The Moody Blues on the last three dates of their 32-city 2012 U.S. tour titled "The Moody Blues: The Voyage Continues - Highway 45," performed at the Providence Performing Arts center Thursday night in conjunction with the 45th Anniversary of their landmark album DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED.
For over 30 years The Moody Blues have been touring virtually non-stop, and as witnessed last night in their near-sold out performance, their legions of loyal fans continue to enthusiastically support the band. It’s unthinkable that with over 55 million albums sold, 18 platinum albums and thousands of sold-out shows this outstanding British unit still isn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
With long-time members Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge leading a very tight 7-piece band, it’s easy to understand the long-term popularity of the Moodys.
The evening started a bit late and consisted of two, 55 minute sets with a 20 minute intermission sandwiched in between. I can’t recall going to a concert with an intermission, most bands wouldn’t be able to get the momentum or the energy back after the first set, but the Moodys had no problem as they started off set two with a blistering version of their 80’s classic “Your Wildest Dreams”, a crowd favorite and in my opinion, the best performance of the night. But that’s not to say the rest of the performance lacked in any way, shape or form. These guys are touring veterans and they know how to excite and entertain a crowd. The band played their catalogue of hit’s, starting off with “Gemini Dreams” and finishing the night with “Ride My Seesaw”, and were able to play a couple of new songs along the way as well.
Justin Hayward is an amazing guitar player with a voice like velvet despite having an issue with his vocal chords recently. You have to see the Moody Blues live to appreciate how good a player he really is. His "more is less style” of playing is exactly what his highly orchestrated songs require, and like a great chef, adds just the right amount of seasoning and flavor to every song.
Bassist John Lodge’s low end girth had me mesmerized (full disclosure I’m a working bassist and love all things low end) that added the secret sauce to every Moodys tune. His showmanship and comfort level with the crowd was fun to watch and for a 67 year old performer he showed amazing energy and stamina. His bass chops are strong and his tone is sweet yet powerful with a rock tone that is the Holy Grail for most bass players. His playing included plenty of low end drops and slides that I’m sure could be felt outside on Westminster Street.