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Santana's maiden concerts in India

Even though Santana has performed all over the world, and in Asia, this is the first time for the band in India. They were in Bangalore last weekend for a show. On Sunday it was the capital city of New Delhi for the Formula One Rocks event in conjunction with the Indian Grand Prix.

Brahmin on Delhi Street with a cow.
Brahmin on Delhi Street with a cow.
John Hill via Wikimedia Commons

The latter concert was held at the Galgotia University Campus on the outskirts of Delhi in Greater Noida. For both shows it was made up of Santana’s famous hits from decades past. It was a mixed crowd consisting of baby boomers from the Woodstock era, and the younger generation from his 1999 Supernatural album.

One of India’s best bands, Soulmate, opened for Santana at the Delhi show. An unexpected highlight came during Soulmate’s performance of “Lie.” Rudy Wallang, considered India’s greatest guitarist, saw Santana from the corner of his eye while onstage. It was Carlos who asked if he could join them. Lead singer Tipriti “Tips” Kharbangar was in the middle of her performance when she heard notes from an unfamiliar guitar. It was then she realized who was on the stage.

Santana invited Tips to join in his set for the two songs, “The Game of Love” and “Smooth.” She was familiar with “Smooth”, but had to learn the lyrics in the green room backstage for the other song from 2002. During the performance Carlos had this to say to the crowd "Thank you. It is a blessing to come to New Delhi and feel connected with your heart."

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