Now, I’ve said this before a long time ago and I am going to say it yet again: Night Ranger, without a doubt, is the best live band touring today. I know that’s saying a lot, but I only tell the truth. This group not only sounds like 1983 still, but they are having fun doing it. Without fun, live playing does not exist. 35 plus years of playing in front of fans is more than enough proof to back up my words.
If you have never been to the Annapolis, MD Rams Head Live, let me describe it to you. Tables and chairs, dinner theater atmosphere, a very small stage in an intimate setting, and ambiance like no other. Add that together with an acoustic Night Ranger and you have perfection. “When You Close Your Eyes” led the evening with Jack Blades, Brad Gillis, and Keri Kelli all sitting on stools. Kelly Keagy was off to the right with his drum set and keyboardist Eric Levy was to the right of that. It was like they were in my living room playing. Blades was incredible. Gillis was incredible. You get the picture here.
“Sing Me Away” off of Dawn Patrol was next. Then, it was Keagy’s turn. It was turning out to be a great show in just two songs. After “Four in the Morning,” they took a little break and started telling stories about their past and introduced new guitarist Kelli, replacement of Joel Hoekstra who departed for Whitesnake. Blades started saying that Kelli came from Alice Cooper‘s band and in an instant they started playing “I’m Eighteen” which wasn’t on the set list. Nice. “Coming of Age” came after from Blades’ other band Damn Yankees. Gillis joked he didn’t know how to play that song. After a few more songs, Blades told the audience his mother passed ten days prior to the show and that he didn’t want to stop the tour. Keagy took the lead on the next song, “Goodbye,” off of 7 Wishes, and dedicated it to Blades’ mother, right after the song the band said her license plate read “ROCKMOM.”
“High Enough,” “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me,” “Sister Christian,” and “(You Can Still) Rock in America” were all played and that ended the evening of this great show. Night Ranger just put out another great live album called 35 Years And A Night In Chicago. I highly recommend getting it. They never disappoint.