Progressive rock band Kansas brought their arena rock show out for a rare gig at Caesars Windsor on Sunday night (May 5) to a near capacity crowd. Although the band advertised a Radio Classics and Fan Favorites setlist, Windsor was treated to a hybrid show melding both the Point of Know Return 40th Anniversary Tour with the classic hits set to create a warm and intimate evening both celebrating the Point of Know Return album and some select hits fans grew up with.
It’s hard for Kansas not to celebrate Point of Know Return. The album is a masterpiece that served up a four-times platinum album in the US, as well as the band’s two most definitive hit songs – Point of Know Return and Dust In The Wind. Part of the celebration included a short three-song acoustic set that kicked off with a beautiful performance of the 1979 song People of the South Wind that has only been resurrected since 2014. The acoustic set was rounded out with Hold On and Dust In The Wind.
Die-hard fans got a treat when the band ripped out Two Cents Worth from the 1975 album Masque – a song they’ve rarely played and only recently revived. Overall, it was a fabulous collection of songs that mixed hits and rarities together in a powerful evening of classic and progressive rock.
Although they kept the chatter to a minimum, the music did all the talking. Kansas has gotten better with age. The band is as tight as they’ve ever been and some of the more obscure 70s songs sounded fresh again, with a more modern and fuller sound than they’ve ever had. Mysteries and Mayhem, The Wall, What’s on My Mind and Cold Grey Morning were phenomenal and breathed new life into tracks that could have suffered from the aged production of the original recordings. They sounded like fresh new tracks.
The end result is a killer band with more talent than they’ve ever had. New keyboardist Tom Brislin fits in well and adds to the solid dynamics already created by Billy Greer (bass, vocals), David Ragsdale (violin, guitar), Zak Rizvi (guitar), Ronnie Platt (vocals, keyboards) and original members Phil Ehart (drums, percussion) and Rich Williams (guitar).
This was by far one of the most musically technical shows to hit Caesars in the last 4 years, ranking in rarity and performance with Toto, who stopped by last year. In one of his few spoken moments, Greer mentioned the Point of Know Return 40th Anniversary Tour as a show not to miss and he might just be right. If this 90-minute sampling of hits and rarities is any indication, the full two-and-a-half-hour marathon would be worth every minute of it.
Here’s hoping they return with the full show next time.
All photos by Dan Savoie
May 5, 2019
• Point of Know Return
• Two Cents Worth
• Mysteries and Mayhem / The Lamplight Symphony / The Wall
• People of the South Wind
• Hold On
• Dust in the Wind
• Cold Grey Morning
• Icarus – Borne on Wings of Steel
• What’s on My Mind
• Lightning’s Hand
• Sparks of the Tempest
• Miracles Out of Nowhere
• Carry On Wayward Son