Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Kansas-Two for the Show (1978)

At the time, "Two for the Show" appeared on the summit of the band both artistically and commercially, with two previous studio albums ("Leftoverture" and "Point of Know Return") that had been put in the big time business leagues and a fan base that seemed to extend to infinity. The multisport playing fields, stadiums and great theaters since early 1977 eventually led them in 1978 to give mega-concert that lasted 2 ½ hours and more. This album draws from several concerts of his tour tripartite developed from 1977 to 1978, but it shows a very fluid feeling in listening. 
KANSAS shown here all facets of their musical offerings with full brightness equally distributed in all of them: the predominant symphonic pomposity, heavy moments full of sophistication, elements blues-country-bluegrass to call the homeland, quirky moments which emerge solo acoustic guitar, piano or drum set ... everything is there embodied with vigor. The booklet contains copious photos (including a Steve Walsh dancing to Jim Morrison to woo the girls wildly public, and also to a Robby Steinhardt staring at nothing while mentally in their internal line impredibles images violin ... !) and historical comments, apart from the transcription of the dedication to the young fan who lost his sight in a serious car accident after a concert of this tour. The fact that the dual guitars and keyboards (depending on the role of Livgren in the given time) are split in different audio channels helps enjoy and understand the intelligence poured instrumental band interactions. Of course, it also helps to enhance the work of Steinhardt, who starred on numerous occasions since his role as violinist. 
The CD1 contains the definitive versions of 'Icarus', 'Portrait (He Knew)', 'Mysteries and Mayhem' (more frenetic than usual), 'Journey from Mariabronn' and 'Magnum Opus'; very loyal to study 'Paradox' and 'The Wall' versions; forcibly cut a version of 'Song for America'; and finally, the omission of 'Closet Chronicles', one of the most impressive pieces of "Point of Know Return" and one of the absolute peaks of "Two for the Show" on vinyl. But this specific omission is resolved gloriously on CD2, which contains a total of 11 bonus tracks. But not with the recovered 'Closet Chronicles' which begins on CD2, but with 'Hopelessly Human', which opened the concert portion of the first half of this hyper-tour. This expanded version begins with a brief ethereal prelude, followed by the first 16 bars of 'Incomudro', then give way to the song itself. 'Child of Innocence' and 'Belexes' transport us to times of commercial glory KANSAS: 'Child' is preceded by a great jam in key R'n'B, while 'Belexes' is executed "a mile a minute "so the extra speed being subtracted drama but it compensates with more explosiveness. "Cheyenne Anthem" has the peculiarity that filled more spaces dual violin and synthesizers in playful interlude, which translates into an exciting enhancement orchestral dimension. 'Lonely Street', 'Down the Road' and 'Bringing It Back' show us openly or excuses, the provincial facet KANSAS: 'Lonely Street' shows us a brilliantly Walsh thanatic immersed in the pain of the protagonist and destructive (a cowboy who longs seedy with his own hands to avenge the death of his prostitute girlfriend), while 'Bringing It Home' keeps drawing Steinhardt Arabian silhouettes with his violin, sometimes accompanied by the powerful guitar Williams. With this version I prefer definitely convinced that this song is more in the group that the original author JJ Cale (as with Hendrix and "All Along the Watchtower 'composed by Dylan). 
'Miracles Out of Nowhere' is certainly one of the most beautiful and immersive compositions Livgren: This version includes an organ solo by Walsh, where stylized baroque-ploys and pieces hard rock blues type alternating Jon Lord. Demos also mention the new arrangements of multiple keyboards that recall the colorful contrapuntal interlude to take advantage of the constraints themselves alive.And what a tremendous drummer Phil Ehart is! - The only 5 ½ minutes produced here shows bare the influences of Barriemore Barlow and Carl Palmer, alongside their particular dynamism. This only leads to an electrifying version of 'The Spider', one of the most labyrinthine compositions that were never conceived in the world of KANSAS. Notice that the fade-out edition was heading towards emergency bass riff for 'Portrait': this should not have been re-edited it to better advantage following sequence Jerk? Quite possibly ... but it is what it is and what there is already great.