Night Ranger Live In Dundalk, MD

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Night Ranger

Live In Dundalk, MD

June 28th, 2014

Photos by Camus
Article by SumacSin

 

Night Ranger is on the road touring with dates into 2015 following their newly released recording “HIGH ROAD”.  The band, Jack Blades (bass guitar, vocals), Kelly Keagy (drums, vocals), Brad Gillis (lead and rhythm guitars), Joel Hoekstra (lead and rhythm guitars) and Eric Levy (keyboards), is backing up the album with a tour that will take them all over the U.S followed by a trip to Japan in October for shows in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.  Seems they’re big in Japan.  Give HIGH ROAD a listen.  The songs are very strong collection that  harkens back to where they came from – straight rock & roll.

At the Dundalk Heritage Festival June 28, 2014, Night Ranger brought their A-game.  I know what you’re thinking…another has-been band trying to trade on their past success at some summer fair.  Couldn’t be further from the truth.  This annual event on expansive City property outside Baltimore, MD is well-known for bringing relevant national acts to thousands of fans every year.  This commitment is evident by the incredible stage, lighting and sound package.  The equipment rivals any outdoor operation I have ever seen.  The massive stage was faced by double 18 stacks that ran the length at crowd level.  Dual front and rear lighting arches allowed for ample coverage.  Night Ranger added a 4 foot catwalk riser along the back of the stage for Jack and the boys to play guitar and perform to a mixed crowd of all ages on a beautiful summer night.

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Night Ranger came on stage energetic and enthusiastic, opening with “Midnight Madness”, followed by “Sing Me Away” and “Coming of Age” with the intensity of a much younger band.  Their sound was clean, harmonies spot on and they seemed genuinely happy to be out playing together.  It felt (and sounded) like the 80’s all over again!  A feel-good night, the band playing everything the crowd came to hear.

Jack Blades charmed and engaged the audience from the very beginning, while Joel Hoekstra gets my vote for one of the happiest guys in rock.  Smiling broadly and swingin’ his trademark long hair, he ran around stage the entire time with his kick-ass Goldtop Les Paul.

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Kelly Keagy,  touted by Jack as being of the 5 greatest drummers/singers in Rock (the others being Don Henley, Ringo Starr, Phil Collins and Dave Grohl),  led into Sentimental Street on key, sounding strong.

Next it was Brad’s turn.  Jack reminded us of Brad’s stint with Ozzy after Randy Rhoads passed away as Brad broke into a flawless rendition of “Crazy Train”…yeah!  You can always count on Brad to be hard-rockin’  and solid.

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Jack chided the crowd singing to “High Road”, “Eddie”, “High Enough” and “4 a.m.”.  Not satisfied with audience participation he segued into “Na Na Hey Hey”, “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” and “Hey Jude”, telling everyone that “if you do it right, you will have no voice tomorrow”.

As the evening was coming to a close, they belted out “When You Close Your Eyes” and “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”, the last songs before their encore, sounding every bit as good (even better?) than years’ past.  Loud and tight, they all played together like a fresh new band out on their 1st tour.  Jack danced and high-kicked all over the stage, while Joel ran down into the pit to get closer to the audience.  Brad was having a great time, Eric cracked a smile and Kelly had a hard time staying behind his kit.

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The band came back on for an encore of “Sister Christian” and “Rock in America”.  Joel and Brad reappeared playing awesome Atomic guitars emblazoned in red, white and blue stars and stripes.

32 years later, still rockin’, still recording great new material…Night Ranger is worth the trip.

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