Kansas, Winger, Ralston Arena and Penny’s Virginity! (part 2)


By, Penny Pepperstein Part two…again You know, I wrote my original review of the Kansas performance in a hurry as to get it posted for my readers. As soon as I hit send I realized I had made a mistake. The mistake was not giving a review that the band deserved. I stayed up late trying to say everything I had seen and heard in a few short paragraphs. Nice and easy. I think Tina Turner said that once, but that’s not how I write. Let me explain…I had only heard Kansas on the radio when I was a kid. I never owned any of their records (that’s how we old peeps say vinyl). I mean I could identify a handful of songs and I could tell you that it was Kansas singing that song. I couldn’t tell you anything about the band at all. I blew them off as “that was before my time”, music. Looking back, those words could almost be blasphemy coming from a rock junkie like me. There should never be music before or after your time. There should just be music. We can decide later on if it’s our taste in music and even that should be debated more.The night of the show as I loaded up my gear, (yeah that means I left my purse at home and carried a camera bag) I sang the small handful of songs I knew. First, there is of course, “Dust In The Wind”, that’s any easy one, the song that questions our existence. I got in the car and sang a very loud, quite off key rendition of “Carry On Wayward Son”. This one did conjure up a memory or two, sitting out by the lake with a group of friends listening to Z92, enjoying food, drink and other substances, as one does on a hot, muggy night in Omaha. Most of the time the food wasn’t high on our priority list, well…never, really. So, moving on. I pulled into the parking lot of the Ralston Arena when I recall the song Point Of No Return. I hum the violin part and shout out the lyrics. Goes something like this:  “how long!” violin, violin “how long!” violin, violin… you get it.After an amazing performance by Winger (see part 1 for review) I walk around the Ralston Arena getting a good look around. The stage crew was preparing for the Kansas show. The drum kit was already set up. Other instruments were being strategically placed around the stage, too. One thing I found interesting was a lonely acoustic guitar propped on a stand, sideways, as if it were ready to play without being picked up. Come to find out later in the show, that is exactly why it was placed like that. Rich Williams (guitarist) would switch between his electric guitar and the freestanding acoustic without setting either down, this making it easier to switch effects in mid song. A backdrop was being hoisted up the back wall of the stage. A copy of the John Brown mural that adorns a wall inside the Kansas state capital building is also Kansas’ first self-titled album cover.Kansas entered the stage around 9pm and they smoothly went into the first song of the night, “Belexes”. This song had an operatic sound,