Santana Kicks Off Summer Tour in San Diego, California with Earth, Wind & Fire – June, 17, 2022


While Chula Vista is not Carlos Santanas actual home town, it’s very close. Santana grew up and played in nightclubs just across the border in Tijuana, Mexico, about 10 miles away, before moving to the Bay Area in the mid 1960s. Last nights tour kickoff at the North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre originally set for 2020 and postponed twice due to the Covid-19 pandemic was as close to a home town show as you could get. The sold out show featuring Earth, Wind, and Fire and Santana was truly a joyous sonic experience for everyone in attendance.

First up was Earth, Wind and Fire, and from the opening note, they had the crowd up and dancing proving once again why they are one of the worlds best selling bands of all time. The stage show, the smooth moves, the horn section, and the incredible vocal range, all hallmarks of Earth Wind & Fire were present in full force this beautiful early summer night. As the sold out crowd continued to stream into the venue, Earth Wind & Fire showed the crowd why and how they have kept going since 1969.   



Philip Bailey – Vocals, Kalimba, Conga, Percussion
Verdine White – Bass, Percussion, Vocals
Ralph Johnson – Vocals, Drums, Percussion
Myron McKinley – Keyboards
Philip Bailey, Jr. – Background Vocals
B. David Whitworth – Vocals, Percussion
Morris O’Connor – Guitar
Serg Dimitrijevic – Guitar
John Paris- Drums, Vocals
Gary Bias -Saxophone
Bobby Burns Jr. – Trumpet
Reggie Young – Trombone




I remember watching the Woodstock movie as a child and being absolutely blown away by a young Carlos Santana and his band. The combination of those distinctive guitar licks and the latin rock beat was mesmerizing, so last night when they started to play the Woodstock intro as the band started to take the stage, it sent chills down my spine. It felt as if we were watching a part of history reimagined and performed live right in front of us. The band is incredibly tight and in tune with each other on stage, looking like they are having the time of their lives. I also was reminded last night that you need to get those important shots done as soon as you can, because there is a chance that your idea of three songs and the tours idea of three songs might be different. I had spent what I thought were the first two numbers getting the tight shots of the band and each member that I could see and was switching over to wider shots and changing one camera to a fisheye lens trying to get the whole stage in a single shot when we were escorted out of the photo pit by the tour. But as you can see from the gallery below, there was plenty of great action, lighting, and (you will have to trust me on this part)_ great music.



Carlos Santana – Guitar , Vocal
Tommy Anthony – Guitar, Vocals
Ray Greene – Vocals
David K. Mathews – Keyboards
Paoli Mejías – Percussion
Karl Perazzo – Percussion
Benny Rietveld – Bass
Cindy Blackman Santana – Drums
Andy Vargas – Vocals



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Alan Hess is a photographer based in San Diego, where he lives with his wife and two rescued boxers. Alan is currently the house photographer for a large concert and event venue in Southern California where he photographs everything from major musical acts to ice hockey. When he isn't out taking photographs, he spends his time writing books and is an accomplished photography educator and trainer. Alan's images have been published in a variety of places including news papers, magazines, websites, promotional materials, album artwork, and press releases. His clients include The Associated Press, Fox Television, FX Network, USA Network, Hasbro, Framus Guitars, Gibson, The Dead, Picture Group, Photoshop User Magazine, Steel Pulse, Ziggy Marley, and many more. He is the author of sixteen photography and technology books covering everything from night and low light photography to multiple shot techniques. His books are sold around the world and have been translated in other languages including: Chinese, French, Polish, Japanese, Thai, and Italian.