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Kansas - Device - Voice - Drum (DVD) CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 66 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

One thing most detractors must recognize is that few prog dinosaurs managed to survive the way Kansas did. With the possible exception of Yes, they're the only group that never really stopped and still today manage to pull together for their DVD an excellent historic line-up, with only Livgren missing, and they managed to live through some disastrous times, holding on to their career and a faithful public in the US. Of course, since the mid-90's, things got a little simpler with the advent of prog as an organized subculture, even allowing the band to tour Europe a few times, sometimes headlining with other bands , such as Styx. With original members Ehart, Walsh and Steinhardt, the group has long-time members Williams and Greer with them, making it a near-perfect incarnation, in the light of Livgren's continuing absence. In French: les absents ont toujours tort.

While the band is obviously relying on their classic 70's repertoire, we must say two things: 1- their loud prog rock has aged fairly well and many 90's US bands have kept their typical sound alive and 2- Kansas has not been afraid to modernize their music somewhat, and I'm not talking of Walsh's older keyboards waltzing into the cellar. The set list presented at the Atlanta venue is obviously aiming at pleasing the fans, but is also holding a few semi- surprise, including two tacks from the debut album and pulling the odd one from their disastrous 80's, but let's face it, most are waiting for the Leftoverture and Know Return tracks and get a vitaminated complement with SFA and Masques selection that soothes.

With a strange device at the back of the group's stage and this historic line-up, Kansas' bet (so they call it in the bonus features) was a fairly safe to win, but convincing cringey old knuckleheads like me was a bit more of a challenge. The fact that I finally rented this DVD some seven years after its release shows that they've succeeded halfway: If they return to Europe, I'll consider going to see them in concert, if they come within 100 miles from where I am. BTW: between Yes and Kansas, you can feel more honesty from the latter, but I still prefer the former's music.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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