America and Kansas

“Now don’t hang on, nothin lasts forever but the earth and sky, it slips away and all your money won’t another minute buy”
Kansas –Dust in the wind –1/78

Late Saturday afternoon, after a long day of rock climbing followed up with yoga, I sat down and contemplated our evening plans to attend a concert at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. A nagging cold had zapped my energy and the following morning I had to get up real early for a day of canyoneering down the Bill Williams River. Why go? After all, we had seen America four times previous, that included a performance in a beautiful outdoor pavilion in Maui. Gerry was indifferent.
I appealed to my compulsive side for motivation, but adding Kansas to my lifelong group and concerts list was not enough. Had age finally caught up to Lobo? Was he through living his life with passion? – Not! - Old Lobo reached up and found a hand hold, stepped to the bar, where he filled up a flask with Captain Morgan demon rum, took a big swallow and ready to go.
So, my concert partner of thirty three years and I took off for our fountain of youth, the Celebrity Theatre. Outside, we negotiated seats in the tenth row for a good price from a scalper. Inside, we were a teenage couple on a date.
After attending 439 lifetime performances, it is my humble opinion that the Celebrity Theatre is absolutely the best venue to see a concert. It is a circular with a revolving stage, small, and all seats up close and personal. The Celebrity is simply charming.

America opened the show, and all 2667 seats were occupied. The group started out as a trio of Air Force brats in 1969 at an American school in the UK. In the early 70s they put together a remarkable string of million-selling albums that included two number one hits and six other classics that were in Billboard’s top ten. Now a duo, Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley have also partnered for 33 years. Three members of their support band have been with them over 25 years.
Their distinctive sound of clean harmonies and evocative lyrics continues to have great appeal and had the delighted crowd singing along, and grooving out to their disarming sound. They sounded better than ever!
A horse with no name (# 20 on Lobo’s all time hit list) was the encore song and it brought the house down.

Kansas closed the show and they were, well, loud! But this was a Kansas crowd, and they were really into it. Kansas is a progressive rock group that was formed in Topeka, also in 1969. Their sound is a unique blend of violin with hard rock.. Folk Rock? Gerry thought that they were a 70s version of ZZ Top. They were anything but disarming except for their million seller haunting melody-Dust in the Wind. (#325 on Lobo’s all time hit list)
Dust in the wind sent shivers up my spine and it was worth staying through the loud hard stuff.

Over all I rate this concert a 9.7 and look forward to a future evening at the Celebrity.

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