July 9, 2008
By David Huff
Night Ranger - Rocklahoma 2008 - July 9-13
Commemorating 25 Years
San Francisco-based Night Ranger both epitomized and transcended the sound and style of the ‘80s. Early on, their sing-along rock songs and good looks packed clubs and theaters drawing the attention of legendary promoter Bill Graham. That in turn drew the attention of MCA Records. The band’s debut, Dawn Patrol, hit the charts immediately with “Sing Me Away” and their now infamous anthem “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”. From this point on, the group became the standard-bearer for a new melodic, power pop metal sound. It was marked with hook-laden songs, driven by a stunning twin lead guitar team, and radio-friendly power rock ballads.
Throughout the ‘80s, Night Ranger left an indelible mark on the hair metal era with a string of best-selling albums that sold more than 16 million copies worldwide. The band’s popularity was fuelled by an impressive string of instantly recognizable hit singles and signature album tracks, including “Sister Christian,” “(You Can Still) Rock In America,” “When You Close Your Eyes,” “Sentimental Street” and “Goodbye”.
After a mediocre tour in 1988-1989 supporting the Man in Motion album, the band broke up when Jack Blades left Night Ranger to form the Damn Yankees (with Ted Nugent and Tommy Shaw of Styx).. Following a seven-year absence, Night Ranger reunited in 1996 for a tour of Japan and a summer run of the U.S. In 2000, responding to the astonishing success of their continual touring, MCA Records released The Best of Night Ranger, a digitally re-mastered compilation. In 2004, acknowledging the band’s enormous popularity in the first decade of the music video, MCA issued The Best Of Night Ranger/The DVD Collection, featuring five of the band’s best-known videos. In 2005 the album titled Hit’s Acoustic and Rarities was released on IROCK Records thru Universal.
Night Ranger which comprises original members Jack Blades (bass/vocals), Kelly Keagy (drums/vocals) and Brad Gillis (guitarist) – along with guitarist Joel Hoekstra and keyboardist Christian Cullen – is commemorating its 25th anniversary with the July 1 U.S. release of its eighth studio recording, Hole in the Sun.
Jack Blades - bass, lead vocals
Kelly Keagy - drums, lead vocals
Brad Gillis - guitars, backing vocals
Joel Hoekstra - guitars, backing vocals
Christian Matthew Cullen - keyboards, backing vocals
Band Website: www.nightranger.com