WORCESTER — As the “cold-hearted orb” ruled the night sky outside, The Moody Blues ruled inside The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts.
Touring behind the 45th anniversary of “Days of Future Passed” (the groundbreaking symphony-rock album that gave the world “Nights in White Satin” and “Tuesday Afternoon”), The Moody Blues (now consisting of singer-guitarist Justin Hayward, singer-bassist John Lodge and drummer Graeme Edge) treated a packed house of baby boomers Friday night to a stellar, two-hour, 20-song set (plus a one-song encore).
Edge, 71, is the only original Moody Blues member left — long-standing members Hayward, 65, and Lodge, 66, joined the Moodys in 1966, two years after the band’s formation. Joining the three core members were flutist, guitarist and harmonizing vocalist Norda Mullen; keyboardist, guitarist and harmonizing vocalist Julie Ragins; organist and keyboardist Alan Hewitt and drummer Gordon Marshall, all of whom fleshed out the songs with full-bodied arrangements.
With the musical greeting “long time no see,” Hayward and Lodge traded off lead vocals and shared impeccable harmonies on the evening opener, “Gemini Dream” from The Moodys’ 1981 chart-topping comeback album “Long Distance Voyager.”
Hayward, wearing a black mock turtleneck, faded jeans and white loafers, belted out “The Voice” (also from “Long Distance Voyager”) in a voice still as soothing and as familiar as an old friend, and romantically crooned the bittersweet opus, “The Day We Meet Again” (from 1978’s “Octave”).
Not to be outdone, the all-in-black Lodge, the other singer and lyricist for the group, led the brigade on the lively and jaunty “Stepping in a Slide Zone” (also from “Octave”), which shook any potential dust off the Moody Blues’ catalog.