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THE PINNACLE OF MAYHEM
December 2, 1975 (Stanley Theatre - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
1.1. Last Minute Soundcheck (1:39)
1.2. Songs For America (10:54)
1.3. Icarus-Borne On Wings Of Steel (6:23)�
1.4. Down The Road (3:37)
1.5. Lonely Street (7:26)
1.6. Belexes / Incl. Drum Solo (9:26)
1.7. Child Of Innocence (5:39)
1.8. Mysteries And Mayhem/The Pinnacle (16:26)
1.9. Bringing It Back (13:10)
1.10. It Takes A Woman's Love (4:27)
Steve Walsh �Lead Vocals, Keyboards
Kerry Livgren � Guitars, Keyboards
Rich Williams �Lead Guitars
Robby Steinhardt- Violin, Vocals
Dave Hope �Bass Guitars
Phil Ehart�Drums & Percussion
We have been here before�.or will be here again?
Yet again, through the efforts and contributions of a devoted PRRP member and a Kansas Band Historian we are able to bring you a top-quality
Kansas live recording. It is ironic and fortunate for us all that the show is again from Pittsburgh, the site of our last Kansas offering (PRRP 18). So here we go,
back almost one full year earlier to hear more vintage Kansas from the beginning years of their career.
Very little national print media exists for the band prior to Leftoverture. Before that time, they really hadn't had much success, except in pockets in
the Midwest, Atlanta, and of course Pennsylvania. The band members have frequently expressed how much they enjoy playing the state as it was really
the first place outside of the state of Kansas that had accepted them. It was their home away from home. To this day, the band still plays a large
number of dates every year in Pennsylvania, some for the same promoter that backed them back in their hey-day.
During this show, Robby Steinhardt comments that the band had played Pittsburgh ��some 10 months ago�. His comment would suggest that a
performance was given in February of 1975. A review of web-based resources and books failed to provide details of the Kansas tour schedule for that time
so PRRP turned to a well known expert on Kansas, Steve Smits. When asked about the February 1975 performance in question, Steve had this to say,
�Kansas released Song for America in February, 1975, so they would have been out touring at that time. My tour date list has a gaping hole during this
period, but I am certain the band would have played Pennsylvania during this time period as it was an early stronghold for them. My tour date list is
based on bootleg recordings, old ticket stubs, and media print ads that show tour date listings. I don't have anything from official sources from back in
those days, not even from the press kits I have.� There is confirmation of a performance in Toledo, Ohio on February 11th and Passaic, New Jersey on
February 21; both shows were given with Queen as the Headliner. When reviewing Queen Tour archives, a Queen show was scheduled for Pittsburgh on
February 25th, 1975 but, for some unknown reason, was cancelled. Did Kansas plan to perform with Queen that night? Did they play a solo show even
after Queen had cancelled? We just don�t know. It is sad that this crucial and exciting early period in the band�s history is so poorly documented.
This current performance was part of the tour for the new album at the time, Masque. For insights into the band�s situation in 1975, we again turn
to Steve Smits, �Masque was a tense time period for the band. Their label, Kirshner, didn't see a single on Song for America and really pushed the band
that they needed to deliver a hit-single. The band tried their best with It Takes of Woman's Love, but the single, remixed and edited, failed to chart. The
remainder of the album was rather dark with songs like Child of Innocence and Mysteries & Mayhem. The label was none too happy. The album sold
about 250,000 copies, about the same as Song for America and was on the charts for 20 weeks, peaking at #70 in February 1976�.
During some of the dialogue between songs of this show Robby Steinhart references Kerry Livgren as, �the man to my right, here�. Kerry did not
always play to Robby�s right side. In this artwork we provide a one of a kind photo from the Masque era, which shows the proper position of the band
on stage. Steve would be sitting at his organ off to the left of Dave Hope and further left would have been Rich Williams. This photo shows the band
opening for another group, which they did quite a bit on the Masque tour because Kansas had yet to become a nationwide success. This early lineup of
the band had Robby all the way to the right of the stage, with Kerry directly to his right. Since the band was opening back then they were often given
little stage space, so that's how they set up so everyone could be seen and no player was standing in front of another. At the time, Phil Ehart didn't
always have a drum riser, so this allowed everyone to see him. My, how far they have come�
�Notes from the Re-Master
The Pre-FM source for this show was provided as 16-bit audio on a single CD. Of course, given this lineage, it was already an outstanding
recording. There was a bit too much noise so we remove some to allow the softer parts of the show to be heard more clearly. There were frequent clicks
and pops that needed to be removed, but none really disrupted the show. During the middle of the show, the left channel power seemed to drop.
Though there was no clipping, the whole show was maxed in amplitude so a few strong peak may have been the cause of this left channel suppression.
Either way, the balance was fixed. Because the amplitudes were maxed, most of the work on this remaster consisted of re-adjusting the dynamics,
softening sections that were just too loud to allow song transitions to have their full impact. Finally a speed assessment found that the show was running
too fast. Slowing it down helped to correct the pitch and make the whole show more enjoyable.
Images for all shows as well as full size images for this show.
Images for this show: