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!
Hole in the Sun is the first new album from Night Ranger in nine years. On Hole in the Sun, the band has returned to their hard rocking roots.
The lineup of Night Ranger has changed since this album was released. Michael Lardie has returned to Great White, and was replaced by Christian Matthew Cullen. Jeff Watson was replaced with Joel Hoekstra.
I must admit that I had low expectations for this disc. I like Night Ranger, but the last couple of releases were just on the o.k. side for me. Hole In the Sun is easily the best record they have done in a long time.
Jack Blades and Kelly Keagy trade off on the lead vocals on this disc. Both singers do a pretty fine job, especially Jack Blades who sings backup to Keagy’s tracks.
Before this disc was released, Jeff Watson was fire by Night Ranger. I do not know the reasons why, other than some squabling over the direction of this album. Judging from the sounds on Hole In the Sun, it couldn’t have been due to his playing ability. The guitar work of Watson and Gillis is superb on this disc.
Some of the songs on Hole in the Sun are of the hard rock variety, and some fall more into the melodic rock/aor vein. The mix of songs on Hole In the Sun is pretty good, which gives the album a very balanced feel to it. Their really isn’t a bad song on this disc.
The first three tracks are amongst the heavier cuts on the album. You’re Gonna Hear From Me is one seriously rocking tune, and quite possibly one of Night Ranger’s best songs ever.
My favorite cuts are Tell Your Vision, You’re Gonna Hear From Me, What Happened, and Wrap It Up.
Europe has had their hands on this disc since 2007 (although it has a different cover). I am not sure why it took so long for Night Ranger to secure a U.S. deal, but I am glad they did. If you have ever considered yourself a Night Ranger fan, you need to check out Hole in the Sun. This may not be their best record, but it is a very solid effort, and worth checking out.
Rating:Out of 10
1. Tell Your Vision
2. Drama Queen
3. You’re Gonna Hear From Me
4. Whatever Happened
5. There Is Life
7. Hole In The Sun
8. Fool In Me
9. White Knuckle Ride
10. Revelation 4AM
11. Wrap It Up
13. Don’t Tell Me You Love Me [Acoustic Version]
14. Sister Christian [Acoustic Version]
Night Ranger is:
Jack Blades – Bass and LeadVocals
Brad Gillis – Guitars and Backing Vocals
Jeff Watson – Guitars and Backing Vocals
Kelly Keagy – Drums and Lead Vocals
Michael Lardie – Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Frontiers Records is pleased to announce the European release of NIGHT RANGER latest double live album “Rockin’ Shibuya 2007” on September 19th 2008.
Night Ranger is a band that left an indelible mark with a string of best-selling albums that sold more than 16 million copies worldwide. The band’s popularity was fuelled by an impressive string of instantly recognizable hit singles and signature album tracks, including “Sister Christian”, “(You Can Still) Rock In America”, “When You Close Your Eyes”, “Sentimental Street”, “Goodbye” and “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”. Harnessing the frenetic drive of heavy metal to hook-laden rock songs, throwing in a stunning twin lead guitar team and melodic radio-friendly power ballads, Night Ranger inspired new descriptive phrases such as “melodic metal” and “metal power pop”.
Following a seven-year absence, Night Ranger reunited in 1996 for a tour of Japan and a summer US tour. Fans proved that they still loved the music and the band. Also that year, the band released “Neverland”, and the following year, “Seven”, studio albums that set the standard for the 80s rock revival. Nearly every summer since, Night Ranger has toured across the country, sharing stages with such acts as REO Speedwagon, Styx, Journey, Bad Company, Pat Benatar, Loverboy, Poison, Cinderella, Boston, Heart, Sammy Hagar, Cheap Trick and Kansas.
2007 proved to be another busy year for Night Ranger with a successful new studio album, “Hole In The Sun” released in Europe in April 2007. The band also embarked on a new Japan tour with Reb Beach filling in for long-time member Jeff Watson on guitar. The result is this exciting brand new Live album release which includes audio from the band’s June 2007 show at the C.C. Lemon Hall in Shibuya, Tokyo on two CDs. The tracklisting includes all the classic hits from the band plus a handful of songs taken from the newest album “Hole In The Sun” and a driving rendition of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” incorporated in the concert opener “This Boy Needs To Rock”.
Full tracklisting includes:
Cd1: This Boy Needs To Rock / Highway Star; Tell Your Vision; Sing Me Away; Touch Of Madness; Drama Queen; Rumours In The Air; Seven Wishes; The Secret of My Success; There Is Life; Eddie’s Comin’ Out Tonight.
Cd2: Sentimental Street; Forever All Over Again; Goodbye; Whatever Happened; Four In The Morning; When You Close Your Eyes; Don’t Tell Me You Love Me; Sister Christian; You’re Gonna Hear From Me; (You Can Still) Rock In America.
The bright lights and rock ‘n’ roll nights never end for Night Ranger. You can still Rock in America!