Carlos Santana shows security the door to let party begin

CARLOS Santana was all out for a party in Brisbane on Thursday night and he wasn't going to let anyone stop him - least of all the security people.

Santana started the Brisbane Entertainment Centre show with an explosion of sound, an amazing assault on the senses, which included at times no less than five people on percussion instruments.

For almost two hours, the pace was frenetic as the 65-year-old kid from Mexico displayed endless energy as he executed rift after rift.

It was like watching a never ending jam session with some of the best musicians in the world led by one of the world's all time great guitarists.

Steve Miller Band more than ably opened the night with a solid 90 minute show but it was Santana that had fans - both old and new - mainlining on music.

The show opened with a cosmic Milky Way montage, included references to the Holy Spirit - and smoking weed - and finished with moving images of a dove.

It was one crazy night - one that will no doubt have fans talking for months, if not years to come.

Santana had one complaint about the venue - that the seating configuration did not allow the freedom for people to get up and dance.

Never one for the rules, the legendary musician urged everyone to flood the aisles, the front of stage, and even the stage itself, if needed, to get moving.

As one couple quickly took up the challenge but found their path forward blocked by a security officer, Santana gave the officer a serve.

"Let them dance man,'' he said, directing his comments straight at the man after asking him to turn and face him.

"Without them (the fans) you don't have a job,'' Santana pointed out.

"Without them I don't have a job.''

"If you are not happy in your job… go home.''

The dance floor was soon flooded, the Latin party started, and the security guy disappeared into the night.

One over-enthusiastic fan was not so Smooth, jumping onto the stage after taking Santana's call a little too literally. He was quickly removed.

Earlier Steve Miller Band opened the night with Jungle Love before plowing through hits like Take the Money and Run, Abracadabra, Fly Like An Eagle, Jet Airliner, Space Cowboy and The Joker.

Miller, who was breaking in a new guitar given to him by Santana and signed by the whole band, later returned in Santana's set for The Healer, Black Magic Woman and Gypsy Queen.

The night featured some of the best keyboard, drum, conga, percussion and guitar solos you will see anywhere.

Despite having 11 musicians on stage,  there was never chaos or confusion with Santana throwing the spotlight from one instrument to the next, showcasing some incredible talent.

The percussion was a continual highlight of the night with images from African villages during solos taking you to another place.

Santana, who first came to fame at Woodstock in 1969, shows now signs of stopping.

As he recently told ABC television: "One of the greatest compliments for me is to be 65 and I walk into a restaurant or an airport and the children, the children come over and go, "Hi." I go "Hi."

"They go, "I like your music. Can you sign this?" ...

"For me right now, I'm 65. It is not outside of the realm of possibilities to create music with Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Andrea Bocelli, Metallica or any Aborigine band in the desert right now playing an instrument, ya know?

"We're not a one-trick pony, you know.''

Definitely not. Just pure musical genius.

* Santana and Steve Miller Band play the Byron Bay Bluesfest Friday night, March 29.

Topics:  bluesfest bluesfest 2013 brisbane entertainment centre car editors picks entertainment music

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