Recorded just over a year after Santana played its historic Woodstock Music & Art Fair performance, the band was fast becoming one of the biggest in the world. They were about to release their second album, Abraxas, and were riding high on the heels of three hit songs from their debut album and a new Top 10 hit, a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Black Magic Woman.”
A year earlier – in fact only a few days before the Woodstock Festival – Bill Graham staged the first of several concerts billed as “The Fillmore at Tanglewood.” Tanglewood is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the storied venue had just begun to experiment with staging contemporary concerts on their grounds. Staging a rock concert in a classical venue had yet to be done, so of course the concept of doing so excited Graham. He brought the full-scale Fillmore East production team in, including the Joshua Light Show, and booked a great lineup. This first concert featured B.B King, Jefferson Airplane and The Who, and drew the largest crowd that Tanglewood had ever seen by far.
Buoyed by the event’s success, Tanglewood and Graham agreed to stage three similar dates in 1970. The last of these is this show, when Santana headlined after The Voices of East Harlem and the legendary Miles Davis had played (you can hear Mile’s set here).
This historic and beautifully recorded performance features a smoking performance by Santana in the last year of their classic lineup, before a young Neal Schon joined the band. We think you’ll agree it’s an incredible performance by a great band in their prime.