Road News From Europe (December 2002)

As we embarked on the 2002 European Promotional tour we knew that we were in for some interesting experiences. As with all promotional tours of the past, the band finds themselves with more free time than usual. Since we play one TV show and / or one showcase in each city, the Band usually has a lot of free time as Carlos does up to 10 interviews a day.
We arrived in Barcelona, Spain on Sunday, December 1 to temperatures in the 50’s and sunny skies. It being Sunday, most of the shops were closed and everyone stayed close to the hotel to rest away their jetlag. The next day the Band had most of the day off as Carlos did numerous interviews to help promote “Shaman” in Spain. Many of the guys traveled the beautiful city of Barcelona taking in the ancient architecture and cuisine. Many of us went to the “Sacrada Familia”, a cathedral built by Gaudi in 1882. The cathedral is still being built to this day. We climbed the hundreds of stairs to check out the city and the beautiful cathedral. That evening we performed on a Spanish TV show called “Operacion Triunfo Achademy”. The program is similar to American Idol and is viewed by over 6 million people every week. We performed “The Game of Love” on the program.
The next evening was our Spanish showcase. The performance took place in an old theatre and was filmed for a TV special that will air in January. The Band played a 2-hour set that included a couple of special guests. Citizen Cope joined us for a bluesy version of “Sideways” and Carlos invited Niña Pastori and her guitarist Chaboli to play a song of their own. They played a beautiful version of “Besame La Cara”. Other show highlights included Karl & Raul playing a sweet percussion solo entitled “Descarga”. The following day was a day off for everyone. Most explored the great city of Barcelona. Carlos took in the Picasso Museum.
On Thursday, December 5th we flew to Vienna, Austria to play a very famous European TV program called “Wetten Daas”. After arriving, most of the Band went to have some schnitzel for dinner and then to a club to see some friends perform. Carlos found a little time to unwind and play tennis after numerous interviews. The following day we performed “The Game of Love” with Michelle Branch on the program. The show also included Shakira, Lionel Ritchie & Phil Collins. That night there was a party after the show that kept some of the guys up a little past their bedtime.

We moved on to Munich, Germany on December 8th. The weather was in the 30’s after we left Spain and snow was now in the forecast, which was difficult for us California residents. Karl Perazzo seems to be a fish out of water in this weather but still braved the temperatures to do some Christmas shopping. With everyone bundled up we embarked on a quest for some traditional German food and to see what the local merchants had in store for us. On December 9th we played a showcase for BMG. Michelle Branch and Citizen Cope were on hand to perform in the 1 1/2 hour set. After the performance there was a Band dinner at Trader Vic’s where plaques were handed out to congratulate the Band on “Shaman’s” success. The album is already platinum in Germany.

On December 10th we flew to Oslo, Norway to take part in the Nobel Peace Prize Award ceremony. Ex-President, Jimmy carter, was the honoree of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize. We shared the bill with Willie Nelson, Angelique Kidjo and many other prominent musicians and Dignitaries. The day of the performance we knew that we were in one of those “once in a life time” experiences. It was a very refreshing day of music and dialog as people from all over the world honored Jimmy Carter and talked of hope and peace in the world. After sound check we had rehearsal for the shows finale. John Lennon’s, Imagine” was chosen as an appropriate encore with Carlos putting his spin on it and adding John Coltrane’s, “A Love Supreme” at the end. During the finale, the Santana Band was joined by a full orchestra, Willie Nelson, Angelique Kidjo, Laura Pausini, Sissel, Josh Groban and everyone else who performed at the concert. Andy and Tony were trading verses of the song with Willie and Laura Pausini.
The Band took the stage toward the end of the show. Michelle Branch helped kick off the mini set on “The Game of Love” and Angelique Kidjo joined us for “Adouma”. Carlos stepped to the microphone and introduced “Victory is Won” and dedicated it to Desmond Tutu. The instrumental ballad brought chills to many in the audience. When the Band launched into “Oye Como Va”, Kings, Queens, The Carter Family and everyone else in the venue jumped to their feet and danced to the Tito Puente classic. As the performers gathered for “Imagine / A Love Supreme” everyone in the house was singing and smiling. It was an amazing experience. After the concert, there was an after show party for all those who participated. There were instruments set up but no formal band. It soon occurred to everyone that it was open stage and many of the guys took turns jamming throughout the evening.

After the events in Norway, we flew down to Rome, Italy. We arrived late on 12/12/02. The next day Carlos had a morning filled with interviews and the Band had the day off. Most took to the streets to get in some Christmas shopping while others took in the ancient ruins and museums that Rome is famous for. After completing his interviews, Carlos went to the Coliseum and the Foro Romano before enjoying a great Italian dinner. The next day we performed on an Italian TV program called “The Lottery Show”. We played “The Game of Love” with Michelle Branch. Shakira performed on the show too. Many of the Band and Crew were wearing their new Italian threads that they purchased the day before.

To see photos from the US Promotional Tour and Barcelona, Spain please click here.
To see photos from the rest of the European Promotional Tour please click here.