Please read: Rockers, Proggers don't miss out!
Ian Martin | Auckland New Zealand | 08/22/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Two for the Show" remastered is now the definitive Kansas album to get. Yes, it's live but this is the essence of the band. Six great musicians who were so much more together live on stage. What passion, musicality, power and emotion. This has everything from the hits like "Dust in the wind" and "Carry on wayward son" to progressive epics that show what six people interchanging from double keyboards to double guitar attack with soaring violin and harmony vocals can do. Their emotional epics are more melodically classical than any of their European prog counterparts of that time, and they certainly knew how to rock harder.
In 1978 this was an outstanding live record and 30 plus years later it not only has stood the test of time but is MUCH better. This edition has another 11 live remastered tracks added on a second CD. These are no fillers - these are phenomenal tracks that I can't believe were excluded initially.
Have a look at my customer image that shows the inner sleeve of the new cool digipak plus a picture from the great booklet. This is no rerelease just to increase income - no, this is part of their legacy, an extended creative effort that offers so much more than the double LP and single CD version of the 90s.
Wow, the 11 new tracks - a whole added album of 75 minutes. These tracks seem to breathe more than the first CD. By that I mean there seems more spacious musical introductions and exploration. Clearly this is why they couldn't be included initially on an already double LP record.
The opening track of the 'new' material, "Hopelessly human" contains all the elements that instantly let you know this is the mighty Kansas in full flight. Long orchestrations of interwoven musical motifs and changing tempos - from ballad gentle vocals over piano to full pipe organ, monstrous drum fills with melodic lead guitar all finally culminating with anthem like bells. This is hair raising stuff!
The fresh stereo mix makes it easy to hear how wonderfully Rich Williams and Kerry interwined their guitar leads as well as showing the contrasting keyboard sounds from pipe organ to piano of Walsh and Livgren. Listen to the crunch surprise opening start of "Child of innocence" - makes ZZ Top seem tame. Indeed this track is a wonderful example of displaying the strengths of this band as the dual vocals of Steinhardt and Steve Walsh create the tight harmony which includes a falsetto harmony from Walsh,I think, that I've never heard before.
There are many other outstanding tracks including, "Closet Chronicles" and "Miracles out of nowhere". Indeed there is not one filler track here. I bought this album from Amazon last week and have been playing it ever since. (That means my other new purchases - new Dream Theater, SACD Pink Floyd Dark Side of the moon and Yellowjackets have been ejected for a while)
This double live CD will take you on an exciting journey through their first and greatest five albums with more passion and interaction than the studio versions. For faithful Kansas rockers I trust you purchased this long ago, unlike me. If not don't hesitate.