The Moody Blues leaves the Landmark satisfied and smiling Kate Drozynski, Contributing writer The gilded walls of the Landmark Theatre were splashed in kaleidoscopic light when the Moody Blues played Friday night for the first show of the U.S. leg of their Timeless Flight tour. The band, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, played a satisfying 19-song set to an audience who has clearly been along for the whole ride. Justin Hayward, John Lodge, and Graeme Edge, the original members of the band, took the stage to the roaring applause of a crowd who was nearly immediately seated. The Moody Blues aren't spry. They've been around. But that didn't stop them from performing an energetic set that had the audience, still seated, enraptured, tapping their toes and bobbing their heads. After each tune, though, the whole crowd would burst into deafening applause and cheers and leap from their chairs in approval. It was clear that they loved every minute of it. Bassist John Lodge raised his arms, gesturing to the audience for more, and they happily obliged. The band started slow with "Gemini Dream" and steadily built momentum through the first half of the show. The tunes were simple, well-played and powerful. Hayward's guitar solos fit seamlessly into songs. It was clear that these guys knew exactly what they were doing. The clear, crisp sound of a flutter-tongued flute, played by Norda Mullen, cut through "Gypsy" expertly. Her round vibrato and unclouded tone were a welcomed addition to the rock 'n' roll. The band took a 20-minute break in the middle of the set, giving folks in the audience a chance to stretch their legs and head to the lobby. The momentum they built in Act I continued when they took the stage for the second half of the show. The band opened Act II with the familiar "Your Wildest Dreams," as a montage of old photos of the band projected on the three large screens behind them. The band played "Tuesday Afternoon," clearly a fan favorite from the band's "Days of Future Passed" album released in 1967. And then Graeme Edge descended from the platform on which his drum kit rested. He reminisced about the past 50 years and all of the great men who have passed away since the Moody Blues have been in action. First Bob Hope, then Johnny Cash and, most recently, Steve Jobs. "What are we left with now?" he asked. "No hope, no cash and no jobs!" After cracking a few more jokes, Edge led the band in singing "Higher and Higher," all the while dancing across the stage, slapping a tambourine with a wide grin on his face. He ascended his platform, tossed the tambourine behind him and launched into a roaring drum duet, playing with a second drummer, Gordon Marshall. The crowd finally lifted themselves from their seats for the hit "Nights in White Satin," a song that seems to have only improved with age. They remained standing until the Moody Blues left their fans satisfied and smiling with an encore of "Ride My See-Saw." "Until we see you again," said Lodge, as he got ready to exit the stage, "take care and keep smiling."
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