I had the opportunity to attend a Santana concert at Merriweather Post Pavillion, 4/6/08. Although I have seen a multitude of concerts, this was my first Santana concert, and I knew I was in for a treat.
As soon as we were in the lot, it became apparent that this was a different kind of crowd. There was no one kind of person at the show. You know what I mean; you go to a Ratdog or Phil Lesh show, and you see dreadlocks and tie dye abounding. But this was immediately different. There were young people, old people, middle aged people. There were latinos, african americans, white people, and indian people. It was pretty evenly dispersed, which was surprising to me because it got me to thinking about how an artist is able to diversify themselves so much that they speak to an audience who is more than black, indian, or white--they are now one people.
Santana began the show with what I would call a "message of peace," which was beautiful. He had a clear aim from the beginning of the show, which was to unite people. I don't know if he quite knows it, but there was a definate sense of unity. As different as everyone was, it was a party! I have never danced so hard in my life! And the smiles--oh the smiles on everyone's faces! Sometimes, at least for me, when I go to shows that deviate slightly from my normal shows, I feel intimidated by the crowd--or at least a little "outside." This was different, and my hat is off to Santana--not just for his beautiful, wonderful music (which was flawless!), but for the power he has as a person AND a musician to bring people together and really reach people of all backgrounds to make them united. If only for a couple of hours.