Night Ranger @ City National Grove – 02/01/2020
YES . . . they can Still Rock in America and they Rock harder and with more passion than any band from their era! Night Ranger performed to a capacity crowd at City National Grove on Saturday night February 1 with no opening act – an evening with Night Ranger as they played their first two albums in their entirety – Dawn Patrol and Midnight Madness with a few other hits thrown in.
At 8:15 the lights went down and although there were seats setup on this night at The Grove – most did not stay seated for long as the band hit the stage and took the crowd through a ROCKIN journey of their first album Dawn Patrol – all songs in order as on the album. “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” was the perfect song to kick off what was to be a memorable night of rock n roll. The first thing you notice when you see Night Ranger live aside from how great they sound is how much fun these guys are having onstage together. Lots of smiles, band interactions and choreographed stage moves coupled with the music results in the ultimate performance.
Dawn Patrol is am underrated album that truly kicks ass from start to finish. Vocalist/bassist Jack Blades introduced most tracks with a little story with the most interesting being having already pressed 10,000 copies of Dawn Patrol with the band name Ranger then realizing that name was already taken and adding a sticker to the album so the band name read Night Ranger – then blasting into the song of the same name with a killer drum solo by co-vocalist and drummer Kelly Keagy then having the entire band join in on pounding the drums and symbols – again another example of these guys having genuine fun onstage.
After the Dawn Patrol album finished – the band took to the stools brought out onstage and played an acoustic version of The Damn Yankees “High Enough” then “Four in the Morning” off the 7 Wishes album. With the acoustic songs out of the way, the band began to take The Grove through Midnight Madness, although for this album they played all songs but out of order, starting with “Touch of Madness”. It goes without saying how great of a guitar player Brad Gillis is but seeing and hearing him play live just takes it to another level – one of the best guitarists to come out of the eighties!
Somewhat of a hometown show for guitarist Kerri Kelli (originally from Orange County) he has quite a pedigree himself having played with Alice Cooper and Slash just to name a few, Kelli and Gillis shredded up the stage all night long trading riffs. The night ended with two of Night Ranger’s biggest hits, first the smash hit “Sister Christian” with Keagy on vocals then the hard rockin “(You Can Still) Rock in America” – WOW, just a really incredible performance that has the band sounding absolutely fantastic.
Fittingly the encore was the song “Goodbye” off 7 Wishes and the two hour rock n roll extravaganza was over. Night Ranger remains one of the premier live acts from the 80’s era and their music stands the test of time and rocks as hard today as it did 35 yrs ago. Next up Night Ranger will be touring the summer of 2020 with Sammy Hagar and Whitesnake which will be a 1-2-3 punch of kick-ass rock n roll.
Night Ranger Set-List:
Don’t Tell Me You Love Me | Sing Me Away | At Night She Sleeps | Call My Name | Eddie’s Comin’ Out Tonight | Can’t Find Me a Thrill | Young Girl in Love | Play Rough | Penny | Night Ranger (with drum solo which then entire band on drums)
Acoustic Set: High Enough (Damn Yankees cover) | Four in the Morning:
Touch of Madness | Rumours in the Air | Chippin’ Away | Let Him Run | Passion Play | Why Does Love Have to Change | When You Close Your Eyes | Sister Christian | (You Can Still) Rock in America