Home Gigs GIG REVIEW: Santana Soars at the Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL on June 29, 2024

GIG REVIEW: Santana Soars at the Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL on June 29, 2024

11 min read

Review & Photos by Greg Hamil for MPM

The summer night air in Tinley Park, IL crackled with anticipation on June 29th, 2024, as a large crowd gathered at the Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre for Santana’s stop on their “Oneness” Tour. With the Counting Crows opening the show, the energy was high as the fans settled in, ready for a nostalgic journey through Santana’s impressive discography.

The Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre provided a beautiful backdrop for the show. The sprawling lawn offered plenty of space for fans to spread out with blankets or chairs, while the covered pavilion ensured everyone had a comfortable spot.

The night kicked off with the Counting Crows launching into “Hard Candy”. I would have expected a bigger response, but this was a Santana crowd and most seemed content to sit quietly as the Counting Crows worked their way through their set. In just about any other setting, I would have expected a much louder response.

Singer Adam Duritz’s voice may have become a little raspier over the years, but still delivered a stellar performance! Sporting a thick mane of hair now as opposed to the dreadlocks of his earlier years, he still held the same raw emotion that captivated audiences back in the 90s.

As the set progressed, they performed their hit, “Mr. Jones”. This brought a reaction from some in the crowd with cheers and people standing to dance and sing along. The same would take place with songs like “Omaha” and “Rain King”, which was one of the standout moments of their set. Perfectly capturing the song’s desperation and longing, the crowd swayed, and a few sang along. It was a truly magical moment.

The Counting Crows performance at the Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre was nostalgic. The band delivered a tight, energetic set that showcased their impressive musicality.

While a good portion of the crowd remained seated throughout the performance, the band reminded everyone why the Counting Crows remain one of the most beloved bands of their generation.

Counting Crows Setlist: Hard Candy – St. Robinson in His Cadillac Dream – Mr. Jones – Colorblind – Omaha – Miami – Friend of the Devil – Round Here – Rain King – the 1 – A Long December – Hanginaround – Holiday in Spain

Now it was time for Santana! As the lights dimmed, the video screens came to life with a montage of African rituals and tributes. Carlos Santana, now 76 years old, spent a significant portion of the set on a stool. But don’t let that fool you into thinking he has lost anything when it comes to his playing.

Throughout the night, we were constantly reminded of the genius of his abilities and why he should always be included among the top of the list when it comes to the all-time greatest guitarists.

The night kicked off with “Soul Sacrifice” which gave everyone a taste of what was to come. Dual vocalists Ray Greene and Andy Vargas were over the top in their singing while adding extra power to the performance with tambourines, maracas, and trombones. The percussion section that included Carlos’ wife Cindy was over the top right from the first song.

Throughout the night, the crowd was treated to such hits as “Oye Como Va”, “Evil Ways”, and “Black Magic Woman”. All of these allowed Santana to showcase his signature style, blending Latin rhythms, bluesy licks, and soaring solos that sent shivers down the spine.

After the second song, Santana came to the microphone and told the audience that he was always told that “you don’t come to Chicago and not play the blues”. Afterwards, he launched into a blues song that made everyone in the crowd lose their minds.

To be fair, Santana’s set wasn’t just about reliving past glories. It was a platform for extended jams that allowed each band member to shine. Particularly noteworthy were the percussionists, who weaved intricate polyrhythms that underscored the music’s groove. The interplay between Carlos and his band was a sight to behold, a telepathic conversation that pushed the boundaries of the songs and kept the audience enthralled.

The music was further enhanced by the stunning visuals projected onto the backdrop. A mix of African inspired imagery, historical Santana footage, and vibrant colors created a mesmerizing spectacle that complimented the music perfectly. It was a feast for the senses, transporting the audience to a world of Santana’s creation.

Different from many concerts where the video screens feature a main performer or show images that are in synch with the music. Santana’s show used the video screens to feature each performer on stage. Close-ups of each band member during solos or featured parts of the songs brought huge roars from the audience.

With a huge catalog of material to choose from, Santana did not disappoint. From almost 50 years in the business, there were songs like “The Game of Love”, “Jin-go-lo-ba”, “Foo foo”, and “Maria Maria”.

To close out the night, “Smooth” was a moment of shear ecstasy. The song’s instant recognizable melody had everyone singing along, swaying to the infectious rhythm. Cindy Blackman Santana’s powerhouse drumming provided the backbone, while Carlos’ soaring solo during the bridge was a masterclass in emotional expression. It was a testament to the song’s enduring popularity and Santana’s ability to breathe new life into it with every performance.

The whole show at the Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre was more than just a performance; it was a celebration of music’s unifying power. Santana, a true living legend, proved that his music transcends time and continues to resonate with audiences of all ages.

With soulful vocals, masterful guitar work, and a band that grooves like a well-oiled machine, Santana delivered a night to remember, leaving everyone wanting more.

Santana Setlist: Soul Sacrifice – Open Invitation – Evil Ways – Black Magic Woman – Gypsy Queen – Oye Como Va – Everybody’s Everything – Europa (Earth’s Cry, Heaven’s Smile) – The Game of Love – She’s Not There – Hope You’re Feeling Better – (Da le) Yaleo – Put Your Lights On – Jin-go-lo-ba – Corazon Espinado – Maria Maria – Foo Foo – Are You Ready – Smooth

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