Kincaid’s Night(s) With Night Ranger
Disclaimer: I am a total Night Ranger Geek, and cannot be held responsible for the gushing to follow.
So lemme tell you a story… I related this to guitarist Brad Gillis off-air prior to my interview with him last week, much to his amusement and amazement…
It was September 27th, 1984. My 15th birthday. For weeks and weeks prior I badgered my parents with “All I want for my birthday is a pair of tickets to see Night Ranger at the Washington State Fair on my birthday- that’s all I want-“ I was met with- that’s 3 hours away, it’s a school day, etc…
The morning of my birthday I got up, got ready for school and my parents said they had some things to do and so they would take my best friend Phil and I to school. Well, instead of going to school- we were off to the fair with a pair of tickets to the show! What a great surprise! We arrived at the fairgrounds and my buddy and I went straight to the merch booth where we both purchased Night Ranger shirts- and quickly put them on- now it was time to go ride rides and see the fair!
Soon, a gaggle of girls began harassing us- screaming and shrieking “It’s Night Ranger!!! Hey Night Ranger!!!” every time they saw us. It became a game of trying to avoid them at all costs- and while attempting to evade them at one point, I slipped in what was either cow or horse poo- and went down hard, spraining my wrist pretty badly.
After a visit to the first aid station where they wrapped my wrist and gave me a bag of ice- I decided I was done with the fair, and those stupid girls, and I just wanted to go wait in line for the concert. It was 4pm, the show was 3 hrs away, I was in pain, but wasn’t going to let it show or ruin the night.
There was no line. We were the first ones at the gate. We were going to be the first ones in! Then the gaggle of girls showed up. They decided to just wait with us- (in hindsight I realized the harassment was just teenage flirting- duh…) We became friends, saw the concert together- right up front- and it was awesome- and both my buddy and I got girlfriends out of the deal.
Now, the “perfect” ending would be something like “and that girl and I dated all through high school, and we’re still together today-“ but no, I don’t even remember her name or how long we dated. But I do know it was a pretty magical musical birthday- and it cemented me as a lifelong Night Ranger fan, to be sure.
Now- I tell you that story, so that I can tell you this one lol- I finally got to meet the band- after all these years and numerous concerts- at the Crystal Grand last Saturday- and it was awesome for this fan- great guys, totally cool and fun to hang with for a few minutes, and they rocked the house, to be sure. Kicking off the show was one from their latest album- and from there on in, it was nothing but the hits and a walk down memory lane, with a cover of Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” thrown in for good measure. For being together for 40 years, they looked to be having the time of their lives on stage, and I will remember this show- much like the first one- for a very, very long time.