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May 24, 2014

Two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers

A Night On The Town with Marcy Part 2

posted by Mike Walton

Albany May 23, Review By Marcy Braunstein

Two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers graced the stage on May 23 in Albany NY for the first show of an 18 US city tour. "The Guitar"--Carlos Santana inducted in 1998 and "The Voice"--Rod Stewart in 1994---both from the same era of some fifty years playing music. It was pretty amazing!

Santana's fans were seen dancing along the front rows in their Latin and salsa styles which added to the enjoyment of the performance especially for those of us who may not be as familiar with his music. Santana had quite a production with two sets of drums and a set of bongo drums, three guitars, a horn section, keyboards, two singers and a strong light show. He came out right at 7:30 and played till almost 8:45 which created a challenge for the road crew to break down and set up for Rod. There was quite a bit of activity behind that curtain and Rod finally came out by 9:15.

Rod and the band looked and sounded great and put on a superb show. As a matter of fact, Rod's voice sounded better than ever. He opened with "Infatuation" and continued with basically the same set list. I was really disappointed that he didn't include anything from the new album. But as Rod has said "Time was a gift" to his longtime fans. And we have received it well. Maybe he's not as willing top share it night after night with the general masses. I missed the intimacy of the venue in Vegas.

Rod said the last time he played in Albany was in 2004 and said "a few things have happened since then--I had two more children and that makes eight". During "Rhythm of my heart", Rod turned around and looked up at the screen at the part when servicemen are being welcomed home by their families and said "isn't that heartbreaking". I hope Rod realizes how meaningful his dedication of this song is to those who have served. It fills my heart with pride because my father was a WWII veteran and my husband Dave, who is has become a faithful fan too, served in Vietnam. Rod talks of how horribly the veterans of today are treated and it was that same way in the Vietnam era. Interesting because it was a Vietnam veteran who wrote this song.

Santana joined Rod on stage for "I'd rather go blind" and his addition made an already soulful song absolutely breathtaking. I'd love to see them together on "People Get Ready" at future shows. Although they were great together on this song, I think we are going to see the same disconnect we saw with Stevie Nicks and Rod. Rod and Santana may be from the same era but they're worlds apart. When this tour was announced their publicists released the statement that they have "a combined love of rock, soul, rhythms, jazz and the blues" which is true but their interpretation of it is very different. Its not like the kindred spirits of Rod and Steve Winwood even thou they didn't actually sing together on stage.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Santana said "both of us love to play spiritual music to touch all hearts". Okay so far. Then he went on to say "we both love to play black music for white people". I'm not even sure what that means. In a taped interview when asked what brought him and Rod together, he went on and on using the word "sanctify" several times and finally said "grace---grace is what brought us together". When the microphone went to Rod with the same question-he had a perplexed look on his face and then said "grace, yes definitely grace".

Their next stop is at the Mohegan Sun in CT and then on to our home town of Pittburgh. That's where we'll pick up with the next review with a night on the town.

Review by Marcy Braunstein
Photographs by By Marcy Braunstein

© 2019 SMILER Magazine

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