Almost 50 Years In, Kansas Still Carries On

kansas_point-of-know-return_2cdRecently legendary prog band Kansas released their latest live album, Point of Know Return Live & Beyond. The album features performances taken from various shows during their 2019 and 2020 fortieth anniversary tour of Point of Know Return, one of the finest albums in rock history.

I’ve seen Kansas live only once, and that was back around 2008 or so. It was a free show at my town’s annual week-long Independence Day festival. The lineup featured Steve Walsh on keyboards and vocals, Phil Ehart on drums, Rich Williams on guitar, David Ragsdale on violin, and Billy Greer on bass and vocals. I enjoyed the show, and in fact that show launched me into Kansas’ music. But there was no denying that at the point Walsh’s voice was long past its prime, and it was no surprise when he decided to retire from Kansas in 2014. 

Kansas’ new lineup formed, and they have since taken the world by storm with their 2016 album The Prelude Implicit and 2020’s The Absence of Presence. Their recent live lineup (as heard on this live record) features Ronnie Platt on vocals. His voice has its own sound, but he’s absolutely phenomenal singing this music, kind of like Nad Sylvan singing for Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited shows. The band’s rendition of “Nobody’s Home” sounds almost identical to the original record.

Combine Platt’s voice with the winning combo of Phil Ehart on drums, Rich Williams and Zak Rizvi on guitars, David Ragsdale on violin, Billy Greer on bass, and Tom Brislin on keyboards, and you’ve got an unstoppable prog rock powerhouse. The energy levels on this live record remind me of the energy Kansas had in the 70s. I imagine Platt isn’t dancing like a maniac at the keyboards the way Walsh used to, but the audio has that same intensity. 

In addition to playing all of Point of Know Return, the band include a few newer tracks as well as some other hits and deep cuts. It’s great to hear “Song For America” and “People of the South Wind” (Monlith is an underrated album). “Two Cents Worth” was a surprise, but it’s cool to hear that blues element that appeared in Kansas’ early work. From beginning to end this live record is a must-listen. I’m so glad the band continues to carry on and bring this music to old and new fans. Kerry Livgren’s lyrics are some of the best out there, and they deserve to be heard for years to come. 

Order the album: https://kansas.lnk.to/PointofKnowReturn-LiveBeyond

CD1
1. Cold Grey Morning
2. Two Cents Worth
3. The Wall
4. Song for America
5. Summer
6. Musicatto
7. Taking in the View
8. Miracles Out of Nowhere

CD2
1. Point of Know Return
2. Paradox
3. The Spider
4. Portrait (He Knew)
5. Closet Chronicles
6. Lightning’s Hand
7. Dust in the Wind
8. Sparks of the Tempest
9. Nobody’s Home
10. Hopelessly Human
11. Carry On Wayward Son
12. People of the South Wind
13.Refugee
14. Lonely Wind

https://youtu.be/D3S-1p18_So

Kansas “Point of Know Return” Tour Resuming; Band to Return to Studio in August

Kansas – ‘Point of Know Return’ Anniversary Tour Resumes March 1st

Photo credit: EMily Butler Photography
KANSAS INTRODUCES KEYBOARDIST TOM BRISLIN AS NEWEST MEMBER OF ICONIC BAND

KANSAS RETURNING TO STUDIO IN AUGUST

ATLANTA, GA – KANSAS is excited to announce keyboardist Tom Brislin as the newest member of the band.  Brislin replaces departing keyboardist David Manion.

An internationally acclaimed musician, Brislin has performed and toured with a variety of artists, including Yes (appearing on Symphonic Live), Meat Loaf, Debbie Harry of Blondie, Camel, Renaissance, Dennis DeYoung formerly of Styx, and many others. For years he fronted the band Spiraling and produced his debut solo album Hurry Up and Smell the Roses.

Most recently, Tom co-founded the progressive rock group The Sea Within. Along with guitarist Roine Stolt of The Flower Kings, bassist Jonas Reingold of the Steve Hackett band, and drum star Marco Minnemann, they released their first album in 2018 on Sony/Inside Out Music, joining KANSAS on the label’s roster. Tom has also formed Gold Rotation, a collective of diverse musicians and songwriters who premiered with a performance at Progstock Festival in 2018.

KANSAS original member and drummer, Phil Ehart comments, “We are extremely excited for Tom Brislin to be the newest member of KANSAS.  We think KANSAS fans will really enjoy what Tom brings to the band.  Rehearsals for the spring have been going great.  We cannot wait to get back out on the road and perform for KANSAS fans. Then, it’s into the studio in August to begin a new KANSAS album, and back out on tour in September.”

Brislin adds, “It’s an honor to be asked to join a such legendary band as KANSAS. Their music has been in the soundtrack to so many of our lives, and their repertoire has enduring depth, beauty, and power. I’m thrilled to perform the classics and I’m equally excited to be a part of the new music that KANSAS creates.”

Brislin’s first performances with KANSAS will be aboard the Rock Legends Cruise in February, followed by March 1 in Baltimore, MD at the Modell Lyric where the band will be resuming the Point of Know Return Anniversary Tour.  The band will perform a set of KANSAS Classics at shows throughout the summer, before returning to the studio to begin a new KANSAS album in August 2019.

A complete list of announced 2019 KANSAS tour dates is listed below.  Ticket & VIP Package information can be found at KansasBand.com

SPRING 2019 KANSAS POINT OF KNOW RETURN TOUR DATES
March 1         Baltimore, MD     The Modell Lyric
March 3         Wilkes-Barre, PA     F.M. Kirby Center
March 8         Des Moines, IA        Hoyt Sherman Place
March 9         Peoria, IL        Peoria Civic Center Theater
March 15       Salina, KS        Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts
March 16       Salina, KS        Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts
March 21       Charleston, WV     Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences
March 23       Louisville, KY         Louisville Palace Theatre
March 29       Beaver Creek, CO    Vilar Performing Arts Center
March 30       Denver, CO       Paramount TheatreApril 2            Tucson, AZ          Fox Tucson Theatre
April 4            San Diego, CA     Balboa Theatre
April 6            Los Angeles, CA      The Orpheum Theatre
April 7            Santa Barbara, CA    The Arlington Theatre
April 10          Oakland, CA      Paramount Theatre
April 12          Portland, OR     Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
April 13          Seattle, WA      Paramount Theatre
April 24          Vancouver, BC, Canada       The Orpheum
April 26          Edmonton, AB, Canada       Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
April 28          Calgary, AB, Canada            Jack Singer Concert Hall
April 30          Saskatoon, SK, Canada       TCU PlaceMay 1             Regina, SK, Canada       Conexus Arts Centre
May 3             Winnipeg, MB, Canada    Burton Cummings Theatre
May 10           Rockford, IL            Coronado Performing Arts Center
May 11           Fort Wayne, IN        Foellinger TheatreSUMMER 2019 KANSAS CLASSICS DATES  May 17          Ocala, FL              Square Cultural Center
May 18          Coconut Creek, FL      Seminole Casino Coconut Creek
May 24          Biloxi, MS             Beau Rivage Resort & Casino
May 30          Bethlehem, PA      Sands Event Center
May 31          Atlantic City, NJ           Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
June 1           Atlantic City, NJ           Hard Rock Hotel & Casino