Kansas; 40th Anniversary of Leftoverture Tour 10/1/16

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Kansas; 40th Anniversary of Leftoverture Tour 10/1/16

Postby jimmy19029 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:03 am

Merriam Theater
Philadelphia, PA
October 1, 2016

Second night of Leftoverture 40th Anniversary Tour

What can I say about this show? Best Kansas show I've seen in a very long time! And the new album, The Prelude Implicit, is one of their best in years. I never did think it was a very good idea to go down to a 5 piece band back in 90s. It left alot of holes in the sound and though I was sorry to see Steve Walsh leave two years ago, it was apparent that he was again having vocal issues and that his heart just wasn't in it anymore. Last night's show was a band revitalized with rocket fuel and 100,000 mile tune up!

And this is the concert longtime Kansas diehards, like myself, have long since dreamed of; Two and half hours of old cuts, new cuts, deep cuts and an entire album (Leftoverture for its 40th Anniversary) performed live!

The Merriam Theater I'd never been to. But it's right across from the building I used to work in 35 years ago and right in the middle of the new, expanded arts & theater district on Broad Street. The seats ended up being pretty high up, in the 4th floor balcony, which seemed almost higher than the last level of Citizens Bank Park, where I'd just seen Paul McCartney not too long ago. But the sound was flawless and the new seven piece lineup covers all parts with ease in the original keys and new lead singer Ronnie Platt was SPOT ON. Not a bum note all night....

Things got off promptly at 8 sharp with the band giving us acoustic readings of five songs that jumped around to different eras of the band new, old and recent, including one of my favorites, 1979's "Reason to Be", and a brand new song that deals with the human trafficking issue, with young children sold into slavery, "Refugee".

After 25 minutes of this, drummer Phil Ehart joined up as the band kicked into a one two punch of "Icarus II" and "Icarus: Borne on Wings of Steel". Two big surprises were the original LONG versions of "Journey From Mariabronn" and "Lamplight Symphony". All albums between 1974 & 1982 were touched upon...the middle 80s and 90s eras left out....one from 2000's Somewhere To Elsewhere and then the new album, The Prelude Implicit, just released last week.

After "Dust in the Wind", the band then played no less than FIVE of the new Prelude tracks in a row. I could feel the energy level in the audience dropping as this is usually a bit much for the casual fans. Indeed, one guy behind me remarked very loudly, "Great! ANOTHER song I don't know"! Personally, I love it when bands veer off course occasionally to do a dream show for fanatics, like myself.....Journey and Chicago are two other bands that have also done such tours......But they are usually CRUCIFIED when they do so. It's hard to keep that balance between what the casual fans want and what the super fans are getting bored with.

And the show was not without some cool visuals. In some recent shows I'd attended, the band had just played with no special lights, bells or whistles. But this time we had spotlights, some with a whirling kaleidoscopic effect, back lights that moved to and fro that changed colors, finally turning blue & purple when a giant backdrop of their latest album cover with a flying Phoenix appeared and a strobe light effect during "Magnum Opus" at the tail end of Leftoverture, where we also got a backdrop of that album's rear cover.

Just before Leftoverture, two marines came out to stand and salute in honor of the group's new song, Section 60, about the area in Arlington National Cemetery that contains the graves of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars soldiers. A very moving moment.

As the Leftoverture section of the show began, a radio dial was heard changing and tuning into 1977, where suddenly songs like "Hotel California" beamed out along with an announcement of President Jimmy Carter's recent inauguration. Then suddenly...BANG...."CARRY ON WAYWARD SON" blasted through and we were off to Leftoverture Land.

And after an encore of "Portrait (He Knew)", the show was over, leaving us Kansas followers more than sated.....WONDERFUL JOB, GUYS!!!

01 The Coming Dawn (Thanatopsis)
02 Hold On
03 Chasing Shadows
04 Reason to Be
05 Refugee

Full Band:
06 Icarus II
07 Icarus - Borne on Wings of Steel
08 Journey from Mariabronn
09 Lamplight Symphony
10 Dust in the Wind
11 With This Heart
12 Rhythm in the Spirit
13 The Unsung Heroes
14 The Voyage of Eight Eighteen
15 Section 60

16 Carry On Wayward Son
17 The Wall
18 What's on My Mind
19 Miracles Out of Nowhere
20 Opus Insert
21 Questions of My Childhood
22 Cheyenne Anthem
23 Magnum Opus

24 Portrait (He Knew)

Length: 2:28:16

Phil Ehart: Drums, percussion
Billy Greer: Bass, vocals
Dave Manion: Keyboards, backing vocals
Ronnie Platt: Vocals, keyboards
David Ragsdale: Violin, guitar, backing vocals
Zak Rizvi: Guitars, backing vocals
Richard Williams: Guitars
Posts: 532
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 8:39 am
Location: Essington, PA

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