Back in 1973, a handful of musicians from Kansas got together to start a little band they ultimately called...Kansas. Here we have the official story of Kansas, told by the original members themselves; Phil Ehart, Dave Hope, Kerry Livgren, Robby Steinhardt, Steve Walsh, and Rich Williams. From the early beginnings of creating their demo and playing seedy biker bars and watering holes across the Midwest to little to no attendance, to that big break with Don Kirshner which led to a record contract, all the way to huge success with multi-platinum albums, two hit singles, and sold out arenas across the world, Miracles Out of Nowhere tells that story of of the original line-up right up to the release and success of Point of Know Return. Those looking for the rest of the tale after that album unfortunately aren't going to get it, but that doesn't make this documentary any less fascinating. Interspersed with vintage concert performances throughout, the individual members give their insight on the struggles, the slow build to success, the songwriting process, especially Livgren's emergence as a writer of considerable talents, and Walsh's rise to become not only a master keyboard player but a frontman who would exhibit character, fire, and power.
Each album released in this time period is looked at and talked about, including Kansas, Song For America, Masques, Leftoverture, and Point of Know Return. Seeing the original band all getting together and talking about their history and these albums will be a joy to witness for any longtime fan, especially considering they all haven't been in the same room together since the early '80s. If you happened to pre-order the Blu-ray/DVD set from the bands website, you also get a bonus DVD featuring a host of additional interview segments with the whole band, most of which are filled with funny stories from their time together in the '70s as well as two live clips of "Carry on Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind" from later in the decade. A CD is also included of studio and live songs wrapped around some of the commentary of the band, which also helps tell the overall story but from an audio perspective.
While part of me wishes the band would have gone a few years further, or even told the entire story up to the present day, most will be more than satisfied with this document of the initial rise of Kansas to superstar status. It's 80 minutes that you'll likely get much enjoyment out of, and don't be surprised if you wind up reaching for all your old Kansas LPs or CDs afterwards.
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!