Monday, July 02, 2007

Breathe deep the gathering gloom
Watch lights fade from every room
Bedsitter people look back and lament
Another day's useless energy spent.

Impassioned lovers wrestle as one,
Lonely man cries for love and has none.
New mother picks up and suckles her son,
Senior citizens wish they were young.

Cold hearted orb that rules the night,
Removes the colors from our sight.
Red is grey and yellow white,
But we decide which is right.
And which is an illusion?

The Moody Blues

When I was just a young lad in the late 1960's and early 70's I used to spend alot of time in my bedroom tripping out on the music of Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Yes/Rick Wakeman, and the Moody Blues. While I never did experiment with drugs I did do my fair share of experimenting with alot of different kinds of music, particularly the kind of music and bands that gained their popularity by appearing on the King Biscuit Power Hour and FM stations. I hated AM pop music for the most part. To this day, I still can picture myself laying on my back on my bed reading the lyrics of one of the songs off the Moody Blues album Days of Future Passed. I always loved the Moody Blues album jackets. They were way cool....

Last night a good friend of mine treated me to a Moody Blues concert at the restored Fox theater. I have only attended a few live concerts in my lifetime so this was a real treat to see one of my favorite bands from what I consider the golden era of rock and roll, the sixties and "early" seventies. The Moody Blues never became a huge act,ala the Rolling Stones, Elton John, etc, they have sold over 55 million albums and have put together a string of unique albums which eventually landed them in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.

The concert itself was a blast and a big surprise. Prior to the concert, I feared that the concert might be cancelled because I couldn't imagine more than a handful of people, in one of the most conservative cities in the country, would know who the Moody Blues were, let alone attend one of their concerts....but....was I ever wrong....Not only was the concert sold old but the crowd from the get go was loud, raucous, and in the mood to rock and roll...and...I suspect every long haired fifty/sixty hippie in Bakersfield was in attendance. The overall performance was excellent although I admit I missed the orchestra on Nights in White Satin and a few of my other Moody Blue times I did sense there was a certain, going through the motions on the part of the band, but that comes with the territory when you have been performing the same songs for 35 years running. Overall, they were very professional and sincerely appreciative, imo, of the never ending series of standing ovations they received from beginning to end...and...they went out with a bang by performing my two favorite Moody Blues songs, Nights in White Satin and Balance...even though the Moody Blues can no longer compete with the large arena acts of U-2, Bruce Springteen, the Rolling Stones and the likes of the Dave Matthews Band, they are worth seeing, if you were ever a fan...and...while Moody Blues front man John Lodge is no Bono his vocals and the bands overall performance has maintained a high quality over the years...Big thumbs up to the Moody Blues and thanks for all the wonderful memories.....


Dave said...

It's great to know that you're getting out to see some of the great old living legend bands, Bilbo! I enjoyed reading your review. I've seen the Moodies on PBS fundraiser shows a time or two over the past few years. I get what you say about them "going through the motions" a bit - the whole "veteran rockers, sixty-year old guys with silver ponytails" bit... they probably have to play 30 shows or more to make what the Stones haul in for one night, yet they can remember back when they were all young blokes playing the same circuit and the Moodies probably have more musical chops than a lot of their more successful rivals, but no one said it would be fair, did they?

I scrolled down through those pictures kind of quick there and for a second I got the impression that Jimmy Neutron was playing keyboards for the Moody Blues! Couldn't blame them if that was the case - gotta draw in the younger fans somehow, I guess.

Kansas Bob said...

Hope you are having some good time off this summer Bill. This made me smile:

"I suspect every long haired fifty/sixty hippie in Bakersfield was in attendance"

"Go Now" and "Knights in White Satin" are the only Moody Blues songs I remember. I have been hoping to see Chicago come back thru KC - missed them last time ... they are the only old band I seem to still be interested in.

All the best, Bob