Hot Spot: An Intimate Evening with Carlos Santana

Following up to my Random Thought: House of Blues, I have lots to say about “my” Intimate Evening with Carlos Santana at The House of Blues Las Vegas inside Mandalay Bay Hotel, Casino, & Resort. Let’s start with special thanks to:

  • The House of Blues Las Vegas for being such wonderful hosts and venue for this excellent concert.
  • My husband for purchasing the tickets and surprising me with them last year (and for getting such awesome seats).
  • Carlos Santana, himself, for being such a dedicated and wonderful performer and guitarist. *bows head*

Now, let’s get down to business.

We already had our printed from the computer, electronic tickets ready, and when we got to Mandalay Bay – I’ve never stepped foot in this casino before – we were able to go straight through the line to wait at the doors. A gentleman came up to us and asked if we’ve gotten our VIP tags, and when we told him “not yet”, off he went with our tickets to get us VIP lanyards that made me feel extremely special. *laughs* He informed us of the procedures and what comes with the VIP package.

(rough recollection)

When the doors open, you’ll go in, and a hostess will take you to your table. You get a bottle of wine or champagne, a concert dvd, and a poster with your VIP package. “Keep these on you.” *hands us the lanyards* “These will make sure that no one but designated people will sit in the VIP sections.”


Then, the waiting in line at the door begins. We got there at 6:30pm, as neither one of us were familiar with the procedures, and we’ve never really been “VIPs” before. Doors opened at 7:00pm, and we were herded down the stairs into the special performance section of the House of Blues. There were two floors, and from what I saw of the balcony, there were plenty of standing room in the “above the wings” area. There were three bars on the main floor, and our table was located right in front of one of them. I really can’t say enough how awesome our seats were. My husband did really well with the purchase.


Our server came right up to us as we were settling at our table and explained the VIP complimentary service to us. We get to pick one bottle of wine or champagne (my husband chose a Merlot from a vineyard in Paso Robles, CA), and mid-concert, we’d receive chocolate covered strawberries. They were having a special on Casa Noble tequila shots and margaritas (served in souvenir glasses), so naturally, I had to get a margarita, even though I had quit drinking tequila a long time ago.

The concert started at 8:00pm, but by 7:30pm, the Party Zone (what I call the “Mosh Pit”) was packed with people, and my husband and I both agreed that I wouldn’t survive in that section with my claustrophobia. We were about 10 feet from the stage, and the entire room exploded when the the drummers started their rhythm. Carlos Santana stepped out and took his place off to the side, and I instantly recognized him in his orange pleather suit and infamous hat. From there, the concert – for me – was all singing and dancing at my seat… on my seat… (I simply hooked my heels on the foot rest and stood up that way. I’m a little girl, so all my husband had to do was keep his foot on the back foot rest on my seat to make sure it didn’t tip forward.

Santana is a true performer, and his band and singers are amazing. They all keep the tempo up and the intensity of their performance on max capacity through the whole two hours of non-stop playing. That’s right. Carlos Santana, at the age of 67, plays a blow out, two-hour long show non-stop with such an addicting passion and drive that my husband, who knew the name but didn’t really know the music, became a convert fan of his.

I felt like I was ten again when the first chords of “Black Magic Woman” came out of the speakers, and I honestly believe that it rekindled my love for the musician. All the years I’ve waited to watch him in concert just sort of crashed down on me, and when “Europa” reached my ears, I nearly broke down in tears of joy. If you haven’t seen Santana perform before, I highly recommend that you go watch him work the stage. He does a discography of sorts, playing a collection of songs from his early days up to the present, and every song – even when it’s a collaboration – you get to experience the adrenaline rush that is his fingers on the guitar.

After the concert, patrons pretty much herd themselves back up the stairs and out the door. We went through the House of Blues gift shop and picked up our VIP complimentary concert DVD (which was recorded in 2011 – still awesome!) and tour poster:

In the end of the night (and to this day), this Carlos Santana fan girl is beyond Jupiter and Saturn to have had a chance to see the legend in person and on stage. To the House of Blues, my husband, and Carlos Santana… Bucket List item #5 can officially be check marked. I had the time of my life. Dare I say it? This concert is my third favorite memory of my life with my husband… third after my wedding and engagement.

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