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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stewart, Santana Still Satisfy

Joe Ehrbar Correspondent

Stewart, Santana and Beck Saturday, Sept. 2, at The Gorge

Fans really got their money’s worth Saturday at the Gorge with a triple-headliner concert featuring three rock icons: Rod Stewart, Carlos Santana and Jeff Beck.

All three acts played nearly two-hour sets. The concert started at 4 p.m. and continued well past 11.

The capacity crowd’s stamina throughout the whole show was amazing, considering the 90-degree-plus temperatures.

By the time Stewart arrived on stage at 9, the crowd was still yelling and enthusiastic.

Stewart rewarded his fans with a show that was all glitz.

The night featured an orchestra (from “surrounding areas like Washington and Seattle,” according to Stewart), a three-piece horn section clad in matching outfits, a vocal trio also dressed in matching outfits and numerous other musicians bobbing, strutting and posing.

No one, however, postured quite as well as the king of posturing himself, Stewart. The singer, who changed his costume every couple of songs, shook his rear, skipped around the stage, did funny things with his mike, made silly gestures with his hands, bent down on his knees and frequently sang overdramatically.

And for some strange reason, Stewart kept kicking soccer balls out into the audience. Huh? The two video screens even showed footage of Stewart scoring a goal during a soccer game.

During the feely ballad “Have I Told You Lately that I Love You,” the video screens intermixed live concert footage with shots of his supermodel wife Rachel Hunter and their two children. How’s that for sappy?

Stewart even brought his 7-year-old daughter out to sing a duet of the Sam Cooke gem “Soothe Me,” which she sang on key.

You might think I being negative, but I’m not. Really.

Stewart was brilliant. And his audience loved him. From the folksy “Maggie May” to the yearning “Downtown Train,” everything the gravelly voiced singer did was met with monstrous applause.

Santana preceded Stewart on stage. The legendary guitarist honored the late Bob Marley with an impressive rendition of “Exodus” and “Get Up, Stand Up.” Most musicians who cover Bob Marley butcher the reggae singer’s songs. Santana treated the songs with reverence and focused on their universal message of freedom.

The Latin rock songs Santana is known for - “Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va”- came late in the set and garnered standing ovations.

Beck, who didn’t join Santana on stage, played instrumentals only.

The songs were good, especially the ones from “Guitar Shop,” but an instrumentalist is only successful when no one misses a vocalist. There were times Beck’s music could have used a singer.

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