The concert at Sunset Station Casino, September 26, 1998!

Well, I'm back from a GREAT weekend in Vegas! Sorry I didn't meet up with you Sharon and Mary... I did see *one* other Seven cover being held up during SOTT! [Was that you guys over in front of Jeff about 3 or 4 rows back?] What an *amazing* show we saw!!!

I drove to Las Vegas from Salt Lake City friday afternoon and arrived just in time to see APRIL WINE play in concert that night! [*Bonus* - I only found out that they were playing 2 days beforehand!] Anyhow, since this is a NR list I'll refrain from telling any juicy details about that one...! [bg]

Night Ranger put on one of the very best concerts I have ever seen! And I've seen a few in my time!! I had only seen the Mojo lineup in the past, so technically this was my first time to see the band play live!

I was standing right in front of Brad for the whole show, so I had an excellent view of his fingerwork. I'm glad I was where I was because I had a close up view of Kelly and Jack as well. Throughout the night, Jeff would occasionally come over and solo with Brad. You really can't describe the experience of seeing these two guitarists play together. (...I was thinking afterwards, since everyone is now splitting to work on solo projects... how cool would it be if Brad and Jeff did an album together - Watson/Gillis!?) You really need to see them play live to fully appreciate their incredibe playing! Brad is particularly fun to watch.

They opened with an extended sound effects intro to New York Time and continued to crank out great song after great song. It was outdoors, so the sound come through nice and clear. The set list was pretty much the same as has been reported in previous concert reports, with the exception of Neverland. :-( I was dissapointed that they dropped that from the setlist. It was fun to sing along with the newer material though, and have the people around me staring blankly as if to say "hey, how do you know this tune?" hehe

Jack was in good form, and I'm happy to report that there were no troubles with his "bass" at this event! Both his and Kelly's singing sounded perfect. The crowd was great and I was actually surprised at how many people were there for it. I'm guessing that there were around 1500 people...? (Correct me if I'm wrong Sharon and Mary [g])

I was lucky to get a couple of autographs after the show from Jeff and Brad on my Seven cover. They appeared to be anxious to get out of there, so I didn't get to talk to them much. Just handshakes and thank-yous. I saw Jack signing for some of the privileged backstage pass holders but he didn't come over to the security fence where Jeff and Brad had been. Oh well, at least I got to meet two of my favorite guitarists! My Seven cover looks great now!!

Let me throw in a Night Ranger related tidbit about the April Wine concert. After the April Wine show we hung out with 3 of the members of the band and talked with them for a little over an hour. Anyway, apparently Brad Gillis is an April Wine fan *too*, 'cause Brian Greenway said Brad climbed aboard the AW tour bus to visit with them on friday evening before the AW show! They were flattered that he made the effort to see them...

Okay, on to the rest of the news. I have to say that watching Brad and Jeff play the intro to Rumors In The Air *three* feet in front of my face was a real high point of the night for me! I still can't play it right! (Who has the Brad Gillis video??)

Every note in every song sounded dead on to me. The background vocals were perfect, Jack's bass playing was perfect, Kelly's drumming was amazing as usual, and his singing was unbelievable. I especially remember getting goosebumps when he started singing Sentimental Street! Fitz did an extended piano intro which was really cool and then Kelly started singing from a standing position at his drums. I was really impressed with Jeff and Brad's backgrounds. There were a couple of times that it was just them singing alone and it sounded *very* full.

I remember one humorous point when Jack was standing up on the drum riser leaning forward with his backside to center stage, and Brad came past him and gave him a quick "butt-tickle"!! LOL! It was pretty funny and it happened so fast that I'm not sure how many people saw it! hehe I think Jack was a little surprised by the look on his face!! LOL!

Alright, for the ladies, here's what the guys were wearing: [bg] Fitz was wearing a Chicago Bulls sweatshirt and a Van Halen cap. Jack introduced him at one point and made the speech about Fitz being the "man behind the curtain" playing keys for Van Halen for a few years. Jack was wearing a shiny silver shirt and black jeans with black Doc Martens. Jeff was sporting the vest- with-no-shirt look. I thought it was Kevin Sorbo [sp?] for a minute! [jk!] He's a pretty buff guy. Brad went with the basic black jeans and black T- shirt look. I can't remember what Kelly was wearing except that he had black biker shorts on.

The show went for about and hour and a half but seemed WAY too short. I wish they would've thrown in Eddie's Comin' Out or something else like that. Goodbye sounded *so* great! That's on of my very favorite NR tunes. Kelly was of course out in front for that one until he came in later with the drums. On When You Close Your Eyes, Jack yelled the "...Jack Daniels" line again too. They played Coming Of Age after Jack said "I'm feeling like a Damn Yankee right now! How about you?" The crowd loved it but I'm not sure if they loved it any more than Rock in America or Don't Tell Me You Love Me, the latter getting major crowd participation in the choruses!

Another funny story: I noticed something bumpy under my feet in the grass. I looked down and noticed it was someones camera! I picked it up and asked the girl next to me if it was hers. It wasn't, and I couldn't find an owner anywhere near me. After a while I thought I'd better snap a few shots of the band since I had a camera in my hands at this point! [g] When I did, some guy came up from behind me and said "Dude, you found my camera! - I love you man!" He then proceeded to give me a big hug and said "Thanks for being honest! You're THE MAN!" LOL!! I thought that was pretty amusing! [g] I kept getting tapped on the shoulder *all* night, and I'd turn around to see this same guy giving me the thumbs up sign! I guess he really likes his camera or something.

The only down side to the whole night, was the drunk to my left that kept pushing me into the girl in front of me! She kept turning around and giving me dirty looks! LOL I finally dug my elbow into the drunk's ribs and after a while he mellowed out! hehe (I'm thinking the next day he found bruises!) [bg]

That's all folks!

- Gerald

Thanks for the great review, Gerald!