Paolo Soleri is one of the most beautiful venues I have ever been to. Holding 650 people, it was so intimate. Not sure I saw them in a smaller place. The venue has this cerebral native American vibe which made the experience religious, more so than Red Rocks. The Amphitheatre is shaped like a half of a bowl dug into the ground with all things facing the stage. Wild caves and Stones are the back drop for the stage. Surrounded by gorgeous New Mexico mountains. Can’t be beat.
The music was the large part of this and every show but on this night there were some intangible occurrences that stand out equally to the music played. The venue was so small, I was front row the whole show. We had a decent size bong in the show which Page watched us smoke. He chuckled as we puffed out of it. I am not the kind of person who will say, "He looked into my eyes as I got high and it was like we were one." Sorry. I’ve met the band too many times to care if I have eye contact with a member. Freaks. But it was cool. He was so close he could have lit it for us, I mean like 3 feet away. The audience was situated slightly higher than the band I could see everything. Trey’s expressions. The kind of socks Gordo had his neon pants stuffed in. The duct tape on Fish’s Mumu.
Buried Opener is always welcomed. It rained before the show and the sun came out just as the band took stage. Of course Divided which during I remember the sun coming out as the wind whipped thru the venue. It was a heavenly moment. A really good It’s Ice explained well by the prior review, a smoking Melt and If I Could was really pretty and suiting for the Paolo. Solid first set.
Other vivid memories are, during intermission a Latino man came out, I wouldn’t bet much on what he was wearing but I remember a suit or tux. Probably not but whatever. He announced the upcoming shows which included Santana. Then a pretty, young lady walked onto stage, left a love letter on trey’s monitor and walked off. There was zero security at this place. Soon after an employee walked on stage and took the note. The crowd booed him. He laughed. We laughed. He took the letter and walked off. When the band took stage for the encore Trey said, “Carlos is playing here! I wouldn’t miss that.” Then he teased a Santana number.
The Maze is ridiculous. Red Hot. Almost 11 minutes. This was a top shelf Maze. Trey was very into the show and his tone was very clean. This reflected in a VERY RARE second set Reba which completely brought the house down. This is a great version-Trey smokes it like we smoked those kind bong hits. Pure Butter. Hood was sick. Fishman was on his game. Trey hits a lot of pretty notes during his solo. The positive vibes were oozing from his ax thru his rig into our ears. We all swayed under thousands of stars held by a New Mexico sky. And a monster series of high notes from Trey w Fish Bombs. Then after a couple of bluegrass jams, I mentally willed a rocking Bowie. Bowie was wild and experimental- Very enjoyable. Usually I would leave for Coil but on this night I stood in that serine venue and enjoyed.
This is one of those nights that I would relive in a second.