Celebrating their fourth decade as a group, still playing music that was heard from the decade I was born in, I was looking forward to crossing off another classic rock band from my concert bucket list tonight at Casino NB. In the last 40 years, the band was a regular on rock charts throughout the ’70s and ’80s, playing to sold-out arenas and stadiums throughout the world. I don’t know too many people that haven’t heard “Dust In The Wind” or “Carry On My Wayward Son” and with their musical presence in many movies and tv shows over the years (most recently in TV hit show Supernatural, that touts a lot of 70′s and 80′s classic rock in their soundtrack) they’ve maintained a presence throughout the decades.
Due to some technical difficulties, the show started a bit later than scheduled by about 30 minutes. The crowd which was smaller than I expected for such stalwarts of classic rock radio, was patient and appreciative once the band hit the stage. Backdropped by their very first album cover the band launched into a two song medley and then right into the song “The Wall”. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to accumulate very many pictures from this show as the lighting on the band was absolutely horrendous, which is not typical at all of a Casino show, but it was extremely frustrating from a photography point of view. Even as a viewer sitting in my seat I found the lighting flow very dim and the members of the band really poorly lit.
The band also had an interesting feature to their show that they had no merchandise for sale at the show, they gave you a ‘text number’ to snap a pic of the band with your smart phone and send it off to this number where you would get a link to their merchandise shop sent back and be entered for a chance to win a contest (this would have been great if it worked, I never received the text back and tried twice).
Musically the band was tight and it was evident that 40 years of playing music has honed their skill as musicians to a sharp point. Their 13 song main set danced along musically with progressive rock flair, highlighted at the midway point by hit song, “Dust In the Wind” which had the crowd singing along. Vocally the band has lost a bit of it’s flair, obvious strain pressing to reach some of the higher notes in some of the songs and it hindered the performance for me slightly.
After about an hour and a half they brought their main set to an end, but were enthusiastically called back out by the remaining crowd, to play a two song encore of “Fight Fire With Fire” and of course “Carry On My Wayward Son” which the crowd excitedly sang along with. Overall a good show, coupled with some great musicianship (highlight was Phil Eharts drumming for me), I got to cast another classic rock band off the bucket list and hum off into the night with ‘Wayward Son’ still ringing in my ears.
Thanks to Kansas, Casino NB, and PPR for another great night of music.