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.”
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.