Entertainment

Head to Kansas, in Florence, among concert tours across Carolinas

Kansas will kick off the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center’s “Rockin’ Summer at the PAC” series on June 11. From left: Richard Williams on guitars; Ronnie Platt on vocals and keyboards; David Ragsdale on violin, guitar and vocals; Billy Greer on bass and vocals; Phil Ehart on drums; and David Manion on keyboards and vocals.
Kansas will kick off the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center’s “Rockin’ Summer at the PAC” series on June 11. From left: Richard Williams on guitars; Ronnie Platt on vocals and keyboards; David Ragsdale on violin, guitar and vocals; Billy Greer on bass and vocals; Phil Ehart on drums; and David Manion on keyboards and vocals. Courtesy photo

The notes Richard Williams plays on guitar to begin “Dust in the Wind” have kept an air all to their own all these years.

Kansas, the group he co-founded in the Sunflower State’s capital of Topeka, will kick off the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center’s “Rockin’ Summer at the PAC” series at 7:30 p.m. June 11. With Christopher Cross playing there July 30, and Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers on Aug. 20, that will make up a trio of concerts with stars on their closest stops to Myrtle Beach.

Other venues across the Carolinas have filled their calendars for summer to welcome a bevy of big tours. They include Sir Paul McCartney, June 25 in Columbia; the Rolling Stones, July 11 in Raleigh; and Shania Twain, July 18 in Greenville.

Speaking by phone last month from his home in Atlanta, Williams recalled how Kansas’ biggest hit after “Carry On Wayward Son” in the later 1970s never lost its velocity in the spirit and feeling.

“Dust in the Wind,” he said, as a reminder, “is not the happiest song,” yet he remembered from the onset that high school proms used the title for a theme.

“Why’s everybody trying,” Williams said, with some laughs, of the song’s sobering lyrics, “when you’re nothing but dust soon enough? You’re going to be dead.”

Asked if he has tired of performing the ballad, composed by Kerry Livgren, another guitarist in the group at the time, Williams said no, because “I start the song,” which he treats as an honor.

“From the very first note,” Williams said, everybody knows what the song is, everybody knows the lyrics, and everybody has a story to it. I get to start this whole experience every night, and I don’t take that lightly.”

The violin solo by former bandmate Robbie Steinheardt in the original recording turned into a valuable add-on, said Williams, who said he had laid down all the guitar parts, but the impromptu scoring of the violin interlude in the studio truly “made sense.”

Kansas, with one other original member, drummer Phil Ehart, carries on like some other bands that laid a foundation in the ’70s and have eclipsed 40 years of recordings and concerts, such as Chicago, still with four founding musicians, and the Guess Who, with two. Kansas’ lineup rounds out with four singers: Billy Greer on bass, David Manion and Ronnie Platt on keyboards, and David Ragsdale on violin and guitar.

Asked about Kansas keeping such longevity, Williams said casually how easy it has been, amid inevitable rough spots with personnel changes, that “you love what you do, and you want to continue doing it.”

“This is the best job in town,” he said. “You just do it, and the time goes by.”

Williams talked of being “very grateful” and excited that Kansas’ music still has a home on classic rock radio stations, and that “younger kids” showing up at concerts provide “really incredible” rewards from performing.

The group has been inducted in the Kansas and Georgia halls of fame — Williams said he was the last of the founding group members to move to the Peach State, in about 1977-78 — and released its “Miracles Out of Nowhere” documentary DVD earlier this year, focusing on the first few albums.

“It just tells our story of coming from obscurity to climb to the top of the mountain,” Williams said. “It’s not a tell-all, but very inspirational.”

Kansas also has begun work on a new CD, Williams said, with hopes for release in later 2016 after “the bulk” of studio time planned for this winter. The band has recorded five concert albums, but this project will mark the first studio package since “Somewhere to Elsewhere,” from 2000.

The following schedule offers ideas for easy escapes and road trips for catching a concert:

South Carolina

Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center

Where | 201 S. Dargan St., Florence

Who, when and how much | “Rockin’ Summer at the PAC” series, with three-show pass available for $99, and all at 7:30 p.m.:

▪ Kansas, June 11. (Single tickets $37 or $47.)

▪ Christopher Cross, July 30. ($37 or $47.)

▪ Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, Aug. 20. ($52 or $62.)

Information | 843-661-4444 or www.fmupac.org, and www.kansasband.com

Florence Civic Center

Where | 3300 W. Radio Drive, at Interstates 95 and 20

▪ “Old Time Gospel!” 6 p.m. June 13.

▪ Eighth annual S.C. Music Awards Gala, 3 p.m. July 18.

▪ Needtobreathe, Switchfoot, Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, and Colony House, 7 p.m. Aug. 12.

Tickets | 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com

Inforrmation | 843-679-4525 or www.florenceciviccenter.com):

North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center

Where | 5001 Coliseum Drive, between International Boulevard and Montague Avenue, off Exit 213 from Interstate 26 – or take Interstate 526 from Mount Pleasant to one exit past I-26.

Who and when |

▪ Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly, 8 p.m. June 12 (rescheduled from May 1), in center.

▪ Rob Thomas, 8 p.m. July 26, in center.

▪ Southern Soul Festival, featuring Doug E Fresh and Tucka, 7 p.m. Aug. 1 in center.

▪ “Weird Al” Yankovic, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9, in center.

▪ Betty Wright and The Whispers, 8 p.m. Aug. 29, in center.

▪ Nickelback, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 31 (rescheduled from March 31), in coliseum.

▪ Greater Charleston Low County Jazz Festival, Sept. 3-6, in center (www.lowcountryjazzfest.com).

▪ Brandi Carlile, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6, in center.

▪ Mark Knopfler, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25, in center.

▪ Straight No Chaser, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15, in center.

▪ Brian Regan, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19, in center.

▪ David Sanborn, 7 p.m. Dec. 6, in center.

Tickets | 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com

Information | 843-529-5000 or www.northcharlestoncoliseumpac.com

Colonial Life Arena

Where | 801 Lincoln St., Columbia.

Who and when |

▪ Sir Paul McCartney, 8 p.m. June 25.

▪ James Taylor, 8 p.m. July 29.

▪ Def Leppard, 7 p.m. Oct. 16.

Tickets | 855-456-2849 or www.lmctix.com

Information | 803-576-9200 or www.coloniallifearena.com

Bon Secours Wellness Arena

Where | 650 N. Academy St., Greenville.

▪ Eagles, 8 p.m. July 12.

▪ Shania Twain, 7:30 p.m. July 18.

▪ Lady Antebellum, with Hunter Hayes and Kelsea Ballerini, 7 p.m. Sept. 12.

▪ Little Big Town, 8 p.m. Oct. 16.

Tickets | 800-653-8000 or www.ticketmaster.com

Information | 864-241-3800 or bonsecoursarena.com

North Carolina

Crown Complex

Where | 1960 Coliseum Drive, Fayetteville, N.C. – From I-95, take Exit 46 for N.C. 87 north, then take Owen Drive west a short distance; complex will be on the left.

▪ Casting Crowns, 6 p.m. June 20, in coliseum.

▪ J. Cole, with Big Sean, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 29, in coliseum.

▪ Miranda Lambert, with Ashley Monroe, Clare Dunn and Courtney Cole, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 3 in coliseum.

Tickets | 800-653-8000 or www.ticketmaster.com

Information | 910-438-4100 or crowncomplexnc.com

Walnut Creek Amphitheatre

Where | 3801 Rock Quarry Road, Raleigh; take Interstate 95 north to I-40 west to Exit 303 for Jones Sausage Road.

What/who and when |

▪ Dierks Bentley, with Maddie & Tae, Kip Moore, and Canaan Smith, 7 p.m. Friday.

▪ Train, with The Fray, and Matt Nathanson, 7 p.m. June 10.

▪ Mumford & Sons, 7 p.m. June 11

▪ Tim McGraw, with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant, 7 p.m. July 10.

▪ Kid Rock, with Foreigner, 6:45 p.m. July 11.

▪ Toby Keith, with Chris Janson, 7 p.m. July 17.

▪ Fall Out Boy with Wiz Khalifa, Hoodie Allen, and DJ Drama, 7 p.m. July 18.

▪ Rascal Flatts, with RaeLynn, and Scotty McCreery, 7:30 p.m. July 26.

▪ Steely Dan, with Elvis Costello, and The Imposters, 7 p.m. Aug. 6.

▪ Lady Antebellum, with Hunter Hayes, and Sam Hunt, 7 p.m. Aug. 8.

▪ Florida Georgia Line, with Thomas Rhett, and Frankie Ballard, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 13.

▪ Phish, 7 p..m. Aug. 14.

▪ Darius Rucker, with Brett Eldredge, A Thousand Horses, and the Brothers Osborne, 7 p.m. Aug. 28.

▪ Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 4.

▪ Van Halen, with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9.

▪ 5 Seconds of Summer, with Hey Violet, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10.

▪ Kelly Clarkson, with Pentatonix, 7 p.m. Sept. 19.

Tickets | 800-745-3000 or www.livenation.com/venues/14476/walnut-creek-amphitheatre

Information | 919-719-5500

PNC Arena

Where | 1400 Edwards Mill Road, Raleigh. From I-95, take I-40 west to Exit 290 to N.C. 54.

What/who and when |

▪ Taylor Swift, with Vance Joy, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

▪ The Rolling Stones, 8 pm. July 1 at Carter-Finley Stadium.

▪ Sam Smith, 7:30 p.m. July 23.

▪ Motley Crue, with Alice Cooper, 7 p.m. Aug. 28.

▪ Ariana Grande, with Prince Royce, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24.

Tickets | 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com

Information | 919-861-2300 or www.thepncarena.com

Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts

Where | 2 E. South St., Raleigh, between Salisbury and Wilmington streets, five blocks south of N.C. State Capitol.

▪ The Legends & Heavy Hitters of Soul,” including Clarence Carter, and Ray C., 8 p.m. Saturday, in Memorial Auditorium.

▪ Boyz II Men and N.C. Symphony, 7:30 p.m. June 24, in Meymandi Concert Hall.

▪ R5, with Jacob Whitesides and Ryland, 7 p.m. July 11, in auditorium.

▪ Carolina Music Awards, 8 p.m. July 18, in Fletcher Opera Theater.

Tickets | 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com

Information | 919-996-8700 or www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com

Durham Performing Arts Center

Where | 123 Vivian St., Durham, next to Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

What/who and when |

▪ “American Idol Live!” with Clark Beckham, Nick Fradiani, Jax, Tyanna Jones, and Rayvon Owen, all from Season 14, 7:30 pm. July 19.

▪ Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, with Leo Kottke, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18.

▪ Jackson Browne, with Larry Campbell, and Teresa Williams, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7.

▪ Brian Regan, 8 p.m. Oct. 9.

▪ Ricky Martin, 8 p.m. Oct. 21.

▪ Patti LaBelle, 8 p.m. Nov. 7.

▪ Frankie Valli & the 4 Seasons, 8 p.m. Nov. 20.

▪ Straight No Chaser, 7:30 p.m. Nov. 29.

Tickets | 919-680-2787, or through Ticketmaster at 800-982-2787 or www.ticketmaster.com

Information | 919-688-3722 (DPAC) or www.dpacnc.com

Greensboro Coliseum Complex

Where | 1921 W. Lee St., Greensboro, N.C.; from Interstate 73/U.S. 220 north, follow U.S. 220 as it turns into Freeman Mill Road, then cross I-85 and proceed for about two more miles, then left on Ellington Street.

Who/what and when |

▪ Outcry Tour, with various artists, 7 p.m. July 27.

▪ James Taylor, 7:30 p.m. July 31.

▪ Little Big Town, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15.

▪ Taylor Swift, with Vance Joy, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21.

▪ Monster Jam, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8-9.

Tickets | 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com

Information | 336-373-7400 or www.greensborocoliseum.com

Time Warner Cable Arena

Where | 333 E. Trade St., Charlotte, N.C.

What/who and when |

▪ Barry Manilow, 8 p.m. Saturday.

▪ Taylor Swift, with Vance Joy, 7:30 p.m. Monday.

▪ Kenny Chesney, with Chase Rice, 8 p.m. June 11.

▪ Imagine Dragons, with Metric, 7:30 p.m. July 7.

▪ Sam Smith, 8 p.m. July 18.

▪ Shania Twain, 7:30 p.m. July 19.

▪ Ariana Grande, with Prince Royce, 7:30 p.m. July 21.

▪ Motley Crue, with Alice Cooper, 7 p.m. Aug. 29.

▪ Billy Joel, 8 p.m. Dec. 5.

Tickets | 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com

Information | 704-688-9000 or www.timewarnercablearena.com

PNC Music Pavilion Charlotte

Where | 707 Pavilion Boulevard, Charlotte, N.C., near Interstates 85 and 485; from I-77 north, take I-85 north to Exit 48 for I-485 east, then first exit for U.S. 29, then right on Pavilion road.

What/who and when |

▪ Zac Brown Band, 7 p.m. Thursday.

▪ Train, with The Fray, and Matt Nathanson, 7 p.m. Tuesday.

▪ Lana Del Ray, with Grimes, 7:30 p.m. June 13.

▪ Def Leppard, with Tesla, and Styx, 7 p.m. June 30.

▪ Vans Warped Tour, with various artists, 11 a.m. July 7.

▪ Dave Matthews Band, 7 p.m. July 10.

▪ Tim McGraw, with Billy Currington, and Chase Bryant, 7 p.m. July 11.

▪ Kid Rock, with Foreigner, 6:45 p.m. July 14.

▪ Dierks Bentley, with Maddie & Tae, Kip Moore, and Canaan Smith, 7 p.m. July 17.

▪ Fall Out Boy, with Wiz Khalifa, DJ Drama, and Hoodie Allen, 7 p.m. July 19.

▪ Rascal Flatts, with RaeLynn, and Scotty McCreery, 7:30 p.m. July 25.

▪ Nicki Minaj, with Rae Sremmurd, Dej Loaf, Meek Mill, and Tinashe, 7 p.m. Aug. 4.

▪ Lady Antebellum, with Hunter Hayes, and Sam Hunt, 7 p.m. Aug. 7.

▪ Incubus, with Deftones, Death From Above 1979, and The Bots, 6:15 p.m. Aug. 9.

▪ J. Cole, with YG, Big Sean, and Jeremih, 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12.

▪ Florida Georgia Line, with Thomas Rhett, and Frankie Ballard, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 14.

▪ Toby Keith, with Eli Young Band, and Chris Janson, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 21.

▪ Nickelback, with Lifehouse, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 28.

▪ Darius Rucker, with Brett Eldredge, A Thousand Horses, and the Brothers Osborne, 7 p.m. Aug. 29.

▪ 5 Seconds of Summer, with Hey Violet, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9.

▪ Van Halen, with Kenny Wayne Shepherd, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 11.

Tickets | 800-745-3000 or www.livenation.com/venues/14471/pnc-music-pavilion

Information | 704-549-5555, 704-549-1292 or pncmusicpavilion.org

Savannah, Ga.

Where | Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave.

Who/what and when |

▪ Earth Wind & Fire, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, in Johnny Mercer Theatre.

▪ Casting Crowns, 7 p.m. June 12, in Martin Luther King Jr. Arena.

▪ Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly, 7 p.m. June 13 in arena.

▪ John Mellencamp, 7:30 p.m. June 19, in theater.

Tickets | 912-651-6556, 800-351-7469 or www.etix.com/ticket/online/

Information | 912-651-6550 or savannahcivic.com/events/

Jacksonville, Fla.

What/who, when and where |

At EverBank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team:

▪ Florida Country Superfest, 5:30 p.m. June 13-14 with Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban, Cole Swindell, David Nail, and Danielle Bradbery on June 13; and Kenny Chesney, Brantley Gilbert, Tyler Farr, Colt Ford, and The Swon Brothers on June 14.

▪ “Monster Jam,” 7 p.m. Feb. 20.

In Veterans Memorial Arena, 300 A. Philip Randolph Blvd. (904-630-3900):

▪ Shania Twain, 7:30 p.m. July 15.

▪ Tim McGraw, with Billy Currington and Chase Bryant, 7 p.m. Aug. 20.

▪ Nickelback, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1

▪ Chris Tomlin, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16.

▪ Def Leppard, with Foreigner, and Night Ranger, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17.

Tickets | 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com

More information | jaxevents.com

Contact STEVE PALISIN at 444-1764.

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