Super-smooth superman Carlos Santana on a summer night under the stars-what more do you need to know?
Well, there was more-much more at this year’s opening night and Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Hollywood Bowl. Oh, like classic piano man Andre Watts, Python prankster Eric Idle, the ever-outrageous Blue Man Group, John Mauceri and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.
The splashy gala to benefit aspiring young musicians through the LA Philharmonic’s Music Matters program had a tropical twist. Revelers, decked out in their very best Hawaiian shirts and floral sarongs, hit the VIP cocktail party where they sipped “Carlos Cocktails”-a lively blend of Malibu Rum, OJ and pineapple juice served in coconut shells complete with orchid blossom and, yes, a paper umbrella.
The outdoor patio was dressed up Tahitian style with comfy bamboo sofas, thatched roof bar, towering palms and flower-filled tiki torches. As the tropical band played on, island guys and gals loaded up on goat cheese and sun-dried tomato lollipops, smoked shrimp with queso fresco, carnitas of slow braised pork shoulder and that Caribbean favorite-the mini reuben sandwich.
“Sideways” star Virginia Madsen looked lovely in a lacy brown satin slip dress while former Gov. Pete Wilson opted for a summery blue cotton blazer. The upcoming performance was on the minds of many. Hollywood Bowl VP David Glickman admitted to being a Santana fan, with “Oye Como Va” being his fave tune. Former California First Lady Gail Wilson copped to not knowing too much about Carlos, saying, “That wasn’t quite our era. But whatever they do, we always enjoy the show.”
As for “Star Trek Voyager’s” Jeri Ryan and son Alex, it was all about the Blue Man Group. “We’re huge fans,” she told Malibu Seen.
Eric Idle had a few words about the Bowl’s recently renovated fountain of the muses. “Like many other ladies, they’ve had a little work done lately. Not Botox, but detox. Now they’re cleaned up and back on the streets.”
Soon, it was show time and under a cotton candy sky we headed to our boxes for a gourmet picnic of Caribbean jerked chicken and grilled fruit skewers and baby pineapple.
Maestro Mauceri kicked things off with “The Planets” followed by Chicago star John C. Reilly doing a little “Lullaby in Ragtime.”
To demonstrate how music matters, they rolled out the Downey High School Jazz Band, which seemed more likely to back up Sinatra than jam in a gym. The band brought the crowd to its feet. Not bad for your first gig at the bowl!
The Blue Man Group was at its whacky best, but it was super-cool Carlos who sent our spirits soaring.
Introduced by longtime pal Edward James Olmos as an “international musical treasure,” CS took us back to his early days at Woodstock with a spine-tingling performance of “Soul Sacrifice,” followed by the delicate “Europa.”
In keeping with the Woodstock spirit, Santana accepted his award with a message of peace and love. The bowl bash went out with a bang and a full fireworks finale. The event fires off the first of many unforgettable summer nights. It also raised a cool $1 million for the musicians of tomorrow. Now that’s smooth!