By the time I took the trip to Rhode Island to see Kansas... I was a bit burned out by concerts. With this being my 4th concert in a week (Iron Maiden/Ghost, 1964 and Winger) I was really just wanting to sit on the couch at home and watch TV, but ten seconds into the show... I was so glad I did. I have never seen Kansas live, I didn't know what to expect and about 30 seconds into their set... I was so impressed.
If you only know Kansas for their singles like 'Carry On', 'Dust In The Wind and 'Point Of Know Return' than you are missing out on a band that has epic songs, amazing musicianship and a flair to entertain. As a fan of Progressive Rock like YES, ELP and RUSH I never realised how close Kansas was to those bands and tonight... they were as good live, if not better live than those amazing bands.
Opening with the amazing 'Belexes' and ending with 'Carry On Wayward Son' the 16 song set was an amazing journey from the band's 1974 debut, KANSAS to their latest and possibly greatest album, THE PRELUDE IMPLICIT. Instrumentally, Kansas was perfect, presenting all the classics the way you would want to hear them but having room to breathe and grow. Many bands get caught in the 'paint by numbers' live, but these guys really keep it fresh and look like they are having an amazing time live. Vocally... wow... just wow!
Kansas features original members Phil Ehart (drums) and Rich Williams (guitar), bassist Billy Greer (joining in 1985) and violinist/guitarist David Ragsdale who has been with the band since 1991. Joining last year is David Manion (keyboards), Zak Rizvi (guitar) and new vocalist / keyboardist Ronnie Platt. To say all ears were on how Ronnie would do the classics was an understatement. To say he surpassed mine and everyone's expectations is selling it short, he was amazing! As you heard in the interview I did with Ronnie, he is an incredibly humble guy... hanging out with him afterwards... even cooler.
I must also comment on two other things; the light show and the omission of 'Fight Fire With Fire', 'Play The Game Tonight and 'All I Wanted.' The lights were simple, but spectacular... not overdoing it and using a lot of spotlights. Not doing the three songs? Sad emoji!
Helping to make it an even better show was the venue, the Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Center in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. This place is a beautiful older building full of charm, class and elegance. The perfect place to see the perfect band!
Point of Know Return
What's on My Mind
Reason to Be
Dust in the Wind
Miracles Out of Nowhere
Icarus - Borne on Wings of Steel
Rhythm in the Spirit
Down the Road
Portrait (He Knew)
Carry On Wayward Son
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.