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Skid Row and Night Ranger @O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire - Sunday, 11th March 2018 | FESTIVALPHOTO

Skid Row and Night Ranger @O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire - Sunday, 11th March 2018


Skid Row and Night Ranger @O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire – Sunday, 11th March 2018

Haven’t seen the O2 so full on a gloomy and rainy Sunday evening, but it looks like the legendary Night Ranger have managed to gather up the London crowd in the venue early on. The crowd stormed into the venue to see the two support bands before the main co-headliners and as the evening came, the arena was full.

Night Ranger came on stage at 8.20pm. The lights went dim and the band members conquered the stage full of energy. The band was all full smile and action, running back and forth on stage, interacting with the crowd and delivering an amazing set consisting of tracks from the early era. Tireless they played a full sixty minute set of tracks, among which were the absolute crowd favourites: “Somehow Someday”, “Touch of Madness”, “Sing Me Away”, “Coming of Age” and “High Enough”. The band took a break to deliver an amazing ballad “Sentimental Street” and then ended the set with the mega-bangers “Sister Christian” and “(You Can Still) Rock in America”.

The crowd’s enthusiasm and support to the band was remarkable and I was indeed surprised to see such support. Everybody kept singing along to almost all the tracks and the band definitely kept the monopoly of interest along all of the acts of the evening. In my opinion, it was one of the best bands I have ever seen live, because it looked like we were magically transferred to the 80s in San-Fransisco, seeing the band on stage just as it started. Everybody could feel the energy and the vibe in the interaction between the band and the fans, especially those who were up front.

Next and final act was Skid Row. Needless to say that after that remarkably exceptional performance of Night Ranger, the band had a lot of expectations to live up to. Even though Skid Row are linked to their original vocalist, Sebastian Bach, their current singer managed to perform most of the songs seamlessly with his rock ‘n’ roll attitude and stage presence.

The first song to blast the speakers was “Slave to the Grind”. ZP Theart’s vocals definitely could deliver the songs well and the band was really enthusiastic and active on stage. The setlist consisted of the band’s classics among which were: “18 and Life”, “Sweet Little Sister”, “Big Guns”, “Piece of Me”, “Monkey Business”, “Rattlesnake Shake”, and “Quicksand Jesus”. The band transformed the energy from full nostalgia of the first two records to the absolute party atmosphere. The band’s bassist even took vocal duties to sing The Ramones’ “Psycho Therapy”. The crowd kept banging and singing along throughout the whole set, which shows that despite the band having a different singer and not changing its setlist, they can still keep people on the edge and can deliver a good concert.

The last two encore songs were obvious: the ballad “I remember you” to turn down the tone a bit, just to be followed by the fan favourite “Youth Gone Wild” making the whole crowd scream with enthusiasm and jump to the rhythm. Overall, I was not entirely impressed with the band’s performance, but it was definitely a good one and left me leaving with a smile and a good feeling.

Overall Impression: 9/10

Writer: Charis Bagioki
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