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Kansas - Kansas - Live at the Whiskey CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.92 | 49 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Kansas's Live at the Whiskey was my definitive introduction to progressive rock (I owned the 1984 CBS compilation for weeks before borrowing this live album from a friend, and admittedly only had the compilation for the popular tracks- I don't think I listened to "Song for America" once on that disc). It was a long drive through the West Virginia mountains, listening to "Miracles Out of Nowhere" through a set of headphones, that got me hooked on this glorious music. As a young musician at the time, hearing songs like "Song for America" and "Paradox," I knew I wanted to write music like that- sometimes delicate, sometimes hard-hitting, but always well orchestrated. The set list is impressive and somewhat surprising, since the band had already released two albums of Steve Walsh-penned rock; none of the songs from those two records are present. Instead, the band focused on the classics (although they saw fit to ignore the amazing debut album entirely). This is probably the closest to metal Kansas ever came, with heavily distorted guitars and powerful drumming. My real gripe with this album has to do with Steve Walsh's voice. I was convinced the first time I heard this live album that I was hearing a completely different man. Even now I find it difficult to believe that the singer on the first six Kansas albums and Kansas' lead singer today is the same man, whose voice had been wracked because of substance abuse among other things. From the DVD, I would venture a guess that Walsh was quite coked up during the show. If anything, I feel this is Rich Williams's album. His guitar work is the meatiest meatwall that it's ever been, and his solos on "Paradox," "Miracles Out of Nowhere," and "Mysteries and Mayhem" are better than the studio versions. Overall, the performance is full of energy and is the hardest-hitting Kansas has ever been. As a bonus, Kerry Livgren jams with the guys some.
Epignosis | 4/5 |


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