I’m a little partial to Kansas since this was my very first ever favorite band. I listened to them tirelessly up through their fifth album, Point of Know Return, when their music started to seem a little too popish for me. By then I was also heavy into Rush, Boston, and other competing bands. But I always loved the early Kansas so finally getting to see them live and cover them was a real treat.
After 35 years, two of the original members remain. Phil Erhart on drums and Rich Williams on guitar. And on this tour, their show consisted mainly of songs from their earlier albums with five songs from their smash album, Leftoverture. The only song from after 1983 was Summer, from Prelude Implicit, their first album in 16 years. From the just before the band walked out on stage, the nearly full-house crowd roared with excitement as lifelong fans were obviously the majority.
During crowd favorites, Hold On and Dust in the Wind, Phil was totally absent on the drums with a standing ovation from the audience completing the pair. True to their style, the lead guitar played in tandem with the violin that was stroked ever so beautifully by the multi-talented David Ragsdale who also played guitar. Likewise, the crowd came to their feet again at the conclusion of Miracles out of Nowhere, one of the Leftoverture tracks from 1976, after which the band left the stage causing the crowd to roar for an encore for a song that was so obviously left for a proper finale.
Although Carry On Wayward Son only made it to number 11 on the US Billboard HOT 100 in 1977, it is still one of the most widely recognized rock songs of all time and was the sound track for the 1977 movie entitled, Heroes, starring Henry Winkler. Ending the show with this song brought the crowd to its feet, even before the first word was sung, and the crowd remained standing and singing along throughout its entirety and yes, I was among them.
If you were ever a fan of Kansas, this is a tour you do not want to miss!
- On the Other Side (Monolith 1979)
- Point of Know Return (Point of Know Return 1977)
- Can I Tell You (Kansas 1974)
- What’s on My Mind (Leftoverture 1976)
- The Wall (Leftoverture 1976)
- All I Wanted (Power 1986)
- Hold On (Audio-Visions 1980)
- Dust in the Wind (Point of Know Return 1977)
- Opus Insert (Leftoverture 1976)
- Icarus – Borne on Wings of Steel (Masque 1975)
- Paradox (Point of Know Return 1977)
- Play the Game Tonight (Vinyl Confessions 1982)
- Summer (Prelude Implicit 2016)
- Fight Fire With Fire (Drastic Measures 1983)
- Miracles Out of Nowhere (Leftoverture 1976)
- Carry on Wayward Son – Encore (Leftoverture 1976)
Articles and photos by Glenn Woodell