Title - 'Two for the Show: 30th Anniversary Edition'
Artist - Kansas
Progressive rockers Kansas' first live album, and sixth overall, 'Two For the Show' was originally released in November of 1978. The album captures singer/keyboard player Steve Walsh, guitarist/keyboard player Kerry Livgren, violinist/vocalist Robby Steinhardt, guitarist Rich Williams, drummer Phil Ehart and bass player Dave Hope at the height of Kansas' commercial success on the band's 1977/78 Point of Know Return tour.
A lot of the songs from the band's five studio albums are played, in all instances, superior to their studio counterparts.
We kick things off with a stellar version of "Song For America" which was a killer rendition. Next is a 1-2 punch of the Point of Know Return's two opening cuts of the title cut and "Paradox" which both trump the studio versions. Next is "Icarus - Borne on Wings of Steel" which decimates its studio counterpart.
We then have a killer version of "Portrait (He Knew)" which segued into a stellar version of "Carry On Wayward Son". The first disc of the original album closed with a superb rendition of "Journey From Mariabronn".
The original album's second disc started with a beautiful "Dust In the Wind" which is a great version. Then we have solo spots from Richard Williams and Kerry Livgren on acoustic guitar and piano respectively as a lead in into a wonderful rendition of "Lonely Wind". Then a rocking rendition of "Mysteries and Mayhem" is next which then goes into an instrumental segment of "Lamplight Symphony" which gives way to a beautiful version of the Leftoverture album cut "The Wall".
Next is a stellar "Closet Chronicles" (which was left off original CD due to time constraints but appears on the remastered 2-CD set on disc two for some reason). We closed the original album with a killer "Magnum Opus" which dwarfs the studio version.
'Two For the Show' was yet another million seller for Kansas and peaked at #32 on the Billboard chart in early 1979. For years, the album was given a shoddy CD re-issue in 1989 and only way to hear the album as intended was with either LP or cassette or 8-track tape. Now, Legacy/Epic have re-released the album with a full second CD of tracks left off due to time constraints and a stellar booklet.
The bonus tracks (including the aforementioned "Closet Chronicles") are all superb. My favorites of the bonus tracks are a superb version of "Hopelessly Human", an awesome "Miracles Out of Nowhere", a phenomenal Phil Ehart drum solo with the instrumental "The Spider", an excellent reading of "Lonely Street" and a killer "Down the Road". "Cheyenne Anthem" and "Sparks of the Tempest" differ from the versions that appeared on the Leftoverture and Point of Know Return reissues respectively.
The other bonuses "Lonely Street", "Belexes", "Child of Innocence" and "Bringing it Back" are all excellent additions to an already legendary live album.