Concerts

Santana at Hard Rock Live, Friday and Saturday

Perhaps it's the instability and unpredictability of our nightmarish economy, or maybe it's the lure of Afro-Latin blues and instrumentals derived from America's indigenous people on mainstream America. Whatever the reason, we're happy that Carlos Santana didn't hang it up earlier this year when he turned 65 years old, retirement age. Instead, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and guitar virtuoso released an album, Shape Shifter, and signed up for a two-year residency at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay Las Vegas. Retirement was clearly not an option. "A lot of people said to me, 'Enough with the guest vocalists for a while,' " Santana said in an interview with Guitar World earlier this year. "'We want to hear the Mexican play the guitar!'" He obliged. And although there are plenty of fabulous musicians on the album, Santana's licks are what make it truly inspiring.

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Victor Gonzalez