Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 7:17 pm
|It is so uplifting to experience the thunderous moments of rock and bottle it and percolate it in bottles of RAWKIT sauce. The peoples band assumed control of the progressive rock time and beat. Melodies and harmonies that are simple but complex, driving us musically through the middle. They just stand on the other side of the divide. The audience was rivited to the band as the songs go through a metaphysical theme and then have the nerve to stop and leave a hole,....a break,...in the moments of the songs. You hold on for those known breaks and the audience holds their collective breath knowing they are coming back with something even bigger and better. They go from a whisper to a raging scream. This crowd was very supportive but in their seats as is often the case with a symphony show.
It is so electric hearing Billy Greer playing lead base and walking up and down the scales and adding bottom and top with power tenor vocals. It reminds me of McCartney and how he changed what bass and vocal was to be. Billy heard those songs early on and applied his trade. As a front man he seems to be able to touch every eye in the place. He sings to you,... not at you, and colors the note with emotion so you always understand and feel it. He yells out "OK Texas" and the crowd responds everytime. His singing stretches highs and lows and it fills the song in harmony and in lead. His voice is the high that gives Steve Walsh a rest and yet they sound one and the same. As they go through Icarus II he tells the sound man to turn his sound down,...and I'm up front yelling and giving thumbs up for MORE BASS. But,...he is the consummate professional and of course he was right. You really get to hear his true talent when he sings lead on Miracles out of No Where. Billy seems to be singing more of this song set than in the past. It was crystal clear with power. Chad has been sporting a new board and Billy was finally out there, separate, but incorporated. You could really hear him well this time vs shows this summer when Chad was working with a different board.
David was sawing on that violin and I could swear there was smoke rising off the finger board during Born on Wings of Steel. I thought he was about to conjure up some musical demons with that bow as he ran the scales like a flash of lightning. Who would think that a guy that has played for the Tulsa Philharmonic would grow a pair and teach us the sounds of RAWK! His use of compression and EQ fill a dynamic range that we are fortunate to have witnessed. How can one guy sound like a whole orchestra by himself?? He's got the chops too!!! They had practiced in rehearsal to have one of the symphony students to come out front and rock with David. It went kinda good in rehearsal but,...during the show, David could not hold back with the emotion of the show and the young man just was not his equal and not well versed in the language of ROCK. David came out front of the stage by 15-20 feet in the flat vacated orchestra pit area and came out to play to the crowd. He did that 4-5 times. You could see they responded.
Richard goes from electric, to acoustic, and back to allow us the hear the runs of the master. Touch the pedals and he can rip your head off with a grinding lead. Bending those notes with a pull on the whammie bar. Go acoustic and use a touch that could caress a woman and her soul. If I would have had his touch perhaps I might have had more chicks in high school. Kansas lead guitar is a signature of what the band is and what it has become. Richard fills the band with THE MEATWALL.
Back in the day,... my garage band opened for REO from time to time. (the very early years) At this concert I was singing so loud that I could not talk till the next day. I blew out my voice. They power up the acapella (sp) and harmony in Ghosts/Rainmaker and I am yelling at the top of the final jump in octave. These guys are the same age of many of us. How in the hell do they do it? Steve Walsh can belt it out without one crack or scratch. We were fortunate to see one of the best vocalist of our times and yet,....somehow,...he can still do it. (I don't want to grow old) At the end of Icarus he moans out,..."I"m goin',....HOOOOME! He paints that moment with his voice and you can feel that B-17 pilot headed to his fate and glory. Billy is a natural to take off some of Steve's highs as well. You don't even know it when it happens. I still wish Steve had the old Hammond B3 on stage with a big Leslie cabinet but synthesizers and the needs of travel and versatility require the new style rig. But,...if you listen closely, and I do, you can still hear the grind and loop of the B3 and the Leslie cab and the original sounds of Kansas through his fingertips. He told me he never had a B-3 that was worth having. If I get to go to heaven, and that might be questionable, I am sure that when I arrive at the pearly gates that the voice of the supreme being will be Steve singing as lead. I was glad to see Steve with alot of emotion and he came out to the vacated orchestra pit area by 20 feet and right up to the audience at least 5 times. They were mesmerized.
Last but not least is Phil "KANSAS Hammer" Ehart. Now,...I used to be a drummer, (and driver of the Winnebago) but Phil isn't just a drummer. He is a lead drummer and there are not many of those left. Todd Suchermann comes to mind with Styx or Niel Peart of Rush. Phil is not like today's metronomic beat makers. He plays lead and fills the song and keeps progressive rock time when all their time changes from bar to bar. Progressive Rock 3/4, 4x4, 9-8th, off beat, extra beat, hold and run into the next bar, it all falls on him and he leads the band,...and the symphony. When these things are happening watch everyone look to Phil. Guess that's why he is the director. Working with Larry Baird who directs for the Moody Blues and others, Phil is out there taking runs and risks in providing the crescendo at the right time as well as the time to hop off and power down and out of those great songs. He holds that last note just one more beat till you want to applaud till morning. In this music hall you could here him over the mic's and he was playing with power.
My wife, who is not musically inclined, was chilled to the bone. She appreciated that it was not about the flash but the raw music and songs she has know over the years. (I thought the lights were great! :-)
Those symphony kids played their hearts out and were genuinely excited by moments they will remember for a lifetime. We talked to many of their parents and they were thrilled that their kids had played with one of the greatest bands of all times. Yes,...there were tears. One young violinist came up to Billy to get his autograph. I thought she was gonna pee her pants. Billy was so gracious and listened to her about her guitar playing and composition. Everyone left with that special feeling. The evening was so full and orchestral and the symphony adds a nature thickness to the Kansas cordial structure. Thanks for giving us this never ending gift. Kansas will live forever and they are coming to a town near you. Don't miss what I got to see.
I went there old but came home young. Miracles out of Knowhere.
Last edited by fan4greer on Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.