Celebrating more than 45 years of success, Kansas is still bringing the energy, refusing to take anything for granted
When: 7:30 p.m., April 7
Where: Arlington Theatre
Information: 963-4408, www.axs.com
Fair warning: They might be celebrating 45 years, but Kansas is far from rockin’ rockers as they make their way to stage.
In fact, their shows might be more intense than ever.
“This band is firing on all cylinders,” said Ronnie Platt, lead singer of the band for the past five years. “I don’t people are expecting it, but when they are seeing our show, they don’t expect such a high level of intensity.
“At the end of every show, the response we get from the audience, that’s our payback. The people just go nuts. That’s how we know we are doing a good job.”
Mr. Platt squarely credits founding members Phil Ehart and Richard Williams for not only keeping the band going, but also for establishing a work ethic that doesn’t allow the band to get complacent.
“This band doesn’t stop,” Mr. Platt explained. “We drill, drill, drill. Then when we are done drilling, we drill some more.”
Kansas will be making a stop at the Arlington Theatre on April 7 on their Point of Know Return Anniversary Tour, celebrating the 40th anniversary of their sextuple-platinum album by the same name.
The album featured hits such as “Portrait (He Knew),” “Dust in the Wind” (a gold single with more than one million sold; also played on the radio more than three million times) and “Point of Know Return” — three tracks that the band will look to mix in as they play the two-plus-hour show based on their 15 studio and five live albums.
While the band might have lots of history, Mr. Platt has seen a shift in demographic at live shows, getting consistently younger due to the band’s involvement in “Supernatural,” a TV show that unofficially adopted the band’s mega-hit, “Carry On Wayward Son,” as a theme song.
The connection was so deep that the band even was invited to do a surprise appearance at Comic-Con in San Diego, something that Mr. Platt described as “complete and utter craziness.”
“How they kept that appearance secret was mind-blowing,” said Mr. Platt, who joined the band after splitting his time as a musician and truck driver in Chicago.
“After we did that appearance, we saw an influx of younger people coming to the show.”
Mr. Platt knows that recent trends show that what was once old is now new again, seeing the size of the venues they’re playing in his five years with the band get bigger exponentially.
“When I first started, maybe we were playing in front of 400-500 people,” Mr. Platt said. “But now some of these theaters we are playing are just breathtaking — 2,500-seat theaters, some have 4,000-5,000 capacity. It’s flattering, this band is on fire now.”
Kansas has added a new piece of firepower as well, bringing in keyboardist Tom Brislin, who has worked with both Meat Loaf and YES, amongst others.
“We thought we’d bring him in to torture him for awhile,” Mr. Platt quipped.
While it took Mr. Platt more than two decades to find his home with Kansas, he is thankful to Mr. Ehart and Mr. Williams for helping the band withstand “rough times” in the late 80s and early 90s, a time when music trends changed.
“They experienced such giant success (in the 70s),” Mr. Platt said. “They kept it going, and they were lucky enough to have such hardcore, dedicated fans.
“It was big enough that it kept them going.”