Santana sizzles through the rain on Bluesfest day 2

The guitar legend in action.
The guitar legend in action. Patrick Gorbunovs

WET or dry, thousands came to pray at the house of Santana.

The guitar virtuoso turned the Mojo stage into a giant dance hall last night with his Latin grooves and talented backing band.

His first order of business, after playing Black Magic Woman, was to thank the crowd for waiting in the rain, which had been pouring on and off all afternoon.

"You are so strong for putting up with these (pauses) blessings from the sky," he said.

"Do you have anything left for us? I know you've been here all day."

Santana doesn't play the guitar, he makes it sing.

He dedicated his Grammy Award-winning song Maria Maria to the women of the audience because "it's supremely important to make the woman happy".

He encouraged the audience to relax before playing Smooth, another hit from his 1999 album Supernatural.

"We are in a place now where it's okay to be crazy," he said.

"It's important to cut the rope and don't be so tight."

At the end of the set die-hard fans in the front row were bowing to the music legend.

The combination of Santana, The Steve Miller Band and Rodriguez helped to sell out yesterday well in advance.

Punters stayed dry until the first showers at 2pm but if you were under a tent then it wasn't much of a worry, particularly when the Rock Wiz Live team had a few impromptu performances from Russell Morris and Trombone Shorty.

Taking to the stage solo for the afternoon slot, Bluesfest favourite Ben Harper performed a rousing rendition of Hallelujah before Walk Away from 1994's Welcome To The Cruel World album.

Steal My Kisses from 1999's Burn To Shine was the first of many crowd sing-alongs.

Speaking of sing-alongs, the Mojo tent was overflowing with voices singing along to The Steve Miller Band classics including The Joker and Abracadabra.

Today is another sell-out, with headliners Robert Plant (with the Sensational Space Shifters) and Iggy and the Stooges set to draw in bumper crowds.

Wilco, the Wilson Pickers, Christine Anu, Status Quo, Jon Anderson, The Blond Boys of Alabama and the Dropkick Murphys also play today.

Early morning showers are forecast to clear later in the day for a hopefully drier Bluesfest day 3.

Topics:  bluesfest 2013 byron bay bluesfest editors picks santana

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