Concert review: Kansas takes over Albert Lea

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 5, 2017

Iconic classic rock band Kansas showcased hits from its past 44 years, leaving the crowd asking for more, on Friday during the fourth day of the Freeborn County Fair.

The weather was pleasant, compared to the unseasonably cold weather on Thursday night for Diamond Rio and the thunder and lightning that delayed the start of up-and-coming country music artist Kane Brown on Tuesday.

“This is either the best weather we’ve ever seen or the end of days is near,” said band member Bill Greer, who performs on bass and vocals, after the first four songs.

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Performing in front of a full-house fair in the Grandstand, the band showcased a variety of songs, including some from their first album, “Kansas,” all the way up to their newest album released in 2016, “The Prelude Implicit.” Songs included “What’s On My Mind,” “Hold On” and “Reason to Be.”

Once the seventh song came around, it only took the band a few notes to play before the crowd erupted into cheers with the popular “Dust in the Wind,” which has been played on the radio more than three million times.

The song brought many in the crowd to a standing ovation.

The band then continued with hits including “Miracles of Nowhere,” from the “Leftoverture” album, and “Icarus-Born on Wings of Steel,” “Opus Insert” and “Portrait (He Knew),” among others.

Members of the crowd could be seen singing along, clapping and even dancing.

Violinist David Ragsdale showed exceptional skill on the violin as did guitarist Zak Rizvi and Richard Williams on their instruments.

After a full hour of hits, the band thanked the crowd and exited the stage, before coming back to play “Carry On Wayward Son” as their encore song.

With a career spanning more than four decades, Kansas has produced 15 studio albums and five live albums, including eight gold albums, three sextuple-platinum albums and one platinum live album. The band appeared on the Billboard charts for over 200 weeks throughout the ’70s and ’80s and played to sold-out arenas and stadiums throughout North America, Europe and Japan.

Their 15th album, “The Prelude Implicit,” was released in 2016 — the first studio album release in 16 years.

“Carry On Wayward Son” continues to be one of the top five most-played songs on classic rock radio.