Rod Stewart and Santana – Xcel Energy Center – Saint Paul, MN – August 10, 2014

On Sunday, August 10, 2014, fans of Rod Stewart and Santana are gathered to view two rock classics at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul. Seeing one of these artists in a treat in itself, but seeing both at one time, each playing a full set, is something to behold.

Santana is the first to perform, coming out with “Toussaint L’Overture”. His stage is covered in Aztec imagery, a nod to his newest album, “Corazon”. The album was released in early May and has been part of his tour ever since.

The crowd is mostly older, one that decides to sit down throughout the majority of the show, with the exception of, “Oye Como Va”. The really fun thing about the Santana set is that it is like a jam session, a full party atmosphere, even sitting down. I always find that when the audience can feel as if they are part of the show, it makes for a much more enjoyable experience.

He plays a cover of The Champs, “Tequila”, a song that has half the crowd stand and screaming “Tequila!” at the perfect opportunity. He plays “Smooth” before the encore, but without Rob Thomas, it loses its luster. It’s good, but Rob makes it the song that it was fifteen years ago.

Rod Stewart is on stage next, mixing his set with covers and originals. Personally, I would have preferred more original songs. He did numerous covers from various artists, and it’s not like he doesn’t have huge catalog of fantastic songs to choose from. With the exception of “Forever Young”, his 1980’s catalog is virtually ignored, but he makes up for it with several of his beloved 1970’s tunes.

His stage consists of video screens, a drum platform, backup singers, horns, drums, vertical monitors, and more. One of the monitors is focused solely on Rod. The stage looks like one straight out of Las Vegas, which adds to the persona of Rod Stewart. The backup singers are dressed in mini skirts and he dons a yellow sports jacket with shiny black pants. Everything is incredibly polished and professional.

His covers include a range of artists, such as Bonnie Tyler, Chuck Berry, Sam Cooke, Etta James, and many more. Nearly half of his setlist is made up of covers. However, his originals include “Forever Young”, “Hot Legs”, “Maggie May”, and, of course, the encore of “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”  During the encore is an image of Rod during the 1970’s, stating that he didn’t want to play that song after the age of fifty, as he would be a parody of himself.  He then drops an immense amount of balloons onto the crowd.

Overall, the show is excellent. There are many that have said that Rod’s voice was raspy, but those that say that clearly have not been following his career since the 1970s. As far as Santana goes, anyone who wants to be a real musician needs to see him perform. He shows how it’s done and is a real inspiration to anyone who wants to pursue a career in music.