Show me someone who grew up in the 80’s and wasn’t a fan of NIGHT RANGER’S catchy, infectious, good time anthems, and I’ll show you someone without a soul. From the very first time I saw the video for “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” as a kid I was a fan of this band, and I still am today some thirty-odd years later. In 2014 the boys put out High Road, which was chock full o’ feel good music once again, leaving me wondering how they could still do it. Now, a scant two years later the band has seen fit to finally give us a double live album and DVD fittingly titled 35 Years and a Night In Chicago (out now, Frontiers Music) When news of this broke, understandably I flipped. Well now it’s all mine…
The thing about NIGHT RANGER live is that they’re just so much FUN!! Everyone on that stage looks like they’re having a blast and that feel totally shines through across these two discs. Having seen them in Dallas two years ago, all I could do was think about that night as I listened to many of these tunes. All the requisite classics like “Sing Me Away”, “Four In the Morning”, “Rumors In the Air” and more are present and you’ll want nothing more than to sing along with each and every one of them. Newer songs like “Growing Up In California” and “High Road” (two favorites!) fit perfectly alongside the older tracks and remind us these guys still have plenty left in the tank.
One of the highlights is definitely “Secret of My Success,” a song I was lukewarm on back in the day, but live it just crackles with a completely different energy, and the rendition of “Eddie’s Comin’ Out Tonight” featured here rocks your face off. And who doesn’t love “Sentimental Street”, right? Well, you’ll love it here for sure! Disc two opens with the beautiful “Goodbye” from 1985’s Seven Wishes before the band gives us a taste of new music with the as-yet-unreleased “Day and Night” from the forthcoming studio album. It’s a good one, believe me. “When You Close Your Eyes” almost eclipses its original counterpart, and then my all-time favoritest jam “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” brings the house crashing down before the encores.
Coming back out, the guys hit the Chicago crowd with “Penny”, and then an absolutely incredible “Sister Christian”. Kelly Keagy once again nails it as he did that night in Dallas, something that still makes me shake my head in disbelief. Closing the evening is “(You Can Still) Rock In America,’ a song that always has and always will get me all fired up every time I hear it, and the live rendition surely doesn’t disappoint. All in all Jack Blades, Eric Levy, Brad Gillis, Keri Kelli, and the aforementioned Mr. Keagy have given us a great souvenir of what a NIGHT RANGER concert sounds, looks, and FEELS like. It may have taken 35 years for them to do so, but I’m sure as hell glad they did it. Now go get your copy today and rock out!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Secret of My Success”, “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”, “Sister Christian”, “Growing Up In California”, “Four In the Morning”, “When You Close Your Eyes”, “High Road”, “(You Can Still) Rock In America”