Written by Michael Pittman
Apr 29, 2011 at 08:00 PM
“I just turned 70! How in the bloody hell did that happen?” Graeme Edge asked just before he did a jig during the 2nd act of the show at Woodlands Pavilion. Well Graeme, I’d say being Moody Blues’ drummer since 1964 has done you well and your band is still one of the most innovative, timeless bands to emerge from an era that saw so much happen so fast. Is it really true the band was named for a brewery though?? Classic!


Anyway..just as I expected they would, the Moody Blues turned in an amazing performance in front of a nearly sold-out, reserve-seat-only house on an evening with weather just this side of perfect. It wasn’t just the music, though that would have been enough, it was the total show. They’ve always had a keen technical streak built in to the music, so it was natural to see the careful attention paid to the lighting and the sound; both of which were amazing. It probably would have been totally impractical, but I would have loved to hear that Mellotron again on strings. If you’re not familiar, the Mellotron was a forerunner of today’s music synthesizer and was an unstable beast, but when it worked, it put the sound of orchestral strings in the hands of the keyboardist. 1967’s Days of Future Passed saw Mike Pinder bring home that hypnotic orchestral Mellotron sound and in a huge way established the sound of the Moody Blues.


Any band that’s been around as long as Moody Blues has seen personnel changes, but since founding member and flautist Ray Thomas retired in 2002, the band has pretty much stabilized with original members Justin Hayward on guitar, John Lodge on bass and Graeme Edge on drums. Veteran members Julie Ragins on keyboard/vocals, Gordon Marshall on drums and Norda Mullen on flute/vocals/percussion gave stunning performances as did the newest addition Alan Hewitt on keyboard and vocals.


You may already know I get to do my own photos which means I’m usually down front shooting. The lights went down, the crowd caught their collective breath, I checked my camera one last time for The Voice. The slow build of lights and sounds til suddenly you felt that irresistible rhythm and we were on our way. The soft-spoken Day We Meet Again gave way to The Slide Zone. Act 1 carried on through Tuesday Afternoon, I know You’re Out There Somewhere and as Story in Your Eyes trailed away the curtain fell and…and….silence. Then with a hush everyone looked up and around, then slowly got on with intermission.


Act 2 began some 30 minutes later with Wildest Dreams and we were right back…there. Graeme Edge came down front and took the lead on Higher and Higher. Happy Birthday Graeme…you lived through the sixties twice! In the next hour it was like a best of the best with Late Lament/Nights In White Satin, Singer in a Rock & Roll Band, Are You Sitting Comfortably. The encore was Ride My See Saw….need I say more??




This was to me and amazing show. I’ll date myself when I say that these are some of my favorite songs as I grew up, but yanno…I’m proud of it. Good music is just plain good music..right? And this is a band that’s still on top of their game. MB was always urging us to explore ourselves, to stretch ourselves in a way few others did. They didn’t peak too soon…ever.


Act 1.


1. The Voice

2. Day We Meet Again

3. Slide Zone

4. Gypsy

5. Tuesday Afternoon

6. Lean on Me Tonight

7. Meanwhile

8. Peak Hour

9. I Know You’re Out There Somewhere

10. Story in Your Eyes


Act 2.


11. Wildest Dreams

12. Isn’t Life Strange

13. The Other Side of Life

14. Driftwood

15. Higher and Higher

16. Are You Sitting Comfortably?

17. Singer in a Rock & Roll Band

18. Late Lament

19. Nights in White Satin

20. Question



21. Ride My See Saw