Night ranger – Islington academy, London – 12th March 2015

Tonight’s gig was billed as An evening with Night Ranger, and is the first time they’ve been to the UK to do more than one show – as well as tonight’s gig they are also appearing at the HRH United festival in Pwllheli at the weekend.  Tonight’s gig has no support act, just a long set from Night Ranger – who tonight end up playing over two hours.

As the band don’t play the UK very often, it’s no surprise to find that a lot of the audience have travelled from around the UK for this show – and in fact some fans had travelled from other parts of Europe too.  The venue was packed out before the band came on stage – it really was jammed solid with people, and as a result got pretty warm, but everyone was having a great time tonight.

What can I say – these guys put on a stunningly good performance and made it look easy. The band showed their years of experience by putting on a show that sounded fantastic, while not only making it look easy, but also looked like they were having a great time onstage.  It’s the sort of show you only get from a band that tours a lot and has that experience.
When it comes to the songs, they’ve got a strong back catalogue to choose from, and tonight they play a mix of old and new with songs from the latest album sitting alongside old songs they rarely play live making it a real treat for the fans.

When it came time to introduce Keri Kelli, it wasn’t just a case of saying “on lead guitar….”, instead they talked about the fact he’d played with Alice Cooper for several years, before launching into a great cover of “School’s out”.
Similarly when Brad Gillis was introduced, he talked about how he came to join Ozzy Osbourne’s band after the death of Randy Rhoads, before the band did a cover of “Crazy train”.  We also got some covers from one of Jack Blades other bands – Damn Yankees – tonight Night Ranger covered “Coming of age” and “High enough”.  It was great to hear the stories and a bit about the band members as well as some excellent covers that I hadn’t expected to hear tonight – it all helped to make this a really special gig.

Despite dropping a few songs from the setlist, the band still played for well over two hours, and over-ran the venue curfew time.  This really was a fantastic show – let’s hope Night Ranger don’t leave it so long before returning to the UK.

Setlist

Touch of madness
Seven wishes
Growin’ up in California
Sing me away
School’s out
Four in the morning
Coming of age
St Bartholemew
Sentimental street
Night ranger
Crazy train
High road
Don’t live here anymore
Eddie’s coming out tonight
High enough
Boys of summer
Goodbye
When you close your eyes
Don’t tell me you love me
Sister Christian
(You can still) Rock in America

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About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.
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