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Kansas
passion
bohemiancoast
OK, I'm definitely going to see Kansas on Sunday night at the Shepherd's Bush Empire, level 1 seating cos I am old tired wuss. Doors 7. Post here if you're coming.

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Sad sad saddo!!!

Actually I went to see Joe Jackson and Todd Rundgren on Wed and JJ was bril and TR not bad at all :-)

I had a couple of Kansas albums once. But that was back in the 1970s, when one was practically required to like that sort of thing. (Pre-1977, anyway.)

Well, all right, I still have a soft spot for "All We Are Is Dust In The Wind". But then the song was absolutely crucial to Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure, so how could one not like it?

Yes, the sort of point here is that Kansas were one of my absolutely favourite bands when I was, oh, 14.

And I would have been about ten years older, so I have even less excuse. Oh the shame, the ignominy...

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Yes, but even I know that going to see Kansas live is sad.

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I'm going to hear a collection of musicians well past their prime making music that was overblown and pretentious when it was new, due to a combination of nostalgia and a penchant for electric violin. This is a long way from the core of my musical taste these days. But yes, I do intend to have a good time!

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By 'past their prime' I don't mean old, or old-fashioned; I mean that reports of Kansas live indicate that they are becoming older and no longer have the energy to sustain what all agree was a startlingly good live act. They are, musically, less good than they were.

'Overblown and pretentious' is hard, yes. A fairer description would be that most of the music I choose to listen to now, is more stripped down, less produced.

What I *want* is an experience as good as Two for the Show; I have just rebought it on CD, I was very fond of it on vinyl and I think their live sound (then) was always very much more to my taste than their studio albums. But at the time, I didn't understand enough about music to be able to formulate that thought; I was just faintly underwhelmed by the studio albums and didn't quite see why.

Although I'm slightly ambivalent about my (now) fondness for Kansas, I should stress that I'm delighted to be seeing them live; I never have before, they are playing only one UK gig in the middle of a short European tour, and I found out about it entirely by accident while browsing their website in search of album art.

They were terrific, really. I had a splendid time.

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