Shortly following a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, the Moody Blues took the stage at the Wolf Trap Filene Center in Vienna, Virginia, on Tuesday, June 1, 2004, officially welcoming the summer season. The group was in top notch form, taking the audience on a musical journey down memory lane.

     Moodies guitarist Justin Hayward, bassist John Lodge, and drummer Graeme Edge are supported by a talented troupe of musicians on stage that embellish the live Moody Blues sound. They are joined by keyboardist Bernie Barlow, keyboardist Paul Bliss, drummer Gordon Marshall, and flutist Norda Mullen.

     The Moody Blues may be down to a trio with the retirement of Ray Thomas, but the brand of music recognized as the Moody Blues continues to entertain and excite audiences now reaching four decades of excellence. The band has successfully revised songs from their back catalogue for inclusion in their lengthy set.

     Introduced with, "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Moody Blues", the group appeared on stage and received a standing ovation. "Lovely To See You" acted as the Blue trio's musical welcome to their loyal legion of fans that turn out to hear them on tour.

     The wonderful "Tuesday Afternoon could have been the theme song for the performance as both the Virginian evening and the rendition of this 1967 classic combined to create a harmonious atmosphere. Hayward's vocals were crystal clear, supported by Mullen's lovely flute solo.

     Edge pulled off the most impressive highlight of the performance with his vocal on "Higher And Higher". Edge came down off his drum riser and rapped the lyrics with Hayward and Lodge providing harmony vocals on the chorus. During the instrumental bridge, Edge boogied on the stage in time to the music and gyrated to flex a belly dancer on the back of his shirt.

     "Are You Sitting Comfortably?" was another lost Moody gem polished off for inclusion on this tour. Both Mullen and Marshall played flute on this beautiful piece of music. Prowling the stage with his bass, Lodge belted out his classic rocker "I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band), which segued into a chaotic band-jam coda.

     Applause greeted Hayward as he began the lyrics to "Nights In White Satin". Mullen's impeccable flute solo was irresistible to the ears. A spontaneous standing ovation swept through the venue with lightning speed.

     A dual drum intro for "Ride My See-Saw" had the house up on its feet during the group's powerful encore finale. Hayward and Lodge harmonized with precision to the driving tempo of melodious vibes, which ultimately climaxed in an abrupt crescendo.

     Together, Justin Hayward and John Lodge have forged a musical legacy recognized as The Moody Blues. Their original compositions created a new avenue for the British Invasion pioneers to explore. 35 years later, the Moody Blues are still making magical music for their faithful fans the wide world over.

Vienna setlist: Lovely To See You * Gemini Dream * Tuesday Afternoon * Lean On Me (Tonight) * English Sunset * Talking Out Of Turn * Voices In The Sky * Stepping In A Slide Zone * I Know You're Out There Somewhere * The Story In Your Eyes * intermission * Your Wildest Dreams * Isn't Life Strange * The Other Side Of Life * December Snow * Higher And Higher * Are You Sitting Comfortably? * I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band) * Nights In White Satin * Question * Encore: Ride My Seesaw

RockonTour   Issue #33
Concert Fan - the Single Source for the Concertphile © 2004 RoT
                  the Single Source for the Concertphile

Tuneful Tuesday with the Moody Blues
A joyful June evening with a British accent

by Timothy Tilghman