Kansas Live Review Photos

Kansas Live Review & Photos | Peabody Auditorium, Daytona Beach, FL | December 1, 2016

by • December 5, 2016

Thursday night at the Peabody Auditorium was an awesome way to begin the most cheerful month of the year. Families and friends gathered in the crowded lobby, tickets in hand and excitement in their eyes. But it was understandable — the renowned ’70s rock band Kansas was in town to perform an intimate 150-minute set as a part of the 40th anniversary tour for their most popular album, Leftoverture. As the band walked on stage, the six empty seats on stage were filled by the band, excluding drummer Phil Ehart. They opened their show with an acoustic set, performing with “The Coming Dawn (Thanatopsis).”

Frontman Ronnie Platt then took moment to address the crowd; “Happy late Thanksgiving everyone! We’re happy you guys were able to be here after [Hurricane Matthew].” “Now have a good night,” he jokingly added before the band proceeded to sing an incredible live version of their song, “Hold On.” The audience was so entranced that they began to sing along. For the first five songs, the members of Kansas sat and played acoustic. But if you expected a calm quiet set for tonight’s performance, you couldn’t be more wrong.


Six songs into their set, Ehart joined the band on stage and before you knew it, this group of men in their 60s were on their feet and playing as if it were 1976, trading their acoustic guitars for electric, their clean calm tone for that of distortion and overdrive brought with the power of rock. While most of the songs performed during the first act of their show were from their recently released album, The Prelude Implicit, they did sneak in a few songs recorded throughout the band’s history, including “Icarus – Borne on Wings of Steel,” “Chasing Shadows,” and the well-known “Dust in the Wind.” 

One of the best moments from Kansas the night was that despite being rock stars, they weren’t afraid to take a moment to touch on the major topics. Some of the most powerful moments the night included the instrumentally-powered “Section 60,” a new song “dedicated to the troops resting in Arlington, Virginia,” lead by violinist David Ragsdale. As the band members left the stage, only Ragsdale remained until he was accompanied by a marching U.S. Marine carrying a folded U.S. flag. This act of respect was met positively; it was a tasteful way to show respect for those who fight for our rights to be able to enjoy luxuries like watching Kansas perform. The band also performed “Refugee,” a track which focuses on sex trafficking, “an evil that will never go away.” 


The second act began with the sound of radio static and quick sound bites of songs by various rock bands of the ’70s as they filled the auditorium until a bright light illuminated the stage; the opening lines of their most famous song blared out, “Carry on my wayward son, there’ll be peace when you are done …” The audience reacted with cheers and excitement. While Platt may not be Steve Walsh, his vocals were so powerful that you could’ve easily mistaken it to be the former. Watching the band perform Leftoverture from start to finish was a rare treat – “Questions of My Childhood,” Miracles of My Childhood,” and “The Wall” being the highlights of the second set.

If you were unable to catch this performance of Kansas, lay your weary head to rest — they’ll be returning to Florida this Spring to perform in both St. Augustine and Orlando.

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Kansas Live Review & Photos by James Strassberger, edited by Matthew Weller.

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