By Robin Leach (contact) Monday, May 7, 2012 | 3:03 a.m. Three jars of mud from Mexico, upstate New York and Louisiana marked the official launch of legendary guitarist Carlos Santana’s two-year residency at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay, and I don’t think an audience has ever gotten closer before to a superstar in such an intimate venue. Carlos puts on such a spectacular show of guitar mastery, and you’d have to be a member of his band to get any closer because his spell of sound wraps over you, around you and gets inside you. Incredible! Carlos was joined by HOB co-founder, actor and entrepreneur Dan Aykroyd, HOB CEO Ron Bension, Mandalay Bay President and COO Chuck Bowling, Woodstock co-founder Michael Lang and Casa Noble Tequila CEO Jose “Pepe” Hermosillo for a unique Earth-based ceremony. Traditionally, under every stage at each HOB location, a metal box filled with Delta Mississippi mud is welded to the stage to ensure that every artist that performs on that stage has the roots and the spirit of the South planted beneath their feet. In welcoming Santana to the HOB family, the ceremony included earth from the Delta combined with earth delivered from Woodstock in upstate New York where Carlos first burst onto the music scene, plus soil from Carlos’ hometown in Mexico. The mixed mud will eventually go into a display box at HOB for fans to view for years to come. The tradition of the mud ceremony began when the first HOB was established in 1992 in Cambridge, Mass. The private VIP reception included stilt walkers in Santana-themed fashion, a 15-foot-long ice sculpture to pour Casa Noble Tequila margaritas, plus culinary creations by HOB chef Aaron Sanchez. The onstage group had Casa Noble Tequila shots in champagne glasses for all the guests who toasted Santana’s two-year run before heading down to the music hall for the performance. Attendees included Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars,” comedian Ben Gleib, Ricardo Laguna of MTV’s “The Ricardo Laguna Project” and comedian Arden Myrin. We’ll have our interviews with Dan about changes at HOB and Chuck about this summer’s changes at Mandalay Bay and the Four Seasons later today. 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. Follow Robin Leach on Twitter at Twitter.com/Robin_Leach. Follow Vegas DeLuxe on Twitter at Twitter.com/vegasdeluxe. Follow VDLX Editor Don Chareunsy on Twitter at Twitter.com/VDLXEditorDon.