Neal Schon rocks it out with ‘my brother,’ Carlos Santana

We should have seen this one coming.

Carlos Santana rocking it out at House of Blues at Mandalay Bay. Neal Schon doing the same with Journey at Hard Rock Hotel. Santana’s role as Schon’s mentor dating to Santana’s original band. The recent reunion of two on the 2016 album “Santana IV.”

All roads lead to … well, one of these stages. It happened to be House of Blues.

Schon arrived, unexpectedly but invited as always, during Santana’s performance at HoB on Sunday night. Journey had just ended its nine-show spree at the Joint on Saturday, and Schon turned up to join his musical soul mate on a spiritual serpentine to start the show. The two jammed on “Toussaint L’Overture,” “Song of the Wind” and “Everybody’s Everything.”

“It’s uplifting and inspiring for me to play with my brother Carlos,” Schon said via e-mail on Monday. “It’s always a spontaneous moment and never contrived or planned out . It’s real, and that’s the beauty of it and what we have together.”

Schon was already a guitar gunslinger at age 15 when Santana invited him to join his band in 1971. Schon played on “Santana III” and “Caravanserai” before splintering off to form Journey.

Prior to Sunday, Santana and Schon had appeared together at House of Blues in April 2016, taping a live concert DVD of “Santana IV.” The album has roots in Vegas, having been recorded at Henderson’s Odds On Studios over a three-year period ending in May 2015. Returning to the studio were Santana’s original backing musicians, including Schon, keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie, drummer Michael Shrieve and percussionist Michael Carabello, all of whom appeared at HoB that night.

And in August 2013, Santana and Rolie joined Journey at Pearl Concert Theater, closing that show with “Soul Sacrifice.”

“My Journey in music began with Carlos and all that joy of playing,” Schon said. “If there was no Carlos Santana, there would be no me starting Journey. I am forever grateful to Carlos, my brother.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section, and Friday. He also hosts “Kats! On The Radio” Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on KUNV 91.5-FM and appears Wednesdays at 11 a.m. with Dayna Roselli on KTNV Channel 13. Contact him at Follow @johnnykats on Twitter and @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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