If you’ve ever looked at the liner notes of Kansas’ 1974 self-titled debut album, the band had quite the prophetic statement: “From the beginning, we considered ourselves and our music different and we hope we will always remain so.”

More than 45 years later, Kansas has proven that statement to be true. Today, the band is comprised of original guitarist Richard Williams, original Drummer Phil Ehart, Bassist Billy Greer, Violinist David Ragsdale, Keyboardist Tom Breslin and has featured Ronnie Platt on vocals ever since Steve Walsh left in 2014.

“Kansas has always been very diverse,” Platt said. “You have total rockers and a classical music element. From being in the band for seven years now, the one thing I’ve learned is the band never stops drilling. We still work these songs to death. The mindset of this band is to achieve perfection.” 

With a catalogue that includes 15 studio albums and five fan-favorite live albums, Kansas has always had a knack for being different, and that uniqueness has earned them eight gold albums, three sextuple-platinum albums, one platinum live album and two one million-selling gold singles, “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry On Wayward Son.”

“These are positively timeless songs,” Platt said. “Take ‘Dust in the Wind’ for example. Hearing it back in 1977 and through my entire life, and still hearing it today is wild. It just shows how timeless it is and people still love it.” 

Kansas originally began as a garage band in Topeka and offered a mix of American-style boogie rock and complex, symphonic arrangements with changing time signatures.  

One of Kansas’ biggest albums—both in terms of sales and in critical and fan reception—is the 1977 release, “Point of Know Return.”

Kansas will be performing that record in its entirety December 19 at Capital One Hall in Tysons.

There will, of course, be other classic tunes and fan favorites from throughout the band’s history, as well as selections from the most recent studio album, “The Absence of Presence.”

“It’s just two hours and 20 minutes of jam-packed music,” Platt said. “We start with five or six songs acoustically and then go into the classic set and there’s no breaks. It’s songs from all the albums. Then we go into playing ‘Point of Know Return’ in its entirety.”

From the reactions the band members have heard from doing the show, there are some very satisfied customers.

“It’s a treat for us as well, “Platt said. “Of course, we want everyone to be careful and stay healthy. But life is short and we want everyone to come out and enjoy life and enjoy music.”

When the pandemic hit, the band was about to embark on a year’s worth of performances, and for the first time in decades, Kansas couldn’t play live. 

“Since I’ve been in the band, we’ve had a relentless tour schedule,” Platt said. “We were in the midst of another jam-packed schedule for 2020, and they all fell through the cracks. It ended up, we didn’t even see each other for 14 months.” 

Waiting to play, he added, seemed like an eternity as this was all something new to him. 

“When I joined the band, it was a complete life change,” Platt said. “When I originally met with Phil and Rich, they told me Kansas would probably do between 45-60 dates a year, but my first year we did 98 shows and the next year we did 99. And in between, we recorded an album.”

It was in May when Kansas finally got to play again, outdoors. An indoor show in Florida came next, and the band decided it would regroup for a tour and made up for lost time. 

“I remember that first show, we probably paid attention to each other more than we usually do,” Platt said. “By that second show, we were back firing on all cylinders and right back into the swing of things.” 

In 2022, Kansas will hit the road hard with an ambitious schedule and possibly even get another studio album completed.

“We all had time off to write and explore, so there’s a lot of stuff on the table,” Platt said. “We just need to know what to attack first. We can’t wait.”

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