Beck, Johnny Winter and Leslie West should give Rob Thomas a call. You better hurry though, I'm sure his price is going up!
The nearly sold out Marcus Amphitheater in Milwaukee last night had Santana, without Rob Thomas, and his crack Latin band in good spirits. Borrowing heavily from the monster selling album "Supernatural" Santana cranked out "Maria Maria" and the grossly overplayed "Smooth." The bands performance was admirable, but these songs weren't very good in the first place. Musicians' talents can only go so far in making mediocre material sound better.
A memorable moment occurred in the third song of the set when Everlast appeared on stage to deliver a brutally stark performance on "Put Your Lights On." Santana's wailing guitar cried out to the passionate pleas from Everlast. This pairing was far better than Santana and Thomas, but probably a good portion of the 30 - 40 year olds in attendance disagreed by their somewhat tepid applause.
Santana's highlights were ironically his old stuff from albums like "Da Le Yaleo". On songs like "Black Magic Woman," "Oye Como Va" and "Supernatural Thing" the bands eclectic fusion of percussive Latin rhythms and Santana's soulful guitar rock licks made these songs memorable mini gems.
Santana has seemed to find the right formula for success.
To the other guitar heroes of the past, who are down on their luck, you just might want to try the help wanteds.
Young, hip rocker with at least one
recent platinum album.
Must be willing to resurrect former
guitar hero from obscurity.
Pay commensurate with number
of hit MTV videos.
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