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The Moody Blues muffled by mediocre performance
by Cortney Maddock
Mar 08, 2008 | 4200 views | 4 4 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Photo - Justin Hayward, Graeme Edge and John Lodge of The Moody Blues performed at the Silver Legacy Friday and Saturday night, reminding audience members why they are a timeless band.
Courtesy Photo - Justin Hayward, Graeme Edge and John Lodge of The Moody Blues performed at the Silver Legacy Friday and Saturday night, reminding audience members why they are a timeless band.
The Moody Blues took audience members on a stroll down memory lane Friday night in their performance at the Silver Legacy.

The band, which has been touring on and off for the past three decades, took the stage at the Grande Exposition Hall a few minutes late for the 9 p.m. show, but quickly compensated for any tardiness.

Lead singer and guitarist Justin Hayward picked up his shiny red guitar that reflected the stage lights back at the audience and stuck out like a red stoplight against his black button-up shirt and creased slacks. The slender, white haired Hayward didn't utter a word to the waiting crowd, but began to play, "Lovely To See You."

Without pause, pitch change or glitch in their synchronized swaying, Hayward along side bassist and singer John Lodge seamlessly slid into "Tuesday Afternoon" to the delight of the screaming crowd.

The audience at Friday night's show was an eclectic mix of self-conscience baby boomers and middle-aged hippies who were stuck in 1979. The latter felt completely comfortable standing up to pay homage to the noticeably aged band by dancing in the narrow ballroom isles.

But it was the 20-somethings that stuck out like a sore thumb. Heavy metal head nods and thick black-framed emo glasses were the giveaway that their parents were responsible for their knowledge of The Moody Blues.

Throughout the show, old snapshot and promo images of The Moody Blues, which used to be five male band members, appeared and panned off the four large projection screens in the Grande Exposition Hall. The photos, taken when the band members were in their 20s, elicited much whispering and finger pointing from the audience.

While the nostalgia of seeing such an influential rock band was more than enough to make audience members satisfied with the $80 ticket price, something was lacking. More than anything, people were there to see The Moody Blues because it is The Moody Blues.

Hayward only spoke to the crowd to introduce the songs and occasionally Lodge would hold out his arms in rock-god fashion over the crowd to increase the applause.

It was drummer Graeme Edge that livened the crowd back up after two slow songs, "The Other Side of Life" and "December Snow," that inspired some audience members to take a nap.

Edge's wit was in full effect as he left his perch behind the drum set and sauntered to the front of the stage to introduce a song he wrote for the band, "Higher and Higher," inspired by Neil Armstrong landing on the Moon.

"This is one we recorded about three and a half decades ago," Graeme chuckled and the crowd roared before being nearly drowned out by the music.

Edge danced cross the stage like a teenage girl trying to find rhythm in the privacy of her own bedroom. But the shimmy-shake butt wiggle that Edge so gracefully executed sent the crowd into a frenzy as people stood up to join the church-like revival in the isles.

As the audience calmed down, Lodge addressed them for the first time during the show.

"Thank you for keeping the faith," Lodge said with a thick English accent. "Until we see you again, keep smiling and questioning."

The Moody Blues closed their hour-and-a-half show with war-protest song "Question," which ignited a mad dash for the stage.

Middle-aged audience members relived their hey-day by pumping fists in the air and screaming the lyrics back at the noticeably docile band.

It was only after the house lights didn't turn back on did the people who had already took off for the ballroom door realized they were going to miss the encore.

Barely provoked to come back on stage, The Moody Blues played one last oldie but goodie, "Ride My See-Saw."

The Moody Blues delivered a show that was lyrically and musically faithful to their recorded work, with the help of three additional band members.

Hayward nearly guaranteed the band would perform again, and again, but their appearance and lack-luster stage presence makes fans wonder how much longer they can keep touring.

While The Moody Blues was an amazing show, and definitely a must-see for classic rock fans, it could be one of the last times to see the gracefully aging trio. Hope you didn't miss out, but if you did, go buy one of the band’s more than 17 albums.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
November 09, 2013
December Snow? Really? What were YOU smoking? That's been out of the set list for over four years.
November 09, 2013
OOPS! Sorry. Just saw the actual date of this review. Carry on...just as the band is after a very successful cruise in the Caribbean and another planned for 2014.
Sally Winston
March 04, 2013
It's 2013 and the Moody Blues are still touring to sell-out crowds in the US, UK, Australia, South Africa, etc. and Justin Hayward has just released a new solo CD. Shows what your 'reviewer' knows! Has your reviewer been 'retired' by your newspaper yet?
Lisa Ann
March 08, 2008
Your reporter must be an 80s-something generation child. That "aging trio" still has it -- of course, with the support of some new younger band members, but we all know it wouldn't be the Moody Blues without Justin, John & Graeme. And by the way, I don't pay to hear a "band" talk (keyword: band). that's why it's called a concert. John Lodge's interaction w/the audience was enough to keep me & my friends entertained.
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