To my ears, and eyes, Night Ranger was the greatest surprise out of all of the bands at the M3 Rock Festival. From the opening moments of Night Ranger’s set where Jack Blades, Brad Gillis and Joel Hoekstra stood ready for attack over the the band’s stack of EVH Amps, I knew that this was going to be a rockin’ show. I had no idea that Night Ranger would be this good! I don’t know if being televised on HDNET had anything to do with it or not, but Night Ranger definitely brought their “A” game to the M3 Rock Festival.
Night Ranger’s set was awesome, and to me, they were easily one of the best bands on either day of the M3 Rock Festival. By the time Night Ranger finished their set which included the songs “Lay It On Me”, “Sing Me Away”, “Rumors in the Air”, Growin’ Up in California”, “Secret of My Success”, “Touch of Madness”, “Sentimental Street”, “Eddie’s Coming Out Tonight”, “High Enough”(Damn Yankees), “Four in the Morning”, “When You Close Your Eyes”, “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”, and after a brief intermission, an encore with the songs “Sister Christian” and “(You Can Still) Rock in America”. I haven’t listened to Midnight Madness for a while, so getting to hear “Touch of Madness” live was a real treat!
Brad Gillis was an absolute monster on guitar. He is a tremendously under rated player that deserves more respect. I love how Kelly Keagy came off of the drum kit to sing a couple of songs. Jack Blades is a fantastic front man with great energy, and a voice that is absolutely perfect! Kelly Keagy still sounds great too. Joel Hoekstra is a lot of fun to watch. He looked like he was having a great time!
At the end of the set, I found myself upset and embarrassed that I had never seen Night Ranger live before. After their M3 performance, I will gladly drive out of my way to see Night Ranger play. I hope they get a chance to return to M3. They easily could have been the headliner Friday night. They put on an excellent show, and I won’t ever forget it!