I am so fortunate to have seen Kansas in concert at the RSEC. It was the perfect way to have a little fun over the fall break this weekend. I have to say that concerts have really changed in the past couple of decades. My very first concert (South Florida circa 1976) was The Doobie Brothers. All I remember of the event was that I was scared to death, it was way too loud and everyone (but me) appeared to be doing some type of drugs. Chalk it up to the 70s. At the time, I was just16, very naive and in over my head. Last night, I was very nearly as uncertain about what to expect. It had been a long time since I saw a live concert. Happily, I was very pleasantly surprised.
Over 20 years ago, I enjoyed a few great concerts - Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Pat Benatar, Peter Frampton and Heart, among others. Kansas was as good as any of those back then. And, the Murray crowd was incredibly civilized - so much better behaved than any crowd of my youth. (And, that's a relief!) The RSEC is a phenomenal venue with easy parking, plenty of great seating throughout and good acoustics.
The people-watching was pretty good, too. How nice to see people of all generations enjoying music together. I was surprised to see that so many concert-goers had brought their teenage and younger kids along. Some of the 10 to 12-year-olds didn't seem to be having nearly as much fun as their moms and dads, but they were not complaining either. Perhaps "my" kind of music still holds universal appeal. Cool.
Steve Walsh's soaring signature vocals and Dave Ragsdale's extraordinary skill on the violin (and guitar) stood out for me as highlights of the night. I'm no music critic, but I do know what I like. If the audience was any barometer, then Kansas has still got what it takes. The second group, .38 Special, didn't do it for me, I'm afraid. Each of their songs sounded pretty much the same, although there was one great drum solo that stood out. They played all their hits. The crowd seemed pleased. Still, there was nothing unique or special about their sound. Perhaps Kansas is just too tough an act to follow.
All in all, it was a great evening, and I enjoyed the night out on the town with my girlfriend. I got my rock 'n roll on, as they say. It felt very good.
Now, on this rainy, dreary Sunday, I must settle in for a night of reading. It's time to hit the books!