Pic Playback: Santana and Earth Wind And Fire Are Miraculously Supernatural In Virginia

What do you have when you couple one of the best soul/funk bands in history with the pioneer of Latin infused rock & roll? You’ll get what’s billed as the “Miraculous Supernatural” Tour.

Veterans in the game Santana + Earth, Wind & Fire have teamed up for a concert tour like no other. What was originally intended to happen in 2020, but had to take a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FINALLY made its way to Jiffy Lube Live on Saturday, August 20. Walking into the venue and seeing all of the live instruments lined up, I already knew that this was going to be a full out musical event of epic proportions.

First on the bill technically as “the openers” were what people call the elements of music, Earth, Wind & Fire. We have to put openers in quotes because they were anything but just that. With a whopping 18 song setlist, they took us on a journey that clearly showed they are quite capable of headlining a show of their own.

Growing up on their music, this was my first time seeing them live in concert, so to say that I was excited to see them was an understatement. Seeing them walk out on stage for the first time was just as I had imaged, dressed in shiny gold outfits that would highlight the trendy styles of the 1970’s when they had emerged onto the scene.

The iconic group, led by founding member Philip Bailey, began their set with the 1975 disco hit “Shining Star” that included an impressive visual lighting production to match the title of the song. Rolling through other pinnacle songs as “Let Your Feelings Show,” “Devotion,” and “Fantasy“, watching and listening to their attention to detail on how each member of the twelve-person band delivered the music was unlike anything I had witnessed before. Every member on stage played at least one musical instrument, if not multiples throughout the duration of their set!

The live recorded version of “Reasons” had far surpassed the original studio edit of the song in my book, so to be able to sing along word by word in person gave me chills and all the feels that I had been waiting for all night! Trust and believe, the magic didn’t stop there, as they were in the pocket and slid into the other signature tracks “Let’s Groove,” “Boogie Wonderland,” and “September.”

While writing this, I have to take my hat off to Verdine White who was a integral part in keeping the funk alive, as the whole band followed his groove. This was live musical medicine from one of the baddest bands on the land.

Honestly after EWF, we could have left the show elated and with all of our money’s worth, but we’re happy that we did because Santana was up next and didn’t disappoint. The show lead in was a clip of Santana playing at the original Woodstock Festival, which was a signal that “Soul Sacrifice” would be the first song of the night. Lead guitarist and front man of the group Carlos Santana made entrance to the stage in a colorful printed shirt, white fedora and his prized guitar.

The band moved into a medley “Evil Ways,” “Black Magic Woman,” “Qypsy Queen” and “Oye como va”. Unlike many other concerts that I’ve attended, what I find most unique about Santana’s music is that a bulk of their material solely rests on an instrumental soundtrack, with very few vocals. For a person that’s usually caught up in trying to recall lyrics to sing with the performing artist, this allowed me to be fully immersed in the experience and get lost in the music.

With no time to waste, Carlos led the band through countless other hits including “Life Is for Living,” “Foo Foo” and “Put Your Lights On”. Fans of all ages could be seen clapping and dancing out of their seats, some of who were probably at the first Woodstock. The hit of the congas ushered us right in to “Smooth“, which was one of the more popular, and songs that were familiar to me, in addition to “Maria Maria

This was the personification of musicianship that a few folks could take some notes from. Carlos Santana is a God given treasure of a guitar player and band leader, what a powerhouse he is!

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