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Night Ranger

Venue: BB King Blues Club, Manhattan, New York
Date: 8/17/09
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

Night Ranger are out celebrating 25 years of making hard rock music, American style, playing songs from their most successful albums "Dawn Patrol" from 1982, 1983’s "Midnight Madness", Seven Wishes (1985), and "Big Life" which featured the single to the Michael J. Fox film The Secret of My Success. "Hole In The Sun", their first album in a decade and eighth studio album, was released in July of 08. Since then, they have toured the world, making stops that included Guatanamo Bay, Cuba, to play for the troops, which the band described as a life-changing experience.

Formed in the early 80’s, Night Ranger built a career on writing instantly recognizable tunes, with big choruses, melodic verses, and twin blazing guitars. Just by listening to the first few notes to ballad ‘Sister Christian’, ‘Don’t Tell Me You Love Me’, ‘When You Close Your Eyes’, ‘Four in the Morning’, and ‘(You Can Still) Rock In America’, one can instantly recognize the melody/chorus even if your not a hard rock listener. Night Ranger’s music was on the radio and MTV that much.

Original members Jack Blades (bass/vocals), Brad Gillis (guitars/vocals), and Kelly Keagy (drums/vocals) are joined by guitarist Joel Hoekstra (who is also the current guitarist for Broadway’s Rock of Ages), and keyboardist Christian Cullen.

Even though this was a seated event (why????this is a hard rockin band), the boys had enough energy to electrify an arena audience. Joel works so well with Brad you’d think he has been in the band since the beginning and they came together as one so well for ‘Don’t Tell Me You Love Me’ and ‘Rock in America’ in both their individual solos and harmonies. Jack with his bouncy energy told several stories recalling all those classic 80s movies many of their songs were featured in (‘Sister Christian’ was also recently in the remake of Friday the 13th), and as part of the reminiscing segment before the ballad ‘Goodbye’, Jack looked to his band members finding out what everyone’s first concert was. With Joel’s response being Iron Maiden the headbangers is the crowd raised the horns as did the band in celebration. And as an added bonus during their brief acoustic segment they played ‘High Enough’ from Damn Yankees, Jack Blades other band which features the talents of Ted Nugent and Tommy Shaw from Styx.

Night Ranger will continue on the road throughout October and I hope they return soon and play a bigger venue WITHOUT SEATS because this is a heavy rock band!


This Boy Needs To Rock
Sing Me Away
Gonna Hear From Me
Rumours In The Air
Secret Of My Success
Sentimental Street
Eddies Coming Out Tonight
LA No Name - acoustic
High Enough (Damn Yankees)
Four In The Morning
When You Close Your Eyes
Don’t Tell Me You Love Me
Sister Christian - Encore
(You Can Still) Rock In America

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