Moody Blues Kick off Hollywood Bowl Season With a Blast From Past

Moody Blues Hollywood Bowl opening
Michael Buckner

The Moody Blues brought their 50th anniversary tour for “Days of Future Passed” to Los Angeles on Saturday and kicked off the Hollywood Bowl’s 2017 season. The evening also marked the 10th anniversary of Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, which performed Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture” with the Bowl orchestra.

YOLA is the LA Phil’s music education program and was the beneficiary of the funds raised during “Opening Night at the Bowl.”

Maestro Thomas Wilkins, who conducted on Saturday evening, said, “What’s cool about the Moody Blues is they really get it. They know they’re not here just as performers but as partners for music education. It is that gift that is life-changing.”

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As performers, however, the Moody Blues – Justin Hayward, John Lodge, and drummer Graeme Edge along with flutist Norda Mullin — gave the audience the kick start the evening deserved as hit after hit rolled out starting with “I’m Just a Singer [in a Rock and Roll Band],” “The Voice,” “Steppin’ in a Slide Zone,” “Nervous,” and “Once Upon a Time.” Other hits that had the audience dancing in the aisles included “Wildest Dreams” and “Question.”

Before singing “Say It With Love,” from what he dubbed “our album rather pretentiously called ‘Keys to the Kingdom’” frontman Hayward said, “This is a special night for us, let’s us play our album ‘Days of Future Passed’ in such an esteemed company.”

But it wasn’t until intermission was over that they got to “Days of Future Passed,” including the hits “Tuesday Afternoon” and the quieter “Dawn Is a Feeling,” “[Evening] Time to Get Away,” “Twilight Time,” and “Nights in White Satin.”

“Fifty years ago we went into a studio and recorded and album called ‘Days of Future Passed,’ and it changed our lives forever,” said bassist Lodge.

The night ended with the usual spectacular fireworks display.

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    1. sue says:

      Saw the Moody Blues June 4th at Pala Casino. It was wonderful. The videos were great and of course the sound was beautiful. I wish they would come to Tucson again. Love them.

    2. I attended the concert or show or better yet the Performance of our lives, Mr. Hayward & the Moody Blues were out of this World” and phenomenal…they sounded better than ever, even when you realize a band that has been around 50 years and with all due respect Justin Hayward 70 years of age was top of the world,…outstanding…and superbly awesome the 2nd part of the show joined with the Hollywood Orchestra and following the “Days of Future Passed” in it’s entirety, they in my opinion nailed it. The whole concert was most enjoyable and please check out my review of the show on Linked in called “Incredible Days”,

    3. Rose Moore says:

      Graeme Edge was with the band last night, he’s the drummer on the left, in case you couldn’t see from where you sat. (We could barely see him from our angle) Graeme had a stroke early last year. He did recite the poetry of Mike Pinder at the concert in Las Vegas in October, but I think they handled it this way last night due to time and flow with the orchestra.

      The drummer who was with them for years is Gordon Marshall, the drummer last night is a newer drummer. The Moodies and Marshall parted summer of 2015 in not so clear circumstances. I’ve seen them over 100+ times and it doesn’t get old for me. Where we sat, Justin and John’s voices sounded clear and on note.

      Yep, it seems these journalists really do not have pride in their work….spelling errors, grammar errors, and most of all, errors in the details and facts. It’s pretty easy now a days to research the facts and try to put out a decent article…few do.

      • Moody Fan Forever says:

        Graeme has also recited it at the last two concerts I went to. But I read an an interview with Justin who said the they asked Jeremy Irons to recite the poetry for this special 50th anniversary tour.

        • Sam M. says:

          They have used 2 drummers for years……long long times.He is well over 70,and as he likes to tell it,’i made it through the 60’s,twice.’

    4. Ang says:

      Once Upon A Time? Oh, that’s Wildest Dreams!

    5. Deborah says:

      How fortunate we are to have lived hearing the beautiful music of the Moody Blues playing with and orchestra fifty years. Wow…classical music in our generation. We are also very fortunate that the men in this band are still playing together, healthy, and enjoying their talent, except Grame, who we know is there in spirit. Hard to believe that Fifty years has past since “Days of Future Past” was released, but harder to believe it is timelessly beautiful more now than then. We will have to travel six hours, 12 round trip, to this concert, but we are excited they are touring for all of us fans.

    6. John scherer says:

      As a huge fan of the Moodies for 40 years and having seen their show2 dozen times or so it was awesome to see them perform “Future Past”. That said their age with the exception of John Lodge is beginning to show. Justin doesn’t have the vocal range anymore and showed less energy . He’s over 70 now so that’s to be expected . Graeme is looking old and tired . I read he had a stroke . He used to recite his poetry which was a highlite for me . No more. The second drummer whom they’ve used for years now has taken a much bigger role. John hasn’t changed at all . Still having fun out there. While it was still a wonderful show I want to see one of my favorite bands go out on top . Maybe the time to retire shoul be soon .

      • Jonathan Elliott says:

        Politely non-concurring about Justin. Granted that this was only my second time seeing them live (third if you count the Red Rock concert on TV), but seemed to me that he showed more energy and vocal power on the present occasion than before. Also not convinced that they should be retiring anytime soon. We’re now also going to be needing 50th-anniversary tours of “In Search of the Lost Chord”, “On the Threshold of a Dream”, “A Question of Balance”, etc.

    7. Rick Govreau says:

      Also you forgot to mention Playing on second set of DRUMS-Billy Ashbaugh of N’SYNC fame, also worked with Pat Benatar.

    8. Jonathan Elliott says:

      Amazing Triumph!! A musical and religious experience for the ages!! Having the Moody Blues play in that venue with a full orchestra — especially the entire ‘Days of Future Passed’ album — was an event which we should never forget. Orchestra was great under the direction of Thomas Wilkins, in many cases playing their interlude passages slightly slower than the album, serving to show that this music was being performed live and not soundtrack-assisted, and allowing us to savor the lush orchestrations that much more. The young lady playing Ray’s flute parts was confident and seamless, totally right on. Lighting and fireworks cues were perfectly designed and timed to match the different musical moods precisely. Finally, we must pay due homage to the super-human Justin Hayward, who can still run his magical fingers over his guitar with such dexterity at age 70, and who displayed a powerful clarity and resonance in all areas of his astonishing vocal range. Thank you all so much, so delighted that we could be Witnesses.

    9. Moody Fan Forever says:

      It was INCREDIBLE!!!! A night I’ll never forget. But for the record, it’s Nights in White Satin……

    10. Lesli Lytle says:

      It was a terrific show!
      Hearing the Moody Blues perform the way it was recorded, with the beautiful orchestra sound was amazing.
      What an awesome way to start off the 2017 season at the Bowl!

    11. Viola says:

      This was the best concert I’ve ever been to. I sang every song and was hoarse by the end. It was over too quickly. However, I would like to point out to the author of this article: “Once Upon a Time” is the song “Your Wildest Dreams” and “Knights in White Satin” is “Nights in White Satin.”

    12. Antonio says:

      TRANSFORMERS: KNIGHTS OF WHITE SATIN!

      • Moody Fan Forever says:

        I didn’t even catch the Once Upon a Time blatant error, because I was picturing a bunch of knights all dolled up in white satin!!! ;) Normally these kinds of journalistic errors would get under my skin, but that show last night was so amazing that nothing can spoil it today! :)

        • I am so happy to see most of these comments, in my eyes they could never be bad, just different. I cannot join them this tour, sure wish they could come back to the Reno/Tahoe area. I have such good memories from the three times i saw them here. I need to see them again before they retire!!!!

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