Night Ranger in Orlando, FL on February 21st, 2004
By Kat

A radio station here in Orlando regularly brings in classic rock acts for free concerts downtown. Saturday, February 21st was Night Ranger's turn. I had never seen Night Ranger in concert before, and after this concert, I was sorry I hadn't, it was a great show. They played all their biggest hits and even some from Jack Blades' other classic rock band, Damn Yankees.

The stage set-up is a little different than with most bands, the drums are set to the side and up front for Kelly Keagy since he shares lead vocals with bassist Jack Blades. Jack is the perfect "cheerleader", running from one end of the stage to the other during the show, spurring the audience to participate, telling great stories (and a few tall tales). The dual guitar attack from Brad Gillis and Jeff Watson is a lost art, rarely seen outside of a classic rock concert. In addition to those original members there was Mike Lardie (from Great White) on keys.

From the very start, they rolled out hit after hit, "Rumours in the Air", "Sing Me Away", and "Eddie's Comin' Out Tonight" . They also rocked out the title song to the Michael J. Fox movie, "The Secret of My Success". In honor of Mike touring with the band, Jack decided they should play Great White's big hit, "Once Bitten", or as much of it that Jack remembered the words to (with pantomime prompting from Mike).

Near the mid-point of the show, things changed up a bit. Kelly came out from behind the drums during most of the song "Sentimental Street". The unattended drum kit lured Brad to play, much to the amusement of the rest of the band. Jeff took the opportunity to play bits of "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Sweet Home Alabama" on guitar. This being Florida, anyone playing Lynyrd Skynyrd is ALWAYS a crowd pleaser. Jack and Brad switched to acoustic guitars to play the Damn Yankee's big hit, "High Enough". Then it was back to more dual guitars with Jeff and Brad playing more Night Ranger hits, "Goodbye", "Four in the Morning", and "When You Close Your Eyes". The last song of the regular set, "Don't Tell Me You Love Me", I swear had a bit of "Highway Star" (Deep Purple) added to the middle of it.

For the encore they saved their two biggest hits, "Sister Christian", and "You Can Still Rock In America", which closed the show on a high note. The enthusiasm and energy was non-stop, leaving everyone in total awe of their performance.

From Classic Rock Revisited vith permission. Thanks alot Kat!