Welcome To Kansas


Friday September 22nd, 2012 – St. Charles, IL

   It’s great to have friends with connections. That’s what life is all about. ‘Who you know’ really does make a difference, even though I never look to abuse it. I like people because I like them as individuals – not for what they can do for me. That’s probably not smart, but at least it’s sincere.

One of my favorite bands of all time Kansas had a concert at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles, IL tonight and my friend Rick Piccolo got me in to see it. He has been friends with Phil Ehart the drummer since the ‘70s, and it was no problem for him to score the tickets. That’s how it works.

Rick is also friends with fellow comedian and former Jerry’s Kidder Ken Sevara, and he joined us as well. I had no idea Ken was coming, and it was a pleasant surprise to see him when I got to the theatre. Ken has booked me for several quality shows in the past year or so, and that has been another good connection. I got him into the Kidders, so I have been a connection for him as well.

That’s how it’s supposed to work in my opinion, but it often doesn’t. When it does, everything just feels right and that’s how it was tonight. Rick and Ken are both laid back great guys, and the three of us turned off the bitch-o-meter and had fun. We weren’t on stage tonight, Kansas was.

Nobody enjoys quality entertainment more than another entertainer, and we loved every minute of the show. Rick and Ken are both former drummers, so they liked it on a whole other level than I did. I have never played one note of music in my life, but I certainly understand showmanship.

Kansas puts on a fantastic show on every level. The stage was decorated with a giant backdrop of an image of their first album cover, and they had a stellar light show too. They looked like the headliners they are. They commanded the stage, and they gave the audience what they paid for.

What I found fascinating was how they presented each song with freshness and enthusiasm like they hadn’t played them 10,000 times before. I knew every song in their set, and it wasn’t all that different from the show I saw in the same theatre maybe two years ago. They didn’t phone it in.

I know how easy it can be to get stuck in a comedy rut, and the same jokes night after night can really get stale in a hurry. I’ve always been one to switch things around frequently if for no other reason than it keeps me on my toes while I’m performing. I don’t think a band can be that loose.

They were sure on their game tonight, and the crowd went nuts as well they should. They were able to let it rip in front of a theatre full of fans who were there to see them do it, and that’s what I’ve always wanted to do myself. I saw that theory in action tonight, and it was fun for everyone.

After the show, Rick got us backstage to say hello to Phil. I met him last time, and since then I heard his wife is originally from Milwaukee so I gave him a ‘Schlitz Happened!’ t-shirt that has a lot of local jokes on it that she’ll get and he won’t. He was very gracious and Ken and I didn’t want to bother him because we understand how it is after a show. We gave him and Rick time to catch up, and politely thanked him for the tickets. Life sure can be fun when it works like this.

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