Nearly 50 years ago to the date, approximately 400,000 people descended onto Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm near Bethel, New York for a music festival billed as “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace and Music.” That festival has since taken on a different name, one that serves as the barometer through which all subsequent music festivals have been judged.
There are not many musicians who played during those three days of “peace and music” that are still active, let alone alive, today. Yet, among those that are still involved in the mission of peace and music, Carlos Santana remains one of the most popular.
By almost all standards, Santana, one of the legacy acts from that spontaneously spectacular weekend of 50 years ago, is the rare act that has transcended generations. A relative unknown when they took the stage on day two of the festival, the Latin jazz/rock fusion jam band has been playing to massive audiences at sold out venues ever since.
Helmed by its namesake guitarist, songwriter and vocalist, Carlos Santana, the band has taken on many forms and iterations over the years both in the studio and on tour, but the man at the center has never changed and, because of that, the legacy and popularity that began 50 years ago, continues to grow today.
To commemorate their performance at Woodstock and in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Supernatural, the 15-times Platinum album that has sold 11.8 million copies in the U.S. and over 30 million worldwide, Santana is kicking off summer with a 29-date tour in North America.
One of those stops will be at the Pepsi Center today.
“With Supernatural, I felt I had a masterpiece of joy in my heart,” said Santana in a statement. “While we were creating the album, I knew we were touching upon something inspiring and that we were creating music that was timeless, like Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On or Bob Marley’s Exodus. But no one was prepared for the Supernatural spiritual virus that moved across the world. The album touched little kids and grandparents and all points in between. I am very grateful to Clive Davis for helping me craft this seminal album that is still as relevant and infectious as the day it was released.”
Indeed the album managed to unite the alt-rock loving 20-somethings of the mid-to-late 90s and the “we saw it first” boomers that did, in fact, see it first during the 70s. All while keeping Santana as relevant in 1999 as they were in 1969.
And that relevance continues into 2019.
“We’re always moving forward, and we have incredible new songs and melodies that will inspire you,” Santana said. “When we hit the stage, we know we will touch your heart and make you dance, sing, cry, laugh and leave your baggage behind. The shows will be well balanced between the hits of yesterday, today and tomorrow…with energy!”
Included with tickets to the Pepsi Center show is either a digital download or CD copy of Santana’s forthcoming album, Africa Speaks, which will be the band’s 26th studio album. And though no album has reached the level of worldwide popularity that Supernatural achieved 20 years ago, the fact that this Woodstock legacy artist is still producing high quality music and live performances deserves decades worth of praise.
Santana: Supernatural Now begins tonight with doors set to open at 6:00 pm and an opening performance from the Doobie Brothers.
Tickets are on sale through Live Nation or by calling 303-893-TIXS.