Thursday, August 13, 2009

You Can Still Rock in America- Oh wait, they didn't play that

Another day, another slew of meetings. Little sleep and lots of coffee. And I think I forgot to apply deodorant this morning. This could get bad.

I want to talk about the Night Ranger concert last night but that will have to wait until later today. I am already late for the meeting.

Ok, I have some time now. Where was I?

The show last night was pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. They were playing the secondary stage, a mini amphitheater. I liked it. It had the feeling of a band playing a club. It lends to a more intimate atmosphere and lets you interact with the band more. Then again we were in the back by the bar area so watching the band's every move wasn't a priority.

They started on time. The intro music was interesting. I liked the concept. They had classic guitar riffs mixed in with their own. A couple second of Hendrix followed by Brad Gillis followed by Jimmy Page then another Night Ranger riff. Clever.

At the start they didn't sound right. The mix was off and the instruments weren't loud enough. Thankfully they were able to correct the flaw right away and you didn't notice anything wrong the rest of the show. I was happy that they started the night off with This Boy Need to Rock, a nice guitar driven anthem that makes sense as an opener. Midway through the song they segued into playing Deep Purple's Highway Star, something that they have done in the past. It had me wondering if they were going to play AC/DC's Highway to Hell as well.

The next pleasant surprise was them actually playing a song off the lastest album, You're Gonna Hear From Me. It was a tune that jumped off with a nice crunching guitar riff. Great to hear it live.

So I was happy and thinking this is what this band is about. Playing songs that people know, having fun on stage, and letting the guitars do the talking. That was one thing I missed seeing. As I mentioned, we were in the back and didn't have the best view. One of the things that makes a Night Ranger show fun is the way the guitarists play off each other. Most people probably do not realize when they hear a song that they trade riffs within the song. Watching them do it live is when you pick up on it. That alone would be a reason to get up front.

As they continue doing the show Jack Blades, frontman and bassist does his usual schtick about the "Na Na" songs. It was his way to plug some shows they are doing with Journey next month. They continue on and soon play Goodbye, one of my favorites. They usually will start this unplugged and explode with electric at the end. Last night they didn't go acoustic but played the electric guitars in a very subdued manner that could have tricked you into believing they weren't plugged in. Once again they explode into great volume at the end as they finish it up. Great stuff! I am curious to hear them mention they hadn't intended to play this song. Really? How could they not?

A little Damn Yankees, Don't Tell Me You Love Me and they are off stage waiting to do an encore. Works for me. They start up with Sister Christian and I do what I normally do. Head to the pisser. Not my favorite song. I rather empty my bladder and catch Rock in America without crossing my legs. I get back to hear the end of SC, hear some thank yous and suddenly the lights come up. What? The show is over? No way. They always end up with Rock in America. Hey! Put the mic stands back! They can't be done, can they?

Disappointment. A pretty good show ended without playing a song people expect to hear. My friends were just about in shock with me that they didn't play Rock in America. I wasn't going to let it get me down. I got to see a band I still love play once again. Hmm...they are in Oshkosh tonight. I wonder if they will play Rock in America up there...

Full set list:
This Boy Need to Rock- Highway Star
Sing Me Away
You're Gonna Hear From Me
Rumors in the Air
Touch of Madness
Secret of My Success
Sentimental Street
Eddies Comin Out Tonight
Four in the Morning
When You Close Your Eyes
Coming of Age
Don't Tell Me You Love me
encore Sister Christian

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