Kansas - Point Of Know Return Live & Beyond review

Inspired performance of a classic album and more.

Kansas
(Image: © InsideOut Music)

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In the annals of Kansas’ distinguished history, 1977’s Point Of Know Return album is a clear highlight. So, it was no surprise the band decided to play the whole of it a couple of years ago on a special anniversary tour.

Recorded here for posterity, it sounds magnificent. Performed with zest and style, what Kansas have done is bring out the colour and joy of the songs in such a manner that it doesn’t sound so much a nostalgia trip, as marking out music that still carries a huge relevance. Sticking to the original track sequence works well, with Dust In The Wind and Hopelessly Human real highlights. But this isn’t just about one album. Kansas also glide through their near half-century history, cherry-picking ripe moments, from 1975’s Song For America through to 2016’s Refugee. Inevitably, Carry On Wayward Son is included and is as climactic as it always has been.

These days, only Phil Ehart and Richard Williams remain from the glorious time when Point Of Know Return was originally released, but that doesn’t matter. Still, the line-up here do a splendid job, with recently departed guitarist Zakk Rizvi particularly impressive.

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Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.