Moody Blues Begin Celebration Tour With Triumphant Hard Rock Show

By Howie Grapek,
Justin Hayward and John Lodge of the Moody Blues perform at Hard Rock Live on Sunday. (Howie Grapek / GPO) Justin Hayward and John Lodge of the Moody Blues perform at Hard Rock Live on Sunday. (Howie Grapek / GPO)
“Breathe deep the gathering gloom, Watch lights fade from every room,” and “Cold hearted orb that rules the night, Removes the colours from our sight, Red is gray and yellow white, But we decide which is right… And which is an illusion?” are portions of the eclectic words from the opening of “Late Lament”, a poem originally recorded in 1967 that marks the end of the classic “Nights in White Satin”. The audience chanted loudly with Graeme Edge as the words echoed through Hard Rock Live. The Moody Blues launched their 32-city 2012 tour Sunday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. with a spectacular two-hour journey through their timeless music. The tour appropriately named “The Moody Blues: The Voyage Continues – Highway 45,” marks the 45th anniversary of their landmark album Days Of Future Passed. Three original band members (Edge, John Lodge and Justin Hayward) are still touring and, at close to 70 years of age each, demonstrated that they still have what it takes to continue the legacy of being one of the top-grossing album and touring bands in existence. The show opened with “Gemini Dreams” with a bang – with billowing smoke, colorful lights and psychedelic images bringing the audience back to Woodstock. Some hits of the evening included “Tuesday Afternoon”, “Isn’t Life Strange”, “Singer in a Rock & Roll Band” and “Nights in White Satin”. During the show, Edge chatted about the the band’s history, saying that “they started touring over 45 years ago – and that they were thrilled to be in Florida to kick off their 2012 tour.” He explained that the tour marks the 45th anniversary of their first studio album. He paused, sighed and said, “Wow – 45 years… humpf!” He got a little personal and said “this year, I turned 70 and I FEEL REALLY GREAT!” He turned and performed a quick “happy dance” on stage. Edge continued: “I ought to, I’ve given up heroin, cocaine and acid!” The crowd stood and cheered. He smiled and joked “When I started playing, I had brown hair and white teeth… now I have white hair and porcelain teeth.” Just prior to the band performing “Higher and Higher” – Edge took the microphone and explained that he remembers the “race to space.” Images of the lunar lander and Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon were projected behind them. Edge continued to say that “those events were my motivation write the lyrics of the next song.” Just after the hit “Sitting Comfortably”, Edge took the mic, paused for a moment and introduced the members of the band. No introduction to the next song was needed as Edge simply said “we’re all just singers In A rock & roll band…” The Encore was “Ride My See Saw” and in my opinion, the band knocked out of the park! Set List – The Moody Blues: The Voyage Continues – Highway 45 @ Hard Rock Live – 3/11/12 - Gemini Dreams - The Voice - Day We Meet Again - Slide Zone - You and Me - Tuesday Afternoon - Talking Out Of Turn - Say It With Love - Peak Hour - I know You’re Out There - Story In Your Eyes - Wildest Dreams - Isn’t Life Strange - Higher and Higher - Are You Sitting Comfortably - Singer In A Rock & Roll Band - Late Lament - Nights In White Satin - Question ENCORE: - Ride My See Saw
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