Deep in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, when the Kansas concert scheduled for May 8, 2020, at Lowell Memorial Auditorium was postponed, it looked like the classic rock band had reached the point of no return.
Alas, one year, seven months and three days later, the Midwestern rockers will take the Auditorium stage this Saturday night. This much-anticipated concert has ticketholders not just reliving the good old days, but also thinking back to a time when you could go to a concert without worrying about whether you’d end up in the hospital.
Like many of their peers, Kansas has kept busy the second half of 2021 with an aggressive touring schedule as they try to make up for lost time playing for their fans.
“It feels absolutely fantastic,” vocalist/keyboardist Ronnie Platt told The Sun in a recent phone interview. “When we originally got taken off the road (in March 2020), we really didn’t have any idea of when we would be back. With every passing month, we were anticipating things would get back to normal. And they didn’t. We didn’t even see each other for 14 months.”
Spread out across the country, these wayward sons indeed carried on in the true spirit of rock and roll.
“We never even thought for one second about calling it a day. Right now, we’re booked through the end of next year. (Original drummer) Phil (Ehart) told me he’s already working on dates into the middle of 2023,” Platt said.
“It’s just the Kansas work ethic. It’s just the byline of Kansas,” he said. “Throughout my whole career, I’ve never worked for a company that had any kind of pension or anything. I make jokes that my retirement plan is to sing until I’m dead. It’s a sad reality.
“I can’t believe that I’ve been in this band for seven years. It’s hard for me to wrap my brain around. When I got the job in 2014, my mindset was ‘If I get two years out of it, it will be fantastic. Stretch it to three, fantastic. It’s been seven years and what’s on the books will take me to 10 years in the band.”
If we truly are all just dust in the wind, then we might as well enjoy ourselves while we’re here.
If your plans bring you to the Auditorium on Saturday night, Platt gave us some hints on what to expect.
“Use the bathroom before you sit down. This is a long show,” Platt said of a show that features the band playing an acoustic set at the start, followed by a second set of songs from throughout their career and a third set that features the band playing the “Point of Know Return” album in its entirety (which includes the title track and “Dust in the Wind”). If you’re wondering when they play “Carry On Wayward Son,” stick around to the end of the show.
“There’s no breaks. We’re out there close to two and a half hours. It’s jam-packed with Kansas music. This band is firing on all cylinders right now. I’ve heard the same compliment over and over again. ‘We were not expecting it to be that good.’ To me, that is huge. Some of these fans have seen 50, 75 or even 100 Kansas shows,” Platt said.
“I never took for granted that people are coming out and spending their time, not only their money, but what is most important of all, their time, and I really appreciate that,” he said.
For more information and tickets, visit https://bit.ly/31MFT2f.