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  • Laura Fox - LLFoxphotos

Santana at Ruoff Music Center on 08/03/22 - Photos and review by Laura Fox (LLFoxphotos)

The crowd was good & hyped for headliner Santana, but their portion of the show had to be called off because Carlos Santana was too ill to perform. It was one of six dates on Santana’s “Miraculous Supernatural” tour that that had to be rescheduled.


Fortunately, we fans didn’t have

to wait too awfully long for our make-up date. On August 3, the band stopped in Noblesville, Indiana again. Despite some ominous clouds, only light sprinkles  fell on the packed lawn and pavilion,and Santana treated the delighted crowd to an extra-long set of tunes that spanned the band’s 56-year history.


They opened with their 1969 Woodstock Festival breakout hit, “Soul Sacrifice.” They had the luxury of time, and they took it, jamming for over 15 minutes on that song - and having a ball doing it. Carlos and the rest of the band were at the tops of their games, playing and singing with passion and energy throughout their two hours on stage. There were plenty of Santana hits, along with some really great covers, and even the Happy Birthday song for roadie Mike. I especially liked 2002’s “Foo Foo,” their cover of The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues,” and “Joy,” their 2021 release with Chris Stapleton. And of course I went nuts with everyone else for their 1999 smash, “Smooth.”  


Santana is a relatively large, percussion-heavy band, and they have a big, bold sound. Their music, which incorporates Latin rock, soul, psychedelic rock, pop, and jazz, was set to background graphics that included live video of the band members, along with clips of happy children, famous musicians, beautiful scenery, and even some funky psychedelic stuff.  When it came time for Cindy Blackman Santana’s drum solo, however, the camera only had eyes for her. And she absolutely killed it, shifting to beast mode for a dazzling display of percussion badass-ness.


Throughout the set, Carlos Santana’s custom gold-leaf PRS guitar shone brightly as his fingers deftly flew over the strings. Between songs, he took time to talk to the audience about all kinds of things. He apologized for the July cancellation, complimented a fan for his Bob Marley shirt, and promoted his charity, the Milagro Foundation for kids’ art, education, and health. He also spoke encouraging messages of love, tolerance, and unity. With such great music and so many good vibes, I found it easy to embrace my inner hippie and left Ruoff Music Center with a big smile on my face.


The Miraculous Supernatural tour with Earth, Wind & Fire continues through August 2022. In September, Santana will take up residency at the House of Blues Las Vegas. For more info and tickets, click here:



You can watch the video for “Joy” here:


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