Local Wire

Kansas @ Celebrity Theatre

Kansas' 1977 hit "Dust in the Wind" is a pretty serious song. Penned by guitarist Kerry Livgren, it's straight out of the book of Ecclesiastes, a mournful, solemn existential statement that nothing lasts, no one lives forever, and at the end of the day, we aren't much more than dirt. So why does the song always crack me up? Credit Hollywood. The song appeared in the funniest scene in Old School, was referenced in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, and has played during The Simpsons, Party Down, and Freaks and Geeks. The song's heavy-handed lyricism lends itself well to over-the-top portrayals of sadness. It's not the only Kansas tune to be co-opted in the funny pictures; the band's other big hit, "Carry On My Wayward Son" popped up in Anchorman and on South Park. What "Dust " does for despair, "Carry On" does for epicness, with quite possibly the world's greatest air-guitar-ready riff. The band presumably has plenty more prog-tastic tunes ready for their upcoming gig at Celebrity, but there's no shame in admitting you're really just there for the hits. Especially when the hits are so hilariously awesome.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.