Sunday, September 6, 2009

Moody Blues

Last night (Saturday) Penny and I had the pleasure of going to the Fox theater in St. Louis in order to see the Moody Blues. They are one of my favorite musical groups, having been a following since my brother Bub returned from Germany with several of the groups albums. They were on vinyl at the time. I was enthralled with the music that they made and soon became an avid listener to the Moody Blues. Penny and I have had the opportunity to see them several times - at the Muny, at Riverport and at Alpine Valley (WI). Up till now I would say that the best concert they put on was at Alpine Valley.

That was until last night. The show they put on at the Fox was tremendous. They really did seem to be hitting on all cylinders. I was a little wary as Ray Thomas had retired and was no longer with them. Who would play the flute? And what about the songs "Legend of the Mind" and "Veteran Cosmic Rocker"? Who would hit those melodic sounds and play the tambourine? It might not be the same.

The pre-show music was great. It was like having the Moodies warm up for the Moodies. They played song after song from different albums. And for a person like me, letting the sound wash over them, it was wonderful.

The show started 10 minutes late but was worth the wait. From the opening notes you knew that you were in for something special. Justin and John played and sang right on track. Graeme Edge lead nicely on the drums. Adding to the sounds were Norda Mullen on flute (doing an excellent job), Bernie Barlow backing vocals, Gordon Marshall on percussion and Paul Bliss on keyboards.

As the Moodies wound through their musical selections, you knew it was going to be a musically sound and wonderful evening. I would love to say that I remember the set list but I don't. Like most concerts that I go to, I find myself lost in the music and while I tell myself to remember the set, I don't. the beauty of the music washed over me and I was enthralled.

Norda did beautiful on the flute. The set list included many songs that we had never heard them play live and I think it was because ray was unable to hit the notes on the flute like he used to. Norda hit the notes wonderfully and I could tell that Penny thoroughly enjoyed it, and was impressed as she used to play the flute herself (always loved to listen to her play).

What was wonderful is that the Moodies played an hour, took a set break and were back for another hour. It was by far, the best concert I have attended of the Moody Blues. It was the last night of the Summer Nights 2009 tour and they really seemed to pull out all the stops. They hit 3 different songs from the 1978 "Octive" album which tends to be one of my favorites. They also played "Peak Hour" from Days of the Future Past which really showed their range in musical abilities.

Yes, we were able to see the Moody Blues once again. And I can say that even though the Moody Blues have been around for over 40 years, they are still bringing a new dimension to their music. It truly was "Lovely to See You." Will they be back, I get the feeling that it might have been the last time that I will see the Moody Blues with Justin Haywood, John Lodge and Graeme Edge. Ray Thomas has retired. Mike Pinder left long ago (so did Patrick Moraz). Who will be next. My guess would be Graeme Edge though I think he really enjoys the crowd and being out in front of the people.

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