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Kansas

Kansas

Postby Chris » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:47 pm

Kansas - Thursday, July 16 at 5pm
*Phil Ehart - Drums
*Steve Walsh - Lead Vocals/Keyboard
*Rich Williams - Lead and Acoustic Guitar
Billy Greer - Bass/Vocals
David Ragsdale - Violin/Vocals
*Original members

Kansas released their self-titled debut album 35 years ago and is still going strong. The band, along with another area band called White Clover, got their start in 1970 in Topeka, Kansas. After several years and various names and lineups the bands merged and scored a record deal with Kirshner records. Kansas released their debut, the self-titled Kansas album in 1974. While the album would barely chart in the top 200, two songs from the album, “Belexes” and “Journey from Mariabronn” continue as concert favorites today. The follow up album, Song for America from 1975, charted at #57 but still saw the progressive rock band struggling to find a place in the music world. A third album, Masque, was released in 1976, and again failed to spawn the hit single that would propel them to stardom. Charting at #70, the album sold less than hoped but still contained two songs that the band regularly plays, “Icarus – Borne on the Wings of Steel” and “The Pinnacle.” With mounting pressure from the record label, the band set out on recording their fourth album. Vocalist/singer Steve Walsh had a bout of writer’s block which left the main songwriting duties to Kerry Livgren, who responded with the hit the band and label were looking for, “Carry On Wayward Son,” which is still played on radio today. The album, Leftoverture, soared to #5 on the charts and has sold over 5 million copies. The band returned to the studio with a new type of pressure – to record another hit album. This was accomplished in spectacular fashion with 1977’s Point of Know Return, which yielded two hits, the title track and another song that would become a classic rock radio staple, “Dust in the Wind.” The album would go on to sell 4 million copies and further established the band as a major arena draw around the country. Rather than hit the studio again, Kansas released a live double-album in 1978 titled Two for the Show that drew songs from their 1977 and 1978 tours. Kansas returned to the studio and in 1979 released Monolith, which failed to measure up to the previous two albums. Monolith only contained one top 40 with “People of the South Wind” but eventually went platinum to mark four consecutive platinum albums for the band. Things began to splinter as the band released 1980’s Audio-Visions, which would be the last album with the original lineup until 2000. The album went gold and had one top 40 hit, “Hold On,” which reflected Livgren’s newfound Christianity. Walsh would leave in 1981 and form the band Streets. John Elefante, who was also Christian, took over for Walsh and the band recorded Vinyl Confessions. The 1982 album contained the top 20 hit, “Play the Game Tonight,” and was named the #1 Christian album of the year. However, tensions continued and violinist Robbie Steinhardt did not return when the band recorded 1983’s Drastic Measures. Livgren also took somewhat of a back seat as Elefante wrote the majority of the songs for the album, which contained only one minor hit, “Fight Fire with Fire.” Some fans did not like the musical change in the band either and the album did not reach gold status, a first for the band. Livgren, who had already released a solo album and bassist Dave Hope would leave to form the band AD after the album’s tour. Before disbanding, those left would record one more song, which was included on 1984’s The Best of Kansas. The song would be left off later pressings of the album. The greatest hits package would go platinum 4 times. Walsh would return and join original drummer Phil Ehart and guitarist Rich Williams to release 1986’s Power, which contained the soft sounding top 20 hit “All I Wanted.” This song would prove to be their last hit. The same lineup would release another album, 1988’s In the Spirit of Things. Various incarnations of the band would play over the next few years but no studio album would be released until 1995. In 1992, another live album, Live at the Whiskey, was released but could not replicate Two for the Show’s success. 1995 brought the studio release Freaks of Nature, which sold poorly. The remaining members re-worked many of the band’s hits with the London Symphony Orchestra for 1998’s Always Never the Same. The remaining members reunited for 2000’s Somewhere to Elsewhere, which was entirely written by Livgren. The album is the last studio release from the band. Several compilations and box sets have been released since that time and the band continues to tour yearly but without Livgren. In 2008, the band re-released an expanded and remastering of the live album Two for the Show. The band has also played with several orchestras and has a live DVD planned from a performance in the Topeka, KS with the Washburn Symphony.



Billboard Top 100 Hits
1976 Carry On Wayward Son #11
1977 Point Of Know Return #28
1978 Dust In The Wind #6
1978 Portrait (He Knew) #64
1979 Lonely Wind #60
1979 People Of The South Wind #23
1979 Reason To Be #52
1980 Hold On #40
1980 Got To Rock On #76
1982 Play The Game Tonight #17
1982 Right Away #73
1983 Fight Fire With Fire #58
1986 All I Wanted #19
1987 Power #84

Moondance Jam Appearances
Jam IV in 1995
Jam 16 in 2007

My Take
Due to their performance at Jam 16, I have become a huge fan of Kansas. While I had seen them one time in the late 90’s and I admired their radio hits, it wasn’t until hearing some of their lesser-known songs at Moondance that I found an appreciation for band for their great catalog of songs and strong live show. After previously owning only their greatest hits, I now own the anthology box set Sail On and their amazing re-release of Two for the Show. I would suggest anyone interested in getting to know what to expect from Kansas to pick up this new release. They continue to play most of those songs today. I think we are getting a treat having the band on at 5pm. I felt they played the best opening slot set of any band I have seen at the jam and I fully expect them to do so again. Even casual fans should come early to hear their set. They have two songs as recognizable as any on classic rock radio today with “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry on Wayward Son,” as well as “Point of Know Return.” Another recognizable hit, but one you won’t hear, is “Play the Game Tonight,” which was originally sung by John Elefante. I am looking forward to hearing “Miracles Out of Nowhere” and hopefully “Sparks of the Tempest.” The musicianship they show onstage is amazing and it is great to have them back at the jam. Having grown up in the great state of Kansas myself, I was introduced to the band in high school by a teacher who actually saw them play in clubs in Topeka when he was a teenager in the early 70’s. What a great memory that would be! I will be there early on Thursday to see the band kick off what will be another great Moondance Jam.


Setlists
May 8, 2009 in Wichita, KS
Magnum Opus
Howlin’ at the Moon
Musicatto
Belexis
Point of Know Return
On the Other Side
Hold On
Dust in the Wind
Song For America
Icarus: Borne on Wings of Steel
Down the Road
Portrait (He Knew)

Encore:
Fight Fire with Fire
Carry On Wayward Son



2/7/09 in Topeka, KS with the Washburn Symphony
Magnum Opus Intro
Howling at the Moon
Belexes
Point of Know Return
Song for America
Musicatto
Ghosts/Rainmaker
Cheyenne Anthem
Hold On/Peaceful and Warm
On the Other Side
Nobody's Home
Icarus II
Icarus (Borne on Wings of Steel)
Incomudro Intro/The Wall
Fight Fire with Fire
Miracles Out of Nowhere
Dust In the Wind
Carry On Wayward Son
Down the Road

Did You Know?
Rich Williams and Phil Ehart have performed on every Kansas album.
Williams and Ehart are also the only current members who hale from the state of Kansas.
The album Point of Know Return reached #4, the band’s highest charting album.
The band had their first 8 albums reach gold or platinum.
Steve Walsh formed the band Streets in the early 80’s with Billy Greer.
Ehart, Greer, Williams, and David Ragsdale have a side project called Native Window.
The four, with Greer on lead vocals, will be in the studio in April to work on a CD for this project.
The 1978 live album Two For The Show went platinum.
The album was released as it was heard live with no overdubs to cover up mistakes.
The cover for Two for the Show is based on a Norman Rockwell painting.
The band released a 2-disc 30th Anniversary edition of Two for the Show in 2008.
ClassicRockRevisited.com’s Jeb Wright wrote the liner notes for the 30th Anniversary Release of Two For the Show.
Drummer Phil Ehart’s interview with Wright is featured in his book From the Vault – Volume I Stadium Rock.
The re-release of Two for the Show contains a full CD of previously unreleased tracks from the original recordings.
“Dust in the Wind” sold over a million copies as a single.
It also has gone gold as a digital download.
“Carry On Wayward Son” was the #2 most played song on classic rock radio in 1995.
In 1997, it went to #1.
Kansas sold out major arenas and even stadiums throughout the late 70’s.
Originally Ehart, Williams, Walsh, and Livgren were called originally White Clover.
Ragsdale has recorded with Queensryche, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Jason Bonham.
Steve Walsh had a solo hit in 1980 with “Every Step of the Way.”
In 1983, “Fight Fire with Fire” reached #3 on the Mainstream Rock Chart.
“Carry on Wayward Son” is featured on Guitar Hero II and Rock Band 2.
Livgren and former member Steve Morse both joined the band onstage in Topeka for the new DVD.

For info about the band and for excerpts from the forthcoming DVD, visit:
http://www.kansasband.com

Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK3ZrV0A9LI – Beginning of symphony performance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWG6Pcis ... re=related – live “Miracles Out of Nowhere”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC2Y-OaF ... re=related – live “Portrait (He Knew)” from 1980
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5TxGk7h ... re=related – live “Hold On” from 1980
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3szQMsnq ... re=related – live “Carry on Wayward Son”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koBWtYVRf-0 – live “Dust in the Wind” unplugged
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke7sS_TUan8 – live “Point of Know Return”

Moondance Jam Connections:
Kansas performed at Moondance Jams in 1995 and 2007.
They were Moondance Jam Saturday night closers in 1995 (Moondance Jam IV).
Steve Walsh and Sheryl Crow (Moondance Jam 2009) were both born and raised in Missouri.
Phil Ehart has an interview in Jeb Wright’s (Moondance emcee 2005) book From the Vault Series 1: Stadium Rock.
Wright also wrote the liner notes for Kansas’s 30th Anniversary re-release of Two for the Show.
Scorpions (Moondance Jam 2002) covered “Dust in the Wind” on their Acoustica album.
For an idea of just how many Moondance Jam performers that Kansas has toured with, visit their tour archive site at http://atlas.kennesaw.edu/cgi-bin/dhirs ... and=Kansas.
Kansas played the last concert ever at what was originally known as Sandstone Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, KS with .38 Special (Moondance Jams 1996, 1999, 2002, 2005) and REO Speedwagon (Moondance Jams 1997, 1999, 2001, 2005, 2007).
Kansas and Foghat will be performing at Moondance Jam on July 16. The last time that happened was in 1993…at Sandstone Amphitheater.
The music brought me to Moondance Jam. The people bring me back.
View my profiles of this years' bands at: viewforum.php?f=38
View profiles of past bands at: viewforum.php?f=7
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Chris
 
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Re: Kansas

Postby The TyGuy » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:53 pm

I did not know John Elefante was in Kansas for awhile. I bought his Defying Gravity disc a month ago. It's pretty good. I was hoping it would be more like Mastedon with John Elefante and Dino Elefante.

I wish Kansas would play Power in concert. I don't believe I've ever heard them do that one live.

I remember Every Step of The Way. (I thought that was by the Monkees).
Moondance Jam 29 wishlist:
PAISTY JENNY
LILLIAN AXE
ENUFF Z'NUFF
POISON
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Re: Kansas

Postby RichieRich » Tue Mar 17, 2009 11:20 am

Chris a lot about Kansas I didn't know. I have always liked their music we listened to them a lot in High school. Babe and I saw them at the casino b4 they played at Moondance last we didn't have very good seats and then I missed them at the jam( broken ankle) I did want to get up front for them see ya up there.
HAVE FUN EVERYONE
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Re: Kansas

Postby Chris » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:59 am

I have added a recent Kansas setlist to their writeup below. It is from May in Wichita. That setlist is courtesy of Jeb Wright at www.classicrockrevisited.com. Check out Jeb's review of the show at http://www.classicrockrevisited.com/con ... s2009W.htm.

Kansas is kind of like the forgotten band at this year's jam I think. There has been very little talk about them this year. They will put on a great show.
The music brought me to Moondance Jam. The people bring me back.
View my profiles of this years' bands at: viewforum.php?f=38
View profiles of past bands at: viewforum.php?f=7
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Chris
 
Posts: 3016
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:50 am
Location: Kansas City


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