Carry on my wayward son…

Because, after all, there will be peace when you are done.

That’s right, I did it. Again. With my husband.

For the third time in 18 months (only two of those times on purpose), we saw Kansas. It wasn’t quite like the last time, when I was practically chased into the street by a gaggle of women who inexplicably kept calling me Mary Kate. But it was still fairly awesome. I offer as proof:

This might seem like a grainy cell phone photo. And it is. But it is also an accurate depiction of how I saw much of the show -- with a bright, flashing strobe light directly in my eyeballs, threatening to literally burn me to dust (in the wind, of course). Still, I hoped that maybe the light would illuminate me to the point that the band would spot me, and I'd have my very own Courtney Cox moment as I was pulled onto the stage to step-tap step-tap and strut my stuff until I reached the point of "know" return. No dice.

Occasionally, I could see the band.

That's right, lead singer Steve Walsh (center) topped his ever-growing skullet (BALD in front, party in the back) with his fanciest baseball cap for the occasion. And I really want to know why Richard Williams (left) wears an eye patch, but that's just rude to shout out. And violin boy Dave Ragsdale (right), well, he's old. But his arms are freaking awesome. That, and wikipedia tells me that he has performed with the likes of Queensryche and Louise Mandrell, and with a resume like that, what's not to like?

Don’t be impressed… I had to look up all their names. I’m sure that the king of geekdom Jim who I married already knew them. But I had to look them up.

This show was a little different. For starters, it was at the Arcada in St. Charles, Illinois. And the Arcada in St. Charles, Illinois is a bit of dump. Small, tiny bathrooms, probably chocked full of asbestos and a gang of terrifying ghosts in the balcony. You can still kind of smell the days when there was a smoking section.

Many of my favorite moments involved a woman in the front row who was wearing a “Kansas Tour 97” t-shirt and her sassiest mom jeans. She spent most of the show standing up and pointing at us. The rest of the crowd. You know, like, “GET UP, Y’ALL! Feel the music!” I would assume she was proficient in both air guitar and turning an apple into a bong, but tonight she was just happy to enjoy the musical memories of her youth. I was waiting for her to shout out “CLASS OF 79!!!!!”

There was also that guy. You generally know him from his annoying position in front of you at every sporting event you have ever attended ever. That guy stands up even though he is in the front. He gets in your way. Then he turns to you and waves his arms upward, telling YOU to STAND UP! Which you inevitably have to do because that guy is a genuine jackass and you simply can’t see the game with his ass riding in your face. Well, replace “game” with “Kansas concert” and there you go. Because he apparently thought were too stupid to stand at the encore or “wooooo hooooo” when the “Dust in the Wind” guitar solo began.

The opening band was also a treat. My guess is that they won a contest. My guess is also that the contest was held the night before at the riverfront Oktoberfest right there in St. Charles, Illinois. They blew (however, I do appreciate a band that sings words that I can actually understand. But any respect I had was swept away when they begged us all to follow them on MySpace. I mean seriously, even I know MySpace blows). Part of me does not want to promote them, but dude:

THIS is one of their promo pics. They didn’t even bother to ask the guy playing video games in the background to MOVE before they snapped this prime shot. I mean… I can’t even bring myself to name them, lest you travel to their MySpace page and hear their music and never be able to wash it from your brain. Still, one of them was kind enough to flick his guitar pick to one of the screaming ladies clad in a denim tuxedo near the front. So they loves the ladies, at least.

I wonder if Kansas was like, dudes, we are freaking famous. For real. We’re like, 35 freaking LEGENDARY years, and we’ve still got it. What the hell are we doing in St. Charles, Illinois?

Well, Kansas, I, for one KNOW that you are better than that. But thanks for coming anyway. Because we had a bitchin’ time. And you better believe we’ll catch you the next time you are in the greater Chicago metropolitan and/or northwest Indiana area.

And in case you were wondering, yes, Hank and George do know your songs. So lay your weary heads to rest — don’t you cry no more.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Carry on my wayward son…

  1. Husband

    Guitarist Rich Williams lost his eye at the age of 13 in a fireworks accident. So I guess that their stage show does not include things exploding. Irony is that he wrote the song “don’t close your eyes” instead of “don’t close your eye”…..

    And you totally could have written 4 more paragraphs about the opening band – SYL (Several Years Later). Let’s not forget their self titles song Several Years Later – and their begging for a record deal to the crowd, like we have contracts for them to sign or something. And the fact the bass guitarist could have been in the movie That Thing You Do….

    But the show was awesome anyway!

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