The Moody Blues find the lost chord at AVA Amphitheater
Moody Blues Justin Hayward and John Lodge Moody Blues Justin Hayward and John Lodge
Long before anyone had even heard of Timberlake or Bieber, a different Justin was dominating popular music – and still is for that matter. But Moody Blues guitarist/vocalist Justin Hayward’s introspective lyrics and well-crafted melodies have made him much more than “just a singer in a rock and roll band.” Since the release of their definitive album Days Of Future Passed, Hayward and his bandmates, bassist/vocalist John Lodge and drummer Graeme Edge, have sold an extraordinary 70 million albums worldwide and have been awarded an astonishing 14 platinum and gold discs, making them one of the top-grossing album and touring bands in existence. And while it might be tempting to dismiss them as a band whose days of future have passed, the fans at last week’s sold out show at AVA Amphitheater loudly begged to differ. The progressive rock pioneers were in town as part of their “Voyage 2011 Precious Cargo Tour,” thrilling baby-boomers, generation X’ers and Y’ers – heck, the whole alphabet was there. The Moodies were golden – well, make that platinum – throughout the perfect evening at Tucson’s perfect outdoor venue, as they played an electrifying array of their big, bigger and biggest hits. Given Hayward’s astonishingly ageless vocals, it was fitting that the rock legends opened with “The Voice.” And it was fitting that the more than appreciative crowd rose for an ovation that lasted, well, until “Ride My See Saw” ended the reluctant fans’ evening on Mr. Lodge’s wild ride. Along the way the band laid down a once-in-a-lifetime version of “Tuesday Afternoon” – on a Wednesday evening no less – and with incomparable energy, melodiously asked the crowd a “Question.” Not surprisingly, one of the night’s many highlights was a fantastically bluesier, non-orchestrated rendition of “the song that wouldn’t leave,” “Nights In White Satin.” The legendary hit, originally released from the momentous Days Of Future Passed album, just landed at No. 2 on the UK Rock Chart, and at No. 27 on the BBC Radio 1 chart, making it the fourth time that “Nights” has charted in its 40-plus year history. The song’s perpetual popularity reignited after a recent smash cover performance by Matt Cardle, winner of Simon Cowell’s hit UK show “The X Factor” (check out Cardle’s performance of the song at Even with the band’s timeless appeal, the never-ending popularity of popularity of the tune is beyond impressive. In a recent interview with Examiner, Edge chatted about the song’s remarkable run. Somewhat astoundingly, it doesn’t astound Edge. “Nothing about that song will surprise me anymore because it just keeps going and going and going. It just says a new thing to every generation.” “I think Just (Hayward) came up with a good answer once when somebody asked him about it, how come it was spreading down through the generations. And he said ‘Well, the thing is, some of the people listening to it’ – obviously, the majority are our fans – but some of the younger people that are listenin’ ‘are the same age we were when we wrote it.’ So it’s kind of speakin’ to them in a little way.”
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