Now I have listened to lots and lots of live albums and I do have my personal favorites. This just became one of them. On Friday December 2nd, Night Ranger comes out with their new live release 35 Years And A Night In Chicago and simply put, it is awesome. Recorded in May of this year at the House of Blues in the Windy City, Night Ranger, one of THE best live bands to see out there, have outdone themselves. “Touch of Madness” off of 1983’s Midnight Madness leads the way, perfect for an opening song. It still holds its own some 33 years later. Guitarist Brad Gillis just flat out shreds, and this is just the first song; there are 16 more to go. Dawn Patrol, their first album, is well represented here, as it should be, with five songs performed including “Sing Me Away,””Don’t Tell Me You Love Me,” and “Night Ranger.” Now, in my opinion, most bands that put out live albums never sound the way they sound on the albums. This has NEVER been the case for Night Ranger. I decided to play 1990’s Live In Japan right after listening to the new disc to prove a point to myself. It was hard to tell the difference between the two, musically. Jack Blades and Kelly Keagy sounded exactly the same. Let’s not forget about newer songs “High Road” and “Growing Up In California” off of the last two Night Ranger albums. They are becoming new classic songs if I say so myself. Veteran guitarist Keri Kelli (ex-Alice Cooper/Pretty Boy Floyd), who has filled in since Joel Hoekstra left for Whitesnake in 2014, makes his recording debut with Night Ranger. The band is currently working on a new studio album to be released in 2017, and performing three more times this year before embarking on the Monsters Of Rock Cruise in 2017. If you were worrying that “Sister Christian” and “Rock In America” weren’t going to be included on the album, don’t be; they are the last two encore songs. Look for the double disc out on Frontiers Records, and I can not stress enough: go and see this band live, be it your first or 20th time. They truly are one of THE best live bands out there today.
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