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Concert review: Kansas shows they have plenty left over in show at SLC’s Eccles Theater

First Published      Last Updated Apr 21 2017 11:38 am

Kansas is a band that doesn't look as if it will turn into dust in the wind any time soon.

At least that was the impression the venerable progressive rock band left Thursday night after a 21/2-hour non-stop 24-song concert at what looked like close to a sellout at the Eccles Theater.

This is the band's 44th year and there have been changes to the lineup. Only drummer Phil Ehart and guitarist Rich Williams remain from the original band.

Ronnie Platt replaced Steve Walsh as the lead singer and frontman in 2014. And, as he proved Thursday night to an adoring audience that obviously enjoyed a loud, long and raucous show with no intermission, he is more than able to rock. In fact, at one point late in the show, he disappeared from the stage, only to appear on the second tier of the theater to finish a song with the help of a coyote-imitating fan.




The band played the entire "Leftoverture" album in addition to some songs from a new album "The Prelude Implicit."

Of course, Kansas' big hits, "Dust in the Wind" and "Carry on Wayward Son" drew the biggest applause, with the entire Eccles Theater audience standing and cheering during a rousing version of the latter.

What made the concert interesting was the musicianship of the seven-member band that included two keyboardists, a violin player, a drummer, a bass player and two guitarists.

The concert began with six band members minus drummer Ehart sitting in chairs for a four-song acoustic set that included 'Hold On" and "Chasing Shadows."

Things then got rocking with "Icarus II," "Icarus-Borne on Wings of Steel" and "Point of Know Return."

Instead of being content to play radio versions of their greatest hits, there was a lot of jamming, featuring new takes on old songs. And new songs such as "Rhythm in the Spirit" showed the band can still create.

The haunting instrumental veterans' tribute, "Section 60," which featured a soldier in uniform carrying an American flag, was also poignant.

This was a louder concert than most at the Eccles. The acoustics were good, though Platt's vocals occasionally were a little hard to hear over the rest of the band.

But that was a minor quibble. Platt emotes, putting his heart into every song, and has a great voice that brings new life to old hits.

All in all, Kansas' mostly new lineup proved it can still carry on the band's legacy.

wharton@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribtomwharton

 

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