The October 2002 Tour kicked off in unusual fashion with the Band playing a benefit for The Andre Agassi Foundation. The benefit was held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV on October 28, 2002. Carlos has been involved with other charity events organized by Andre and was more then happy to lend his support for benefit. The foundation helps to raise money for needy children. The band played a mini set that included “Spiritual” / “Yaleo”, “Maria Maria” and “Apache” / “Smooth” / “Dame Tu Amor”. Other performers included India Arie, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Jamie Fox, Dennis Miller & Robin Williams. The next evening was unique in that we played in a small Las Vegas club called Rain in The Desert at the Palms Hotel. With the venue capacity at 1500 people, the band crammed onto the little stage and tore the roof off the sucker! The highlights of the show had to be the 15-minute “Incident at Neshabur” and the first appearance of “The Game of Love” on the set list. During “Incident”, Carlos and Chester maneuvered magnificently through the many changes and were in no rush to find the their way out. “The Game of Love” seemed familiar to the Vegas crowd even though it was being played for the first time. People were singing the catchy hook and clapping along with the new single. Another surprise was the improvisational blues jam, “Boogie”, with a smooth transition into “Stormy Monday Blues” and finally into “Jingo”. It is not often that we find ourselves back in the club scene, but it is always fun to sweat it out in an intimate setting. Reports from the Band and Crew were that no one lost their shirt in the casinos, so the Vegas trip was a success on all levels.
We left Las Vegas for the quiet city of Albuquerque, NM. After all of the flash & hoopla in Las Vegas it was a welcome change. Carlos played some tennis in the evening as the Band rested up for the next run of shows. The Journal Pavilion was sold out in anticipation of the Santana Band taking the stage. Our friends from Ozomatli joined us as the show opener to help warm up the crowd on the chilly New Mexico evening. Everyone was all smiles as they did their conga line parade down the isles and onto the stage for their set. Later in the evening, Carlos called for the guys in Ozomatli to join us on stage for “One of These days” & “Truth Don’t Die”. “One of These Days” is a track that will appear on “Shaman” and features Ozomatli. This was the first time that the two bands got to play the song together.
After a great show in Phoenix, AZ the guys headed home to the Bay area for a day off and two shows. Friday, October 4 at The Chronicle Pavilion in Concord was family night with everyone’s extended family hanging out back stage. Carlos took a moment during the show to honor his mother with flowers. Carlos’ brother, Jorge, picked up a guitar and jammed on an extended version of “Jingo”. Other show highlights included Ozomatli jamming on “One of These days” & “Truth Don’t Die”. The next night we were at Bill Graham’s old home away from home, The Shoreline Amphitheatre. Whenever we play there, the memories and stories about Bill are always alive in our hearts. Carlos chose to open the show with the new song “Adouma” and we were off & running. After a great version of “The Game of Love”, Karl & Raul had a chance to shine with individual and collective solos. After Ozomatli joined us Carlos called upon a good friend, Gary Rich, to jam on the Hendrix remix of “If The 60’s Were The 90’s”. Gary had a chance to live many a guitar player’s biggest dream, the chance to play on stage with Santana. The show ended with the crowd pleasing medley of “Black Magic Woman”, “Oye Como Va” and “Jingo”. On Sunday, October 7 we had a day of rest in the Bay Area with our friends and family.
On Monday, October 7 we flew down to Santa Barbara for a two-night stand at the County Bowl. That evening, Carlos invited the Band and Crew to enjoy a New Orleans style family dinner in downtown Santa Barbara. There was much rejoicing! The next evening we settled into the County Bowl. The Bowl is a smaller venue with an intimate capacity of about 4500 people. Carlos took the opportunity to try out some of the newer material that will appear on Shaman. “Nothing at All”, featuring Musiq (formally Musiq Soul Child), made its stage debut. The song sounded great with Andy Vargas singing the R&B melody and Carlos’ guitar crying in the background! Another show highlight was Benny’s bass solo. Benny usually channels his mood into his solos so there is no telling what may come out. On this evening he was obviously reflecting on the state of affairs with the United States and Iraq. After a funk improvisation Benny launched into The Beatle classic “Give Peace a Chance”. The fans all sang along with Benny’s musical message. On Tuesday night Carlos opened the show with Ozomatli on “”Truth Don’t Die” & “One of These Days”. New songs “Nothing at All”, “Aye Aye Aye” & “ The Game of Love” are going over great with the hungry crowds. As the band stepped from the stage before the encore, Carlos called for “Black Magic Woman” & “Oye Como Va”. Just when you thought the Band would start into “Jingo”, Carlos surprisingly launched into “Europa”. The Band fell right in on cue Carlos caressed the beautiful ballad. Carlos then took off his guitar, to introduce the Band and say goodnight to Santa Barbara.
On October 10th we traveled the coast to San Diego, CA. With the rest of the day off, the band traveled to Old Town and South Beach for some serious Mexican food. On Friday, October 11 we played at the Coors Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, CA. Chula Vista is the home of POD, whom are featured on “Shaman”. It was no surprise to the crowd when Carlos introduced Sonny & Marcos to jam on “America”. This was the first time that the full Band has performed the song and I must say it ROCKED! After the show we traveled to Los Angeles to get some sleep for the high profile gig at the Hollywood Bowl where Michelle Branch was on hand to sing “The Game of Love”. This was the first time that she has performed live with the Santana Band. Her vocals were sounded beautiful as they echoed through the bowl. This was clearly a foreshadowing of the next two weeks, where Michelle would be performing with us on numerous TV programs to help support the new album.
The Promotional Tour (NYC)
On October 13 we traveled to New York City to begin the promotional tour. The beginning of the tour was a little delayed as our flight to New York was almost canceled. We boarded the plane only to be told we have to return to the terminal because of a little dinging noise that would not ding. It took 3 hours for the mechanics to fix this dinging noise so that the pilot could ding away all the way to New York. Needless to say, we arrived at our hotel after 1:00 AM. The next day Carlos obliged our Publicist by doing countless interviews to help promote “Shaman”. On October 15th, we rehearsed throughout the day for the VH1 / Vogue Fashion Awards Show. The Band played “The Game of Love” with Michelle Branch. Other performers included David Bowie, Pink & Steven Tyler from Aerosmith. The next day Carlos and Michelle did numerous interviews. After the last interview Carlos decided to stretch out and play a little tennis.
On October 17th, we played the Late Show With David Letterman. The Band was in good spirits in the freezing cold of the Ed Sullivan Theatre. I do not know the reason, but the temperature never exceeds 60 degrees in that theatre. The Band performed “The Game of Love” with Michelle. Samuel L. Jackson was the other guest on the show. Later that night we went to Sony Studios to prepare for the upcoming A&E Live By Request TV special. This rehearsal could have been an old time Santana fan’s dream rehearsal. The Band had to review & rehearse many of the old Santana classics such as, “Batuka / No One to Depend On”, Tousaint L’Overture”, “Samba Pa Ti”, “Europa”, “I love You Much Too Much”, “Evil Ways”, “Somewhere in Heaven” and “Soul Sacrifice”. They played one great song after another. The next day we had more rehearsals and then the show. The show is organized so that fans can email or phone in their requests and the Band would perform these requests. Carlos was also allowed to pick a few songs that he wanted to play. He called up Rob Thomas, The Product G&B and Michelle Branch to see if they would like to perform on the special. All three were happy to lend a hand for what would be an amazing concert and TV special. The set list from the show included many great oldies as well as some new ones from “Supernatural” & “Shaman”. The set list was: 1) Smooth / Dame Tu Amor (with Rob Thomas) 2) Black Magic Woman 3) Yaleo 4) The Game of Love (with Michelle Branch) 5) Oye Como Va 6) Evil Ways 7) Maria Maria (with The Product G&B) 8) Foo Foo 9) Soul Sacrifice 10) Europa 11) Adouma. In addition to these songs the Band played a few songs during the commercial breaks. They included Savor, Boogie & Somewhere in Heaven. It was an amazing experience for the 300 people in the studio. The Band was psyched to play for such a small audience. After the show Carlos and some of the guys went with Rob Thomas to the studio where Matchbox 20 was recording their next album. The two bands hung out and listened to the new songs that Rob and his Band are developing.
The next two days were well-deserved days off with the Band enjoying the best that New York City has to offer.
On Monday, October 21 the band performs “The Game of Love” with Michelle on MTV’s Total Request Live (TRL). In addition to that Myron, CT, Dennis & Benny will be backing up Michelle on one of her songs entitled “Goodbye to You”.
To see photos from the Latin Grammy’s & Las Vegas please click here .
To see photos from the October West Coast & East Coast Promotional Tour please click here .
To check out the set lists from this tour click here, and search for the shows you are looking for.