Night Ranger provide an evening of fun (and classic Rock n’ Roll) for enthusiastic fans at the Kentucky State Fair.
Its summertime which means plenty of outdoor Barbeques, watermelon, vacation time and of course the State/County Fairs. So along with the corndogs, carnival rides and games, livestock competitions and countless exhibits one of the biggest state/county fair attractions is the evening concert series. After disruptions and cancellations during the Covid-19 pandemic the Texas Roadhouse Concert Series at the Kentucky State Fair put together a gem of a series with some country music (Trace Adkins & Lee Greenwood), some nostalgia (Happy Together & The Oak Ridge Boys) and of course some Rock music with (Black Stone Cherry) and Night Ranger.
Night Ranger is touring across the country this summer in support of their 40th Anniversary!! Incredibly, it was 40 years ago this year that Night Rangers debut album, Dawn Patrol was released (on November 1, 1982 if you are interested in the exact date) changing the landscape of Rock music for the better. The Dawn Patrol album featured charted top rock tracks “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” (peaking at #4) and “Sing Me Away” (charting at #39) along with the groups first ever song, “Night Ranger” – All three of these songs were included in this evenings set-list.
At 9PM sharp the house lights dropped and bassist/lead vocalist Jack Blades, guitarist Brad Gillis & Keri Kelli, drummer/co-lead vocalist Kelly Keagy, and keyboardist Eric Levy took their places on stage to a rousing cheer, dropping directly into the hard rocking anthemic “(You Can Still) Rock in America” kicking the evening off to a fast start. This evening was all about having fun and enjoying some iconic classic rock which Night Ranger was more than happy to provide. The evening featured a couple of Damn Yankees songs, “Coming of Age” and High Enough”, a cover of Alice Cooper’s Schools out with an intro of GNR’s Sweet Child O’ Mine (lead by guitarist Keri Kelli who previously played with Slash & Alice Cooper).
Guitarist and founding Night Ranger member Brad Gillis lead the way through an Ozzy Osbourne cover of Crazy Train (Brad played with Ozzy before Night Ranger) that had everyone singing at the top of their voices. Onstage the guys were clearly having a blast, laughing, smiling and fist bumping fans as they came out onto the edge of the catwalk and the swelling fair crowd was loving it, dancing, and singing right along with the band.
Night Ranger closed out their almost 90 minute set in Louisville with mainstays and fan favorites “When You Close Your Eyes” the aforementioned “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me and of course closing with their mega hit “Sister Christian”. The evening was perfect in every way, Night ranger was on top of their game and provided Kentuckians with a show that will not soon be forgotten. If this 40th Anniversary tour comes by a town or city near you, buy the ticket and go to the show – You will be glad you did!
Opening the evening was singer/songwriter Noah Guthrie and his band, Good Trouble. With covers of The Allman Brothers Band’s “Whipping Post” and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “The Midnight Special” mixed in new songs from their latest album, Blue Wall, “Only Light I Need” and a bluesy “High Enough” Noah got the evening started in a great way.