Danedri Thompson
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Plans are coming together for this year’s Festival on the Trail. The committee announced this week that 1980s rock band Night Ranger will perform in Gardner during the Festival on June 9.
“We felt very fortunate to get a band of their caliber,” festival committee chair Todd Winters said.
While the band could probably have been called a hair band in the 1980s, Winters said their music isn’t really hard rock nor soft rock, but something in between.
The band is probably best known for its 1984 hit, “Sister Christian,” which peaked at No. 4 on the billboard charts. However, music lovers also fondly recall other hits like “”(You Can Still) Rock in America,” and “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me.”
When the band arrives in Gardner, they’ll be fresh off of tour dates in Europe.
Original members of the band re-united in 1996 to continue rocking in tours across the world. While separated, the members built impressive resumes.
For example, member Jack Blades founded Damn Yankees along with Ted Nugent and Tommy Shaw of Styx. He’s also written songs with Aerosmith, Cher, and Alice Cooper.
Band member Brad Gillis appeared on Ozzy Osborne’s Speak of the Devil live album while drummer Kelly Keagy had a successful solo career.
Their latest album, “Somewhere in California,” was released in June 2011.
Although final details of the Night Ranger’s Gardner appearance have yet to be finalized, they’ll take the stage sometime during the evening of June 9 on the mainstage at the Festival on the Trails.
Now that a headliner band is booked, Winters said festival committee members will begin the process of seeking additional bands to play throughout the day – possibly on two stages rather than just the traditional main stage.
Winters said festival organizers hope to have a secondary stage closer to the children’s events and food during the event this summer.
The Festival on the Trails this year will be on June 9. For more information, visit www.festivalonthetrails.com. For more information about the band, visit www.nightranger.com.