Band: Night Ranger

Venue: 02 Academy, Islington

Date: 12 March 2015


On 12/03/15, a Thursday evening in London, Night Ranger hit town with their gig at the O2 Academy Islington and played to what seemed to be a nearly sold out show. No wonder, given that they only covered two shows in the UK this time, one of them being the HRH AOR festival. 

According to vocalist Jack Blades, they thus kept a promise, they made in the 80's when playing Wembley: To come to the UK every year. 

Arriving at a time most support acts would have already started playing, I was initially surprised to enter what seemed like a half full venue at the time. A few dedicated fans had already secured top spots at the front and were anxiously awaiting Night Ranger to enter the stage. The band started a bit later than initially announced which might have been due to the Meet & Greet they had arranged while the venue was filling up. By the time the band went on stage, the venue was full of people. 

There were no supporting acts so that fans could get a longer set of Night Ranger songs that went up until curfew at 11pm covering old classics and as well as tunes from their new record “High Road”. In between songs, Jack Blades told different anecdotes, one of them explaining that the album title meant something along the lines of “If you take the high road, everything’s gonna be smooth”. 

Surprisingly, Night Ranger also did covers of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” right after guitarist Brad Gillis explained how he auditioned to participate in Ozzy’s band. Basically he got a call from Sharon Osbourne who heard of him and was asked to audition which he didn’t believe at first. 

Another cover was Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” to introduce their fairly new guitarist Keri Kelli who had played with Alice Cooper and Slash before he joined Night Ranger. 

Although the gig got the crowd pumped and all excited to sing along, there were a few technical difficulties with the keyboard which caused a few short breaks. During one song, they had to stop shortly but just a few seconds later Kelly Keagy hit the drums again and continued singing perfectly which impressed the crowd greatly and everyone else followed. 

The setlist of the night covered a long list of tracks and offered a great night to everyone who decided to get some Night Ranger goodness that evening. 

Setlist: Touch of Madness, 7 Wishes, Growing Up in CA., Sing Me Away, 4AM, Rumours, St. Barths, Coming of Age, Knock Knock, Sentimental Street, Night Ranger, Secret of My Success, School’s Out / Crazy Train (Alice Cooper / Ozzy cover), High Road, That Man Don’t Live Here, Eddie, High Enough, Boys of Summer, Goodbye, Lay It On Me, When U Close Your Eyes, Don’t Tell Me You Love Me, Penny, Sister Christian, Rock In America.

Review by: Anna Zurek




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