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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Santana says...

Well, although great uncle Carlos is not a local act that you can go see on a whim or a cheap freakin show, he is an amazing performer!

First trip to ACL Live @ The Moody Theatre ). The new home to Austin City Limits...and it is very very nice. The venue is gorgeous, very much like a working museum of music history. Depending on the artist you are going to see and your verve for the band you may want to consider general admission floor. Reason being simply this, the seating is awesome! A great seat anywhere in the house, BUT if you want to experience the performance, live it, enjoy it, and dance to it...get a general admission ticket. Dancing in an 18x18 area that is your seat sucks.

The opening act this evening was Michael Franti and Spearhead ). The whole act was this fun kind of sound. Not really an island sound but something cool that tugged at you to sing along and dance. Front man Michael Franti also knows how to play to the crowd. Climbing off the stage and running through the audience and playing a song remotely from the mezz. Cant get much more exciting than not just performing a show but being part of the crowd at the same time.

The final song of the set was the radio hit 'Sey Hey', which I actually like. To bring it to a close, Michael invited some folks from the crowd onto the stage to dance during the final song. Very cool. Gotta give him props for being THAT interactive with the crowd.

Santana ) on the other hand was not all over the auditorium, but none the less wowed us with his extensive catalog. Performing for over 2 hrs was just exhilarating. From the opening songs and all of the uptempo beats, to the middle of the show where he dove into some of his classics, and then finally ramping it back up for a breath taking finale. Inviting the opening act back on stage for one song and then paying respect to S.R.V. with both words and a performance from guest drummer Chris Layton (HELL YEAH! check the photo below) is definitely the maximum entertainment you could expect or want from any show, much less Carlos effin' Santana. Lessons learned in that art of entertainment, performance, and showmanship. Also the creative use of your captive audience for your jabs at politics and gentle push of your beliefs. Carlos Santana is one of the last remaining icons of a long gone era of Marshall stacks, smoke filled performances, and day trips while you are still sitting there. Well done sir...well done!