They opened the show with The Voice and it was with unmistakeable vocal harmonies that The Moody Blues stayed truest to their classic sound in a concert Wednesday night.
The band behind Nights in White Satin, a No. 2 hit in the U.K. this past summer thanks to Simon Cowell's The X Factor, brought their familiar melodies to Interior Savings Centre for two hours of nostalgic rock 'n' roll.
Reinforced with backup singers and instrumentalists to recreate the depth of their symphonic rock sound, the Moodies played two one-hour sets before an appreciative crowd of about 1,500 at Interior Savings Centre.
Justin Hayward and John Lodge, who joined the group in 1967, front the band. Graeme Edge, the sole original member from '64, still keeps beat on a small kit, but he plays second fiddle to percussionist Gordon Marshall, surrounded by a super-sized set that lends the lineup its thunder. Marshall has been backing the band on tour for more than a decade.
Newer additions to the lineup include Alan Hewitt on keyboards, Nora Mullen on flute/guitar/vocals and Julie Ragins on keys/guitar/vocals. The younger players added energy and flair to the performance.
After opening with a few numbers from their middle period — including It Was The Way of Long Distance Traveller and the 1978 single Stepping in a Slide Zone — the group headed back down the time tunnel with hits such as Tuesday Afternoon and I'm Just a Singer (in a Rock 'n' Roll Band).
"Welcome back," Lodge shouted from the 1960s as psychedelic graphics and vintage photos flashed on the video screen behind.
They drew from the fuller breadth of their song catalogue, but the audience, people ranging in age from their 40s through their 60s, loved those old tunes the most. Each one seemed to spur a standing ovation.
Hayward's and Lodge's vocal harmonies, which helped to characterize their music at the height of their popularity in the late '60s and early '70s, were most evocative of that period.
For the fans who shelled out $50-$60 on a rainy night, the show was well worth it, especially since it's unlikely The Moody Blues will ever pass this way again.
Earlier this year, the band released its newest greatest hits collection in two editions, Icon and Icon2.