RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Kansas - Leftoverture Live & Beyond
InsideOut Music

Rating: A

The band Kansas has been on the road traveling the world promoting both their first new studio album in 16 years, The Prelude Implicit, and celebrating the 40th anniversary of their landmark album Leftoverture. Now, via their record label, InsideOut Music, the tour is coming to you in the form of a new live album titled Leftoverture Live & Beyond.

This live album is a great way for fans to hear the current lineup of Kansas. In 2017, the band consists of original drummer Phil Ehart, bassist/vocalist Billy Greer, keyboardist David Manion, vocalist/keyboardist Ronnie Platt, violinist/guitarist David Ragsdale, guitarist Zak Rizvi, and original guitarist Richard Williams.

As a seven-piece there is no song from any era of Kansas that can’t be served up with musical perfection. One listen to this album proves it, as the track listing includes songs from their 1974 self-titled debut to 2016’s The Prelude Implicit. There are 19 tracks in total, each of them filled with vibrancy and energy. This band is simply on fire right now. It was the perfect time for Kansas to release a live offering.

Most ears will be on vocalist Ronnie Platt as he has to directly complete with live recordings from yesteryear by the band’s original vocalist Steve Walsh. Ronnie holds his own, sounding just like Steve when need be, but also establishing his own voice within the band.

Ronnie’s personal chops are most evident in two of the new tunes. “Rhythm in the Spirit” is a heavy rocker and Ronnie kills the vocals as Williams and Rizvi bash out the heaviest guitar lick in Kansas history.

“The Voyage of Eight Eighteen” sees the band sounding like it is their first album again…this is a prog rock masterpiece. The instrumental “Section 60” is an emotional piece of music that pays homage to the fallen soldiers of our current war in the Middle East.

The new music comes in the middle of the set, however. This album opens with hardcore fan favorite “Icarus II” from 2000’s Somewhere to Elsewhere. The band then return to the original “Icarus (Born on Wings of Steel)” from 1975’s Masque. This is among the best songs the band ever created. The two tunes make up almost fifteen minutes of killer music…and the band is just getting warmed up!

Next, the band cranks out back-to-back hits from their classic album Point of Know Return in the title track and “Paradox” before delving deep into their past.  Following those songs are 1974’s “Journey from Mariabronn” and the following years “Lamplight Symphony” from Song for America. The classic era set list ends with the band’s most known hit single “Dust in the Wind.”

After performing the aforementioned three new tunes, Kansas kicks it into high gear with the entire Leftoverture album. The track listing to this jewel represents one of the start-to-finish best progressive rock/hard rock albums to ever be created.

This section of the concert starts off with the iconic “Carry On Wayward Son” but also includes classics like “The Wall,” “Miracles Out of Nowhere,” “What’s On My Mind,” “Cheyenne Anthem” and the larger than life and exquisitely executed masterpiece “Magnum Opus.”

It must be noted that the band takes great pride in representing this classic album just the way you want to hear it. Even though five of the seven were not there when this one was created one would never know it from listening to this performance. Platt is amazing! The band fire on all cylinders and the result is one powerful section of music.

Bravo Kansas! Bravo! But wait…there’s more…

To close the show the band return for an encore of “Portrait (He Knew)” that lasts nearly nine minutes. This is nod to what is coming in the future. In Fall of 2018 Kansas will perform Point of Know Return in its entirety. Judging from this song, as well as the others from that album performed here, it will be amazing.

Leftoverture Live & Beyond really works. It is one hell of a concert. Not only is it laid out well, with cool packaging and great songs…the album sounds incredible. The band is rich and full.  Sonically, it could not have been recorded any better. What those in attendance heard during this tour is what you will hear every time you turn this album on.

In a day age when resting on your laurels seems to be what many classic rock era bands do…Kansas sticks that rock ‘n’ roll middle finger in the air and refuses to follow the trend. Instead they play a huge set full of hits, trot out some excellent new songs and then top it off with a classic album played in its entirety. It simply doesn’t get any better than this in 2017 for a band that broke out 43 years prior.

Buy this one and crank it up.  Keep cranking it up and then…get ready for 2018…and 2019…and even 2020. More is on the way.

Ah hell… I tried but I can’t resist it…Kansas is going to continue to…. carry on… for many years to come!

I could have saved you a lot of reading by giving you the following short version of his review:


A great place to pick up Leftoverture Live & Beyond is at https://www.kansasband.colortestmerch.com/ as there are many cool packages and extras for sale as well. 

Leftoverture Live & Beyond track list
1. Icarus II (07:15)
2. Icarus (Born on Wings of Steel) (07:12)
3. Point of Know Return (03:24)
4. Paradox (04:07)
5. Journey from Mariabronn (08:03)
6. Lamplight Symphony (08:15)
7. Dust in the Wind (03:57)
8. Rhythm in the Spirit (05:21)
9. The Voyage of Eight Eighteen (09:02)
10. Section 60 (02:48)
11. Carry on Wayward Son (06:00)
12. The Wall (05:23)
13. What’s on My Mind (03:49)
14. Miracles out of Nowhere (07:13)
15. Opus Insert (04:41)
16. Questions of My Childhood (03:54)
17. Cheyenne Anthem (07:11)
18. Magnum Opus (10:29)
19. Portrait (He Knew) (08:50)

KANSAS online:

By Jeb “I’m from Topeka” Wright