Pop/Rock

Santana

When: Wed., April 23, 7:30 p.m. 2014

Just as Willie Nelson can be forgiven for his Taco Bell commercial, Carlos Santana can be forgiven for his Rob Thomas collaboration “Smooth” (though some of my co-workers beg to differ). It’s not like the guy was raking in millions on his previous albums. He’s a damn fine musician and a national treasure, and he deserves to get paid — “Smooth” helped Supernatural sell 30 million copies and win nine Grammies, despite its, well, Rob Thomas-ness. Furthermore, outside of Jerry Garcia, it’s hard to think of another rock guitarist whose sound is as instantly recognizable as Santana’s. His seminal early recordings — Abraxas, Santana III, Caravanserai and the live 1974 triple-album Lotus, to name a few — stand as benchmarks in guitar-driven rock. Recent set lists suggest that roughly half of the show will be gems from that golden era, and Santana’s backing band is always phenomenal, usually including some of the best Latin percussionists on the planet. Thomas, incidentally, plays the Ryman the previous night, when Santana is off, so it’s reasonable to suspect the guitarist may make a cameo there. But Thomas is in Atlanta during Santana’s Ryman show. Aww, darn. JACK SILVERMAN

Price: $75-$150

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