The Moody Blues Live in Concert: Days of Future Passed, The Voyage Continues

The Moody Blues Live! The Moody Blues Live!
Review and photography by Craig Hunter Ross, It was 1967 when an R&B band from Birmingham, England , decided their second album would be nothing like their first. With new members Justin Hayward and John Lodge charting their course and having enlisted the London Festival Orchestra, The Moody Blues began a journey into new territory; Territory that would result in the completion of an album entitled, Days of Future Passed, an album that would not only provide some of their biggest hits. The legendary song would also cement them as cornerstones in the foundation of the progressive and symphonic rock genre. Now in 2012, The Moody Blues are celebrating the continuation of that journey with a tour across North America and the world. This stop on “Highway 45” brings them to the historic DAR Constitution Hall, a venue that has seen every president attend at least one event within her walls, dating back to Calvin Coolidge. The band is now comprised of original member and drummer Graeme Edge, along with the aforementioned Justin Hayward on his trademark red Gibson ES-335 guitar and John Lodge on bass. Rounding the group out are long time second drummer Gordon Marshall, Norda Mullen on flute as well as guitar, and Julie Ragins and Alan Hewitt sharing keyboard duties.The Moodies would get the evening off to a high energy start with two hits from their 1981 album, Long Distance Voyager, as Lodge opened with the familiar bass line opening to “Gemini Dream” getting the near capacity crowd up to their feet, and then quickly following up with “The Voice”. One couldn’t help but think they had stepped back in time as smoke rolled over the stage floor into the front rows, while hits like “Stepping in a Slide Zone” and “You and Me” echoed through the hall. Hayward and Lodge were both at the top of their game as the set approached some of the more vocal concentrated pieces like mega-hit “Tuesday Afternoon”, “Nervous” and ‘Say it with Love”. Amazingly, the entire audience joined in for every extended note of “Tuesday Afternoon’ as if a well rehearsed choir, much to the delight of those on stage. Lodge invited everyone to join him in “a little madness” on a trip to the time of the festivals as the band launched into the hard driving psychedelic “Peak Hour” before ending the first set with their 1988 hit “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere” and “The Story In Your Eyes” from 1971, through which Mullen and Ragins provided hauntingly beautiful backing vocals. Continue Reading...
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