They say death and taxes are the only two things in life that are guaranteed. I guess you can add The Moody Blues always putting on an invigorating performance to that list. Such was the case Saturday evening as The Moody Blues navigated to the Seneca Niagara Events Center for a sold out show. The band is currently celebrating the forty-fifth anniversary of their 1967 release Days Of Future Passed. The significance of that album is important to the history of the band-it was the first Moody Blues release to feature lead singer, guitarist Justin Hayward and bassist/vocalist John Lodge.
The journey started with “Gemini Dream” and “The Voice”, a pair of cuts culled from the 1981 release Long Distance Voyager. Hearing Hayward sing the elegant “Tuesday Afternoon” was such a treat. The band was greeted with a huge ovation after “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”, one of many on the night. “Isn’t Life Strange” featured Lodge playing a double neck guitar.
Throughout the show a screen behind the band flashed photos and images of the band as well as displaying album covers both spanning the groups lengthy career. Drummer Graeme Edge came to the front of the stage and talked to the audience for a second before introducing “Higher And Higher”. At 71 years old Edge, the lone founding member remaining with the band, was hopping and dancing across the stage like he didn’t have a care in the world. Rounding out the lineup were Gordon Marshall on drums. The band also employed a pair of keyboardists, Alan Hewitt and Julie Ragins who also doubled as background vocalists. The multitalented Norda Mullen handled the flute, guitar, and background vocals.
As the show was coming to a close, the performance kept getting better. Perhaps none better than “Nights In White Satin”, one of the best songs I’ve ever seen performed in a live setting. As the band launched into “Question”, it brought me to thinking about another matter. How the Hall Of Fame committee can overlook such a deserving artist like The Moody Blues, when others that have been selected are questionable at best. Clearly this is one of the most glaring miscarriages of justice ever. It has always been about the music with The Moody Blues. To be out there playing live at this point in their career it shows evidence of two things, their love of their fans and plain and simple their love of music itself. When most bands their age have either hung up their guitars or had a drop off in performances, it was quite refreshing to see this band still putting on a vibrant show.
Steppin’ In A Slide Zone
You And Me
I Know You’re Out There Somewhere
The Story In Your Eyes
Your Wildest Dreams
Isn’t Life Strange
The Other Side Of Life
Higher And Higher
Are You Sitting Comfortably
I’m Just A Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)
Nights in White Satin
Ride My See-Saw
Special Thanks to Tony Astran for enabling us to review the show