If you know very much about me, you know that posting about Kansas is a weird choice. First, I'm not into music: I don't frequent concerts; I don't know band names; I don't even listen to music unless I'm at the gym. Second, I've only heard three Kansas songs in my life. And, relatedly, I discovered Kansas less than two months ago.
So I feel like a personal story is necessary to understand my choice. Over spring break, I decided to take on a personal goal: I would finally try to watch Supernatural (a TV show on the CW). I love TV, and my favorite website for TV news is IGN. As it happens, IGN reviews Supernatural, and Supernatural is on Netflix. Supernatural is currently in its 8th season, and each season has around 22 hour-long episodes. For those calculating, that is over 150 hours of TV, give or take.
On a Wednesday afternoon, I sat down to watch the first episode. Honestly, I thought it was alright. I ended up watching four episodes that day, but then I decided I would give up. The show just wasn't for me. The next day, I was a little bored: I finished all of my homework; I beat my video game; I cleaned the entire apartment. It was fairly early in the morning, so nothing good was on TV. I thought, "What the hay? I'll just turn on Supernatural again." And that decision changed everything.
Around episode 8, I got really into it. I loved the brother relationship, the interesting story lines, and the sheer creativity. Over the next two weeks, I spent every ounce of my free time watching Supernatural. I dedicated myself to finishing the series, even if that meant that I put all of my other TV shows on hold. So two weeks and over 150 hours of TV later, Supernatural became one of my favorite TV shows.
And Supernatural has a love affair with 80's bands. In particular, it plays Kansas's "Carry on Wayward Son" as the opening to every season finale. At the first season finale, I thought it was a good song. But by the sixth season finale, I thought it was the most amazing song that had ever graced my ears. I downloaded it on iTunes. I made it my ringtone. I put the song on repeat at the gym. I made a Kansas Pandora station. And that was all that I knew about Kansas when I discovered they were doing a show at a local casino.
Of course, I immediately bought tickets. And despite not knowing anything about music or concerts generally, I decided it would be my first review.
Everyone knows Kansas. Everyone recognizes their two most famous songs: (1) "Dust in the Wind" and (2) "Carry on Wayward Son." Both songs came out around the late seventies, and "Carry on Wayward Son" was Kansas's first top forty hit. Today, both songs are on the video game "Guitar Hero," which brings a whole new audience to Kansas. So on Sunday night, it was a given that Kansas would play its two most famous songs. The only question was when.
Surprisingly (at least to me), there was no opening act. Kansas came out ready to rock at 8:30 sharp. From the start, it was clear that the band is comfortable playing together. As my friend said, "They were tight." There were zero mistakes, and the music sounded clean. The whole concert was a very well-oiled machine. The violinist, in particular, was incredible. At one point, a member of the band thanked the venue, but he called it the "Emerald Green" instead of the "Emerald Queen." Ignoring that slip, the band was on the top of their game.
During the concert, most people remained seated until the end of a song when they would stand to clap. This was different from other concerts I've attended where people stood the entire time, and it's not clear if the make-up of the crowd or the venue caused this. Either way, the band's energy was very positive, so I wouldn't say that sitting detracted from the experience.
I only had to wait three songs before they played "Dust in the Wind." The song is iconic, so there isn't much to say about it. Honestly, I liked every song that they played. I even went home and bought the album so that I could learn some of the band's lesser-known songs. The main vocalist's voice is really unusual, and I enjoy it.
At the end of the set, they had still not played "Carry on Wayward Son," and I was starting to become concerned. The song was the only reason I went to the concert. My hope was that if everyone clapped enough, Kansas would come out and play a few more songs. And that is what happened. Kansas saved "Carry on Wayward Son" for last. As soon as it started, the entire crowd stood. It was the perfect end to a great concert.
Rachel Paxton is a typer of words in Dallas, TX.