Las Vegas Sun

April 21, 2014

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Spotlight on Santana

With the highly-anticipated follow-up to 1999's smash "Supernatural" set to hit stores in October, Latin rockers Santana kick off a fall West Coast swing with a Las Vegas stopover.

First, guitar virtuoso Carlos Santana, the band's lone remaining founding member, will make an appearance at Saturday night's "Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children" charity event at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Also scheduled to appear: Elton John, Martina McBride, Babyface, Dennis Miller and Robin Williams.

Then, Sunday night at 8, the full Santana lineup will play Rain in the Desert at Palms.

The band is expected to perform several songs off its upcoming album, "Shaman," slated for an Oct. 22 release. Similar to "Supernatural," "Shaman" will feature guest appearances by several artists, producers and writers.

Vocalist Michelle Branch joins Santana on the first single, "The Game of Love," which began receiving airtime on FM stations, along with MTV and VH1, this week.

"Supernatural" earned the band nine Grammy Awards in 2000, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year (for "Smooth," with Rob Thomas) and Best Rock Instrumental (for "The Calling," with Eric Clapton).

Who: Santana

Where: Rain in the Desert at Palms

When: Sunday, 8 p.m.

Tickets: Sold out.

Opening band: None.

Personnel: Carlos Santana (guitar), Chester Thompson (keyboard), Benny Rietveld (bass), Dennis Chambers (drums), Andy Vargas (vocals), Tony Lindsay (vocals), Raul Rekow (percussion), Karl Perazzo (percussion).

Additional musicians: Bill Ortiz (trumpet), Jeff Cressman (trombone), Myron Dove (guitar/bass).

Latest release: "Supernatural" (1999, Arista).

Upcoming release: "Shaman" (Oct. 22, Arista).

Essential releases: "Santana" (1969), "Abraxas" (1970), "Santana III" (1971), "Caravanserai" (1972), "Lotus" (1974), "Live at the Fillmore 1968" (1997).

What to expect: Hard to say, since the Las Vegas show kicks off the band's nine-date West-Coast swing, and since the band rarely plays 1,500-seat venues such as Rain. If Santana's July and August dates were any indication, however, look for a preview of much of "Shaman," along with material from "Supernatural" and some old favorites such as "Black Magic Woman," "Oye Como Va" and "Jingo."

Recent setlist: From St. Paul, Minn., Aug. 25: "Spiritual"/"Yaleo," "Love of My Life," "Adouma," "Day of Celebration," "Victory is Won," "Rene" intro/"Maria Maria," "Foo Foo," "Aye Aye Aye," "Black Magic Woman"/"Gypsy Queen," "Oye Como Va," "Make Somebody Happy"/"Right to be Free"/"Get it in Your Soul," "Apache"/"Smooth"/"Dame Tu Amor." Encore: "Put Your Lights on," "Exodus," "Jingo."

Previous Las Vegas appearances: March 2, 1969 (Ice Palace); Sept. 18, 1974 (Ice Palace); Feb. 2, 1979 (Aladdin); March 17, 1981 (Aladdin); Oct. 6, 1988 (Aladdin); Sept. 1, 1989; (Aladdin); April 27, 1990 (Aladdin); April 27-28 1991 (Silver Bowl); June 4, 1994 (Aladdin), March 5, 1996 (Aladdin); Dec. 27-29, 1996 (The Joint); June 7, 1997 (Sam Boyd Stadium); Feb. 20-22, 1998 (The Joint); Dec. 30, 1999-Jan. 1, 2000 (The Joint).

Says Santana: "I don't want to fall into a pattern, because ("Supernatural") wasn't a gimmick of a gadget or anything like that. it was God's grace putting it all together. My main goal is still to create music that will dismantle violence and hopefully work with other musicians that have that kind of intention" (from santana.com official band website).

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