Niagara Gazette — It is the last week of May and we are getting very close the summer concert season kicking into full gear. We will start with a warning to you procrastinators, I advised a friend of mine to get his Hall & Oates tickets a couple of weeks ago when they were still on sale, and he waited too long, the June 10 show has sold out, as has the Ringo Starr show. If there is a show at Artpark this summer you want to see, you should plan to get tickets as soon as possible.
As far as this weekend’s offerings, the big show in town will be at First Niagara Center featuring Rod Stewart and Santana at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. I find this to be an interesting pairing, while the two headliners certainly come from the same era, they bear little resemblance to each other musically.
Stewart has covered a broad range of styles, with The Faces, Stewart sang throat wrenching rock classics like “Stay With Me” and “(I Know) I’m Losing You” and then in the 1970s he had a disco hit with “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy." In the 1980s a new wave hit, “Young Turks” and in the 1990s a huge hit with his unplugged rendition of Van Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately.” (Stewarts “Unplugged ... and Seated” album is one of my all-time favorites of the era.)
Stewart has been able to reinvent himself at numerous times over his career, whereas Santana has stuck to the same basic formula since Carlos Santana formed the band in the late 1960s.
The reason Santana has not tinkered with that formula is that it works. The band has won eight Grammy Awards and even though the lineup changes, the quality of the live product never deteriorates. I have numerous legal live recordings of Santana through the years, in audio and video format, and I am never disappointed.