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The "Original Six" of KANSAS to reunite!

by Mark Cartwright

My schedule will not allow me to go to this show.  It's a shame, because my friend has the tickets in hand, and called me to see if I could go.  I have seen Kansas play many times... at least fifteen.  But only once have I seen the famous line-up, which is considered the "original six." 

You see, before Kansas became famous, there was a previous incarnation of the band, but to make the story short:  When the brilliant songwriter\guitarist\keyboard player, Kerry Livgren teamed up with drummer, Phil Ehart, violinist, Robbie Steinhardt, bassist "Smokin'" Dave Hope, guitarist Rich Williams, and singer\keyboardist Steve Walsh, the band had an amazing ten year run without a single member change.

The current Kansas line-up still features Ehart, Walsh, and Williams, along with Billy Grier, who has now been with the band over 25 years, and violinist David Ragsdale, who came on board for a while in the nineties, then left as Robbie Steinhardt returned for a few years, then returned when Robbie left again.

Now KANSAS is celebrating 40 years as a band with a once-in-a-lifetime fan appreciation concert to say “thank you” to their legions of loyal “Wheatheads.”  With Livgren, Hope, and Steinhardt joining the current line-up, KANSAS will play at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh on Saturday, August 17th.  It will be a special night for fans.  Pittsburgh helped vault the band into stardom.  The area was fanatical about the band before the rest of the world had discovered their unique talents.  KANSAS will be backed by a 35-piece symphony orchestra during the first act, and then after intermission, they will rock out a traditional set of their classics. The tour marks the first time all the original members of the band will be on the same stage together in more than 30 years.  I wish I could be there.

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