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

DEVICE - VOICE - DRUM (DVD)

Kansas

 

Symphonic Prog

4.16 | 56 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

WaywardSon
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I remember before buying this DVD, all the thoughts running through my head. I was wondering what it would be like with no Kerry Livgren and also if Steve Walsh could still cut it on stage.Never seeing them live before I almost ran home to put it on!

Well now after watching it over one hundred times I can honestly say this is in my top five DVD´s of all time! A lot of people complained about the grainy image, but I had read before that they used film to avoid a glossy image, so I was prepared! Filmed in Atlanta 2002, the quite small audience were made up of strictly hard core Kansas fans. If you look at the audience you can see young and old faces from all walks of life.

They open up with "Belexes" and from the word go you can see this is going to special. I was doubtful if Steve Walsh could still hit those high notes. His voice isn´t what it used to be in the 70`s, but then again they are all in their fifties now! To my joy I found he still has that passion and emotion when he sings. The moment he leaves his keyboards to pick up the mic he gives it all he has and sings from his soul. "Icarus 2" and "Icurus" follow after each other, both giving me goosebumps. It´s that emotion of voice and Robbie Steinhardt´s violin that makes "Icarus 2" such a classic. The way Robbie closes his eyes and gets that sweet sad sound out of his instrument is just beautiful. " Icarus" follows with a great performance by Walsh. I noted a young guy sitting quite close to the stage playing air drums and singing out loud with Steve which is great to watch! Their Prog masterpiece "Song for America" comes across perfectly with Billy Greer helping out on backing vocals. After Steve Walsh does his wolf howl in "Howling at the moon" they break into "The Wall" Although Kerry Livgren wrote the song, Walsh looks like he is truly into the lyrics and delivers a heart felt performance. Then it´s time to kick back a bit and rock, "The Preacher" sees the band backed by a gospel choir and this seems to lift up everyone´s spirits. It´s also evident that the band are enjoying themselves. "Journey from Mariabronn" is a standout for me just to watch Phil Ehart´s incredible performance during this song. He makes it all look so easy and his sticks are a blur of drumming wizardry. This DVD lets us know what an absolutely underrated drummer he actually is. He is one of the top (if not the top!) progressive drummers, Incredible performance! For "Dust in the wind" they have four female violinists accompanying the band. This is probably their biggest hit, so a concert without this song would be unthinkable. After this reflective song they do "Cheyenne Anthem" where Robbie Steinhardt takes over lead vocals (only in the beginning) He almost looks some Biblical character with the stagelights lighting up his wild hair all colours of the rainbow! Steve takes over the vocals halfway into the song and then there is an amazing jam section that lets you know why this band is so highly regarded. Steinhardt also sings "Child of Innocence" and lets the audience know that you are never too old to rock. During "Miracles out of nowhere" the band vanishes for a few seconds and we see some amazing amination in sync with the actual song. This is very well done how they change from the band to the amination and back again.(You will really have to see this part to get the idea!) "Point of Know Return" gets the audience in a more upbeat mood and they even start rocking in the aisles during "Portrait" which strangely has a section of "The Pinnacle" in the song! Two songs from the Elefante era are up next "Fight fire with fire" and "Play the game tonight. Despite being quite commercial hits these two songs sound great live. The camera zooms in on a few people dancing and clapping along! The show ends with the immortal "Carry On Wayward Son" with an acoustic introduction by Richard Williams.

On all the studio recordings (with Kerry) this was a six man band. How they managed to do songs like "Song for America" and "Icurus" as just a five man band is an absolute miracle! a big extra cheer to Walsh and Williams for filling in all the parts from an absent Livgren.

An absolutely fantastic DVD!!

WaywardSon | 5/5 |

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