On Friday, June 17th, the mega-collaborative spirit of music again took centerstage during one of San Diego’s biggest outdoor parties of the year. The superpower performers — Earth, Wind & Fire and Carlos Santana — shared the same stage at the North Island Credit Union Amphitheater on a beautiful sunny California day. The setup is something all music-lovers should see at least once in their life (because, you never know when these two musical masters might collaborate like this again!!).
In what can only be described as an unrivaled music experience, both bands played back-to-back songs that showcased their musical prowess, while complementing each other’s sound.
Opening up the night was Earth, Wind & Fire, one of the most popular bands of the 1970s and arguably one of its most musically adventurous. The band’s gigs are more like mini-concerts than simple shows, with costumes, choreography and other production elements as necessary as the music itself. Their performance was typical of what you would expect; they have been touring together since the late 1960s with the same unmistakable sound, despite lineup changes over the years. They did not disappoint at all. Even after over 40 years, they still managed to keep the crowd entertained with a combination of old and new songs, keeping the energy up the whole time.
This event was the first time I had seen the band live and I was incredibly impressed. Earth, Wind & Fire played various songs from across their discography, including all the classic hits like “September”, “Let’s Groove” and “Shining Star”. Everyone in the crowd sang and danced along as soon as they took the stage. Earth, Wind & Fire members are incredibly talented and their chemistry onstage was incredible.
Overall, this was an unforgettable concert experience that I highly recommend to anyone!
Next up is a force to be reckoned with. “Supernatural” is not just a song by Santana — it’s how he operates. The GRAMMY winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has been rocking audiences with his Latin-infused throwback jams since the ’60s, especially after his historic performance at Woodstock in ’69. He hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down and put on quite the show for his beloved audience — both longtime fans and new. Santana has a unique music style that incorporates many Latin and rock influences. He performed many popular hits, such as “Oye Como Va”, “Samba Pa Ti”, “Maria Maria” and “Smooth”, along with new songs from his latest and highly anticipated Blessings and Miracles album.
Many of his songs are inspired by the struggles of the poor or those who have been discriminated against. He has expressed a desire to “wake people up” with his music. His message is one of hope and he uses his music to try to inspire change and improve the lives of others. He often reminds fans of the importance of hard work, love and perseverance. One of the most memorable moments of any Carlos Santana concert is when he takes a moment to talk about his faith and relay positive messages to his fans. Through his music and lyrics, Santana often conveys messages of spirituality and inspiration. This night, he encouraged people to stay positive and not be afraid of life’s hardships. His shows are filled with various topics, from the state of the world and the government to the current state of love in the world. His performances are compelling, filled with love and positivity as an excellent escape from the daily stresses of life.
Everyone who attends a Santana concert will leave feeling uplifted and inspired.
Earth, Wind & Fire and Carlos Santana are two of the most successful acts to come out of the ‘Superstars Era’ of the late 1970s. Both musicians have sold millions of records, scored hits on all Billboard charts and won multiple GRAMMY Awards. Their music has also transcended generations. This dynamic duo of artists will leave you with goosebumps after their performances. Both acts gave it their all, while simultaneously setting the audience on fire with their unique sounds. This concert will be a night I’ll never forget, cherishing it significantly since I grew up listening to both bands with my family. Be sure to catch their upcoming tour together throughout the year!
Photography by Olivia Valdes