40 Years of Night Ranger Stops at Canterbury Park

Night Ranger, Rock, Classic Rock, Canterbury Park

Last updated on June 13th, 2023 at 12:18 pm

California rock group Night Ranger stopped by Canterbury Park Friday evening. No horse racing tonight, just some good old classic rock and roll. 

Night Ranger is celebrating the 40th anniversary of their debut album Dawn Patrol, released on Nov 1, 1982. In the decades since, they have released 12 more studio albums along with several live recordings, with over 17 million copies sold.

Night Ranger, Rock, Canterbury Park, Kelly Dean Keagy
Kelly Dean Keagy of Night Ranger

It’s been a few years since I last saw these guys in concert. The only thing that’s changed is the setlist; not necessarily for better or worse, but definitely different. They kicked off the night with “(You Can) Still Rock In America,” which once was consistently used as an encore to finish the show.

These guys look like they’re still having fun up on stage, bringing lively and entertaining shows for the crowd. There’s nothing theatrical – no over-the-top pyro or excessive laser light shows – just high levels of energy and singing that’s still top-notch.

Keri Kelli, Night Ranger, Rock, Canterbury Park

One interesting setlist change was covering two hits: “Coming Of Age,” and the power ballad “High Enough,” from Damn Yankees, a little supergroup that shared Night Ranger’s bassist Jack Blades.

Two things that were surprising about the setlist. First, they only played 13 songs including the covers, which is relatively short compared to most shows. The bigger surprise was finishing the night with “Sister Christian.” Granted that’s one of their biggest hits, but it felt weird to finish the night on a slower song like that.

Bradley Gillis, Night Ranger,, Rock, Canterbury Park

Night Ranger is still one of my favorite bands to see live; I just hope they change the setlist again to end the show on a rocking note. 

Minnesota locals Them Pesky Kids (TPK) got the call to open the night up for Night Ranger. TPK delivers a fun, solid show that mainly consists of them covering a range of popular rock songs from several different genres and decades. They are fun to watch, so you should look them up to find one of their several shows in the Twin Cities area.

The sound at Canterbury was excellent, but the layout seemed strange, even with the limitations of the space. The normal “pit area” was right in front of the stage, followed by a small seated area for VIPs. Finally, they had stadium-style seating going up the rest of the concourse. If you didn’t hear people singing from the pit area, you could easily forget the rest of the crowd was there.

Written by Brett


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