When does a house become a home? When you are Carlos Santana and your home becomes the House of Blues. Carlos Santana is now a resident at the House of Blues in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino for the next two years. His show, “An Intimate Evening with Santana: Greatest Hits Live – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” has proved to be just that. An intimate evening!
For more that 40 years, Carlos Santana has been entertaining fans worldwide. Rolling Stone has cited him as #20 on their list of “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” With over 100 million records sold, he just released his new CD, “Shape Shifter”, which debuted at #16 in the Top 20 on the Billboard 200 top-selling albums chart. “Shape Shifter” is Carlos Santana’s 36th album and is a 13-song instrumental tour de force featuring music spanning from the late 1990’s to the present. The album is filled with all original compositions, many of which have been stashed away for a project such as this.
The album features Carlos’s son, Salvador Santana who plays piano and collaborated on two songs, “Canela” and the final track “Ah, Sweet Dancer.” “Ah, Sweet Dancer” features father and son solos. Santana has said that when he and his son play that song, people are moved to tears. “They can feel the love and respect I have for him. He is my son, my teacher and student,” he says.
No two shows are alike. One never knows what they will hear at a Carlos Santana performance. Andrew Economon, General Manager of the House of Blues says that he has seen the set lists at the beginning of the show and literally the show will not match the set list. Carlos Santana usually decides on what will be played at four thirty in the afternoon and as Economon commented, he has been known to make changes on the fly during a show. “His musicians just roll with it, knowing that’s how Carlos works, “What’s good for him is good for them,” he says.
That is how Carlos Santana rolls. His music transcends all cultural and language barriers. He has shaped the concept of world music blending many styles from a multitude of ethnic sources. The House of Blue recognizes his universal appeal and is proud to have someone of this magnitude perform at their venue in Las Vegas.
The goal of the House of Blues was not to make the show bigger, but better. Inside, changes were made to create a more intimate setting. Special seating closer to the stage was arranged. The capacity was reduced considerably, creating an upfront personal experience with Carlos Santana and his musicians. Even the stage is smaller than most, and at first was a concern for Carlos Santana’s team. “At first they were concerned,” says Economon. “But they love the fact that they can make eye contact with each other or signal each other, which is something they never had at other venues. Making eye contact and touching the fans is what energizes these musicians. Fans can stand close to the stage and dance the night away.
The attendance for the show has been right at projection. Special VIP packages are offered with seating options, meet and greet, dinner, and entrance to the Foundation Room as well as Mezzanine seating.
This is the first time that House of Blues has had a residency headliner such as Carlos Santana. They are considering other headliners for this venue as well as other House of Blue venues across the country. Las Vegas seems to be a test market for residency shows starting with Celine Dion, Elton John and even comedian Rita Rudner. “We are definitely taking that into consideration,” says Economon. “Entertainers seem to like it better. They are not on the road constantly. At the end of the day, Las Vegas brings customers to us. We have a constant turnover from people walking in the door from all over the country and parts of the world,” he says.
Carlos Santana’s residency at the House of Blues continues until 2014. Performances are scheduled for September thru December 2012 – so far. For a list of confirmed dates, tickets, VIP packages or more info visit www.houseofblues.com/santana
, Ticketmaster.com or call 800-745-3000. For additional information go to www.santana.com
A portion of all tickets sold will be donated to The Milagro Foundation and the International House of Blues Foundation. The Milagro Foundation, originally established by Carlos Santana and his family in 1998, has granted more than five million dollars to non-profit programs supporting underserved children and youth in the areas of arts, education and health. Milagro means “miracle,” and the image of children as divine miracles of light and hope—gifts to our lives—is the inspiration behind its name.
The International House of Blues Foundation is dedicated to support youth music and arts programs, creating performance and exhibition opportunities for young and emerging artists.
Smartervegas Inside Scoop: There's a Gospel Brunch that the House of Blues hosts every Sunday at 10AM and 1PM. It isn’t a religious experience but a musical one. Just recently they had Gladys’s Knights team come in to perform. You never know who might show up!
Behind the Scenes: We were told that Carlos is working on five new albums that he wants released in the next three years and he will be using the stage at the House of Blues to test out his new work! Stay tuned!