News from The Road – Europe Tour 2002

After a long flight from the states, the band is adjusting to the new time zone and the fine city of Copenhagen, Denmark. The Copenhagen show was great with a new song making the set list entitled, “Truth Don Die”. The song is originally composed by Femi Kuti. “Wishing it Was” made a rare appearance on the Copenhagen set list as well.

We left Copenahgen for Germany where we played two festival dates with Lenny Kravitz, Faithless & the Counting Crows. The scene was beautiful with the sun setting over the festival crowd during the Santana set in Nurburg. We have some phenomenal photos from the German festivals. Please click here to see them.
In Arnhem, Carlos pulled “Open Invitation” out of the Santana songbook and the band tore it up!

On to Paris, with African support acts Angelique Kidjo & Idrissa Diop, adding their vibe to the evening. Carlos sat in with both bands. Angelique joined Santana for “Adouma”. The song has great potential to make the new album. Idrissa played percussion on “Jingo”. Wyclef Jean is currently on tour and joined the band for the crowd pleasing, “Maria Maria”. The Paris show rocked! To see photos from Paris please click here .
The Band took a train to Lyon and rested up for the show that evening. The show had some great highlights including “Europa” and “Soul Sacrifice”. This is the first time that the band has played the two songs in over 2 years.

Today we have made the long journey to Dusseldorf, Germany. Some of the guys are out on the walking streets shopping but most of us are resting up from the festivities in France.
We embarked on the German leg of the tour on a rainy evening in France. We started out in Dusseldorf with the band checking out the walking streets and cafes while Carlos loosened up a played tennis. Then we were off to Berlin with more of the same activities taking place on the day off. Our friends at Marrick Leiberberg Presents took The Counting Crows and Santana out for an excellent Thai food dinner. The bands got a chance to hang out and get to know each other a little better. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel bar with CT and friends playing a few songs on the piano in the hotel bar.
A new song, entitled ‘Mañana” , appeared on the set list for the first time in Hannover, Germany. It is the perfect marriage of beautiful lyrics with the powerful melody lines and chord changes of ‘Europa’. The crowd swayed to the new vibe of the Santana classic.
On May 28th we played Waldbuhne, an outdoor venue in the middle of the forest. The fans were amazing, on their feet in the pouring rain for over three hours. It was no wonder when the band left the stage that they were screaming for more 20 minutes later. Carlos dusted off “Incident at Neshabur”, a beautiful instrumental from “Abraxas” for the Berlin fans. The show also included Adam Duritz, from Counting Crows, trading lead vocals with Tony on “Open Invitation”. Adam has been sitting in every night since Berlin. To see photos from Germany, please click here
On June 2 we left Germany for Zurich, Switzerland. It was a beautiful day, with the sun shining down on Lake Zurich. A few of the guys rented a speedboat and went out on Lake Zurich. The show in Zurich had a few surprise guests in store for the festival crowd. Guitar virtuoso, John McLaughlin, sat in and tore it up! He played on a funky remake of Jimi Hendrix’s “If 6 were 9” entitled “If The 60’s Were The 90’s” and on “Open Invitation with Adam Duritz from the Counting Crows on lead vocals. The jams reached many incredible peaks as Carlos & John were trading licks throughout the mini set. Later in the evening an African Percussion band called Badenya Les Fréres Coulibaly played on “Dame Tu Amor” and “Jingo”. It was an explosive show! We just left Zurich and flew to Budapest, Hungary.

From Budapest we traveled by bus to Vienna, Austria. The show was set in an old Austrian courtyard where Kings, Queens and Noblemen once lived. It was a beautiful, cool evening and our last show with the Counting Crows. The next day we were on a plane to Dublin, Ireland.

We found Dublin under typically rainy skies but that did not deter the guys from checking out the beautiful Irish City. With the World Cup in full swing, Guinness Beers, Fish and Chips were in order for many of the guys. The fans in Ireland were a lot of fun braving the elements to take in the 2 1/2 hour Santana set. UB40 were the opening act for both the Dublin and London concerts.

When we arrived in London on Saturday, June 8th most of the Band went to Trader Vic’s for food & drinks. We enjoyed a night off together in the Queens fair city. Some of the guys went to see Star Wars, while others took care of the lingering suitcase problem that we call laundry. Once again we found ourselves under rainy skies when it came time for the band to take the stage. As Carlos told the audience, “we can will the rain to go away”, blue skies opened up and the rain went away. In the middle of the show, Carlos, stopped the band to celebrate Raul Rekow’s birthday. The band struck up “Happy Birthday” and “You’re Still a Young Man” while Raul blew out the candles on his birthday cake. We are off to Lisbon, Portugal in the Morning.

After a day off and a battle on the tennis court, Carlos and company were ready to give their best for the fans in Portugal. The show included many amazing musical moments such as “Samba Pa Ti”, “Soul Sacrifice”, “Savor” and an extended improvisational blues jam just before “Black Magic Woman”. Nothing that was played on stage could compare with what happened during the show. Carlos called a young girl up to the stage from the audience to dance during “Foo Foo”. She danced gracefully to the many tempo and melody changes in the song. The entire band and audience was smiling ear to ear as the young girl danced a Samba into our hearts. Carlos walked up to her in the middle of the song, removed a beautiful gold crucifix that he was wearing, and placed it around her neck. She didn’t miss a beat as she grabbed the cross with her left hand and kept on dancing. We were all fighting back the tears from the purity and innocence of the moment.

The next day we were off to the port of Marseille in the south of France. The weather was perfect, and the band took the time to walk around the bay, eat together as a group and relax by the pool. It was beautiful! The summer weather and beautiful surroundings inspired Carlos to dust off a few gems from the Santana songbook. “El Farol” and “Blues for Salvador” were placed on the set list for the first time in Years. Carlos and CT traded licks back and forth on both songs. According to long time fan and percussionist, Jean Dumas, it was one of the best Santana shows he has ever seen!

Carlos’ friend, Paolo Rustichelli, sat in on “Right on / Get on” in Turin, Italy. The song is inspired by Marvin Gaye’s “Right On” with segments of the song written by Paolo. Paolo played a very inspiring piano solo on the song. The next day we were off to Imola, Italy for a festival date that included our friends in Mana. The crowd was pumped as Fher, Alex, Sergio and Juan Carlos joined Santana for “Corazon Espinado”. The fans were singing every word as they rocked to the sounds Santana & Mana. The next day we were on a plane heading back home to our friends and families. The tour was a tremendous success and a ton of fun for everyone!