Woodstock ’69 Vet Santana, With The Doobie Brothers In Tow, Rocks SPAC With The Classics

The famed Mexican-American guitarist and his band brought their Supernatural Now tour to the Saratoga arts venue on August 23.

(from left) Mexican-American guitarist Santana, mid-solo, with drummer Cindy Blackman in the background, during the band's headlining set at SPAC on August 23. (Francesco D'Amico)
View Gallery 9 Photos

So what if the Woodstock 50 music festival was a complete bust? The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) landed one of the OG Woodstock’s greatest acts, Santana, who brought their Supernatural Now tour through Saratoga Springs’ arts venue. (If you’re of a certain age, the name of the tour should spark a memory or two; this year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of guitarist Carlos Santana’s multiple Grammy Award-winning “solo” album, Supernatural, which included mega-hit “Smooth,” featuring Rob Thomas, who also headlined SPAC earlier this summer.)

Classic rockers the Doobie Brothers—who’ve seen a resurgence in interest since the Brooklyn yacht-rock-crazed hipsters went nuts for the Doobie’s former singer Michael McDonald several years ago—opened with a set featuring all of the old faithfuls.

Besides resurrecting the hits from his big ’90s comeback record, Santana and his band also brought tracks from their brand-new album, Africa Speaks, which was released this past June (Buika, who co-wrote a number of the songs on the album, played the SPAC on Stage series the month the record was released). Peppered in, of course, were all his ageless hits, such as Tito Puente cover “Oye Cómo Va,” “Black Magic Woman” and “Evil Ways.”

saratoga living’s Francesco D’Amico was onsite for the big double-bill. Click on the first image to see the rest of his great gallery of images. For more of D’Amico’s work from the SPAC/Live Nation summer slate, click here.

Will Levith

Will Levith is Editorial Director at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living magazine. He's a native Saratogian and graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. His work has been published by Esquire, Playboy, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Health, RealClearLife and many others. He lives in Troy with his wife, Laura, and dog, Esopus.


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