When they made their first appearance at the Civic Center in December of 1977, the show was a sellout. Kansas was one of the biggest bands in Blimpville with their masterpiece album, Leftoverture getting mighty significant airplay at the WBLM Trailer in Litchfield.

They came back and sold-out in Portland again in November of 1980. Soon after that show, creative differences within the band began to set in. Lead singer Steve Walsh left in 1981 and guitarist Kerry Livgren had become a born-again Christian, sticking around for only two more albums.

36 years ago today, Kansas returned to Portland with a new member. Steve Walsh was replaced by John Elefante. The first Kansas album with John was Vinyl Confessions.  The new line-up came back to Portland in support of it on August 8,1982. The night did not  sell-out and was the last time Kansas played the CCCC as a headliner. They returned in December of 1983, opening for Heart.

Here’s Kansas with John Elefante on vocals filling the mighty big shoes of Steve Walsh one month before the 1982 Civic Center show.

Alrighty, now we gotta see the original line-up bustin' out Carry On Wayward Son live! Them tiny gym shorts and tube socks are a sight to behold!


It would be a long 27 years until Kansas rocked Portland again. They played the newly renovated State Theatre with Steve Walsh back on lead vocals on October 23, 2010.


Steve retired from the band in 2014. Kansas now tours with lead singer Ronnie Platt and remaining original members drummer Phil Ehart and guitarist Rich Williams. They were here last summer at the State promoting their first album in 16 years.  It's called The Prelude Implicit and it stays true to the classic sound of this great American band.





More From 102.9 WBLM