Carlos Santana, for better or worse, is a legend. He's played guitar on some of FM radio's most monstrous hits, including "Evil Ways," "Oye Como Va" and "Black Magic Woman." He's shared stages and album credits with Alice Coltrane, Booker T. Jones, John Lee Hooker, Herbie Hancock and the recently deceased Jerry Wexler. He even recorded a live album with soul/funk pioneer Buddy Miles in the crater of a dormant Hawaiian volcano. But none of these stellar accomplishments and interstellar collaborations brought him his biggest success. That's right--it took Rob Thomas from Matchbox friggin' Twenty to give Santana his biggest hit and his best-selling album--1999's Supernatural. And thanks to the 15 million copies sold, Santana has stuck to a similarly uninspiring formula ever since, collaborating on "star-studded" albums with Michelle Branch, Steven Tyler, Bo Bice, Los Lonely Boys and the dude from Nickelback. Perhaps worst of all is the fact that Santana's watered-down pop success inspired Willie Nelson--a superior songwriter and guitar player, at least in our opinion--to follow the same formula on 2002's The Great Divide. At least Willie has continued to intermittently make good records; Carlos hasn't. But if you still can't get enough of Santana's tone, head on down to the Superpages.com Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday, where he'll take the stage promoting his latest "Santana" record. Tickets are $25 to $85. Visit ticketmaster.com.
Wed., Sept. 17, 7 p.m., 2008