I will start this off by saying this... Kansas is one of the best bands I have ever seen live... Period!
Seeing the band last summer for the first time was a musical awakening for me. Not only did they deliver the goods on stage, but it made me go back and rediscover their incredible catalog of albums, including the stunning LEFTOVERTURE. For the past few months, Kansas have been on the road celebrating their landmark album by playing it from front to back... beginning to end... Carry On Wayward Son to Magnum Opus!
Starting the show with an acoustic set, Kansas brought to life and completely stripped down set starting out with Reason To Believe, Chasing Shadows, Refugee and one of my all time favorite Kansas classics, All I Wanted. As the last song finished each member got up and took their place for the rest of the 2 plus hour show.
Kansas in 2017 is made up of original members Phil Ehart (drums) and Rich Williams (guitar), plus longtime bassist Billy Greer, violinist/guitarist David Ragsdale and the 'new' guys, vocalist/keyboardist Ronnie Platt, keyboardist David Manion, and guitarist Zak Rizvi. Together they are an incredibly tight unit that despite how perfect they sound, they still bring a lot of energy, emotion and passion to the classics like Point Of Know Return and Dust In The Wind. Not neglecting their latest release, THE PRELUDE IMPLICIT, they featured The Voyage Of Eight Eighteen and the haunting, Section 60, complete with soldier holding the flag of a fallen American hero. WOW!!!
Celebrating the album LEFTOVERTURE that helped break the band on a massive scale back in 1976, Kansas performed the entire album that showcased to the crowd that may have been there just for the hits what amazing songs like The Wall and What's On My Mind.
After the show I was able to spend some time with Ronnie Pratt and David Manion and tell them how special this show was and how I was so happy to hear All I Wanted make the set. The both were appreciative of the responses that song was getting in the set.
The concert at the beautiful palace Theatre in Waterbury, CT was the second to the last of the tour. BUT... Kansas are already making plans in early 2018 to hit the road and celebrate their other iconic album, POINT OF KNOW RETURN. I can't say enough how you need to SEE this band live. When I began to befriend 'Wheatheads' I was shocked that many have seen the band 10, 20, 30 times.. and now I know why.
Kansas Official site.. .www.kansasband.com
Thank you so much to J.R. Rees and all of Kansas for their kindness and hospitality.
The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.