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September 21, 2017

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Photos: As Rod Stewart and Carlos Santana team up, execs plot MGM Resorts arena opening night


Denise Truscello / WireImage /

Carlos Santana and Rod Stewart perform “I’d Rather Go Blind” at the Colosseum on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Caesars Palace. This was their first time performing together on the heels of their U.S. co-headlining tour.

Carlos Santana and Rod Stewart

Carlos Santana and Rod Stewart perform “I’d Rather Go Blind” at the Colosseum on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Caesars Palace. This was their first time performing together on the heels of their U.S. co-headlining tour. Launch slideshow »

The Faces

AEG and MGM Resorts Arena Groundbreaking

Confetti flies as AEG and MGM Resorts International representatives and celebrities break ground on a new world-class indoor arena in Las Vegas onThursday, May 1, 2014.  The 20,000-seat sports and entertainment venue will be located near the heart of the famed Las Vegas Strip and adjacent to the I-15 corridor. Launch slideshow »

It was a moment of music history. They barely spoke a word, but they stood in reverence of each other as they performed onstage for the first time ever in their combined 90 years of music entertainment.

Raspy rocker Rod Stewart hushed his Caesars Palace audience Tuesday night: “Ladies and gentleman, the world’s greatest guitar player — Carlos Santana!” and the 4,000-plus audience erupted in cheers and a standing ovation.

Together, they performed a blistering rendition of “I’d Rather Go Blind” that Rod had first performed with his group The Faces in the early 1970s and seen here with The Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood on guitar on You Tube.

Rod wowed with his vocals and bowed to the guitar guru, on his knees at one point in admiration of the guitar solos.

“We’re going to play a few dates on the East Coast starting very soon,” he told the enthusiastic crowd. Those 18 select dates start May 23 in Albany, N.Y., when Rod finishes his current Las Vegas run at the Colosseum and Carlos packs his traveling bags from his Las Vegas home. The tour runs through Aug. 20 and includes four Canadian cities in between Santana’s Corazon Tour, which includes a weekend of shows in Atlantic City.

“They are both huge fans of each other’s music. They have tremendous respect for each other. They’d always wanted to play together, but it never proved possible with their schedules. You could say this was years in the making, and it finally happened,” I was told.

Carlos returns home to resume his residency at House of Blues in Mandalay Bay on Nov. 5, where he has extended his contract. There is a Wicked Whisper & Racy Rumor that Rod and Carlos could team up again for Caesars Palace shows and might be part of an all-star concert being plotted for the opening night of the new MGM Resorts arena in May 2015.

I was reliably told that discussions have already begun between MGM and AEG officials about staging that first concert.

“It’s highly possible you could see The Rolling Stones as the big act. Can you imagine Elton John being part of the show, too? It’s highly possible you could see Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited in some way. It’s highly possible that Rod and Carlos could be involved with it.

“It’s going to be the ultimate blockbuster superstar music show ever staged. Everybody has already decided that. Now it’s putting all the pieces together with the superstars. We’ve got two years to set everybody, and that’s already begun.”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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