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




Symphonic Prog

4.22 | 65 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Team
5 stars I am not sure how many years I have been a Kansas fan, but it has for quite a long time. Of course, one problem with liking an American band is that if they are not immensely popular then it can be a major problem getting them to tour over here, and there is little chance that they will ever be shown on UK television. Now even for a band that has released three albums that have sold in excess of seven million copies it can be an issue so I was more than pleased to be able to play this DVD and for the first time ever see Kansas in concert.

The line-up may not be the absolute classic, but with Steve Walsh, Phil Ehart, Robby Steinhardt and Richard Williams all there at the beginning and 'new boy' Billy Greer having been there for some years it would seem churlish to complain. Jeff Glixman was again roped in to mix the album and DVD sound and from its' initial conception this DVD was designed to be something special. Instead of just being a standard 'in concert' film the band decided that this had to be a special event. The theatre was chosen carefully, and they play on the floor with the seats rising above them on three sides ? but this means that they are on the same level and in touching distance of the fans in the front seats, and as they were all rabid Kansas fans it gives a heightened atmosphere.

The songs were chosen from throughout their career, so they were performing some numbers that hadn't been played live for some time, which the crowd certainly appreciated. There is a lot of energy being transmitted by both audience and band, and Kansas certainly seem to feed on this and use it to produce a stunning performance from "Belexes" to the classic "Carry On Wayward Son". Steve Walsh is often stood behind the keyboards but when the opportunity arises he has the microphone in hand and is pushing to be the rock frontman, while Robby Steinhardt can be gentle and reflective, lost in the music that he is producing on violin, or totally animated in driving the band on. But Kansas not only has two fine singers in Robby and Steve but also in bassist Billy Greer who not only provides harmonies throughout but some lead lines such as on "Fight Fire With Fire". Rich is very much the understated guitarist, happy to be at the back, just coming forward when his guitar is at the forefront of proceedings while Phil is always playing the part of musical director from behind the drum kit.

It is a great performance, and one that all Kansas fans will want to watch time and again. But add to that the interviews and extra pieces on the DVD and the viewer gets more of an insight of what Kansas is all about.

Originally appeared in Feedback #73, Jun 03

kev rowland | 5/5 |


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