Toto, this IS Kansas! And it certainly was, as the legendary symphonic rock band skillfully entertained the almost full house at Schermerhorn Symphony Center on Friday night. And luckily I was sitting right there in the middle of the audience, bouncing, swaying and tapping my way through the awesome concert along with what seemed like every 50-60ish year old in Nashville, with a few stray young Kansas lovers thrown in. And I'll tell you what, though a majority of the listeners could most likely get discounted or free coffee in most every fast food joint in town, they (and by they, I mean we) could most definitely do their share of keen whistles, fist pumpings, woot! woot!s and loud sing-a-long renditions of some of Kansas' greatest hits.
The Kansas Band musicians have not lost an iota of their rocking talents and sounded just as good, if not better, than ever. Steve Walsh is simply a professional a rock star; he sings and screams like he always has, though his voice has clearly taken a beaten in all the years of steady abuse, sounding sometimes like his voice was breaking, having some trouble hitting those famous high notes and never batting an eyelash that there was any kind of hiccup, simply keeping on keeping on. That's a true professional musician.
Before Kansas made it on to the stage, though, we were entertained with what was a mix of alternative-rock, blues and soul with a little heavy rock mood thrown in, by ARC & Stones, a young rocking band that has a really steady sound. Though the band didn't show the professionalism of the near-50 year old band Kansas, they have a really solid rock sound and most likely won't hurt for work in the near future and may make it pretty far in the business. For a band only one year old, Brooklyn raised by Nashville based, these guys are pretty dang good. College buddies making up the band are: Dan Pellarin, Ben Cramer, Eddy Bayes, and Joe Doino, and most definitely deserve a look-see by all you rock lovers.
And my music-venue-of-choice, Schermerhorn rocks on with Il Volo, a band I am so very eager to see this Italian operatic pop trio, with young guy singers Piero Barone and Ignazio Boschetto, tenors and baritone Gianluca Ginoble, all as easy on the eyes as they are on the ears. I've caught this trio on TV a number of times and they have never failed to entertain and impress me. This one is coming up Tuesday, June 17 at 7:30 and if you want to see something your kids will love, skip on over to nashvillesymphony.org to get the Il Volo tickets right now.
While you are at it, go ahead and make plans to take your little ones (no matter how big) to see Wizard of Oz on Friday of This Weekend, in full technicolor on the huge Schermerhorn movie screen, as the symphony plays the sound track to the classic movie that nobody doesn't love. It is playing Friday, June 13 and is a great night out for the family. There's even a nice little cafe right inside the center with some atrociously delicious muffins, brownies, cookies, scones and coffee. Oh, and real food too. Look me up on Foursquare, seems I'm at Schermerhorn more than anywhere else nowadays! Try it out, tickets are so very reasonable at nashvillesymphony.org.