Civic Center, June 29, 2010
Des Moines Civic Center
I arrived in Des Moines the evening before the concert. My hotel was just across the river from the venue, which made it very convenient for checking things out. Monday evening, everything was quiet. An electronic sign flashed an advertisement for the show, along with ads for other events.
Tuesday morning, I took a walk over to the Center to see what was going on. Two large white semi-trucks were parked there, one along the curb and the other backed up to the loading dock. I didn't hear any noise or commotion, so I believe the equipment had already been unloaded. While I was standing there, a large beige tour bus pulled up to the curb, and one by one the road crew piled out. They stood around with their cups of coffee until it was time to report for duty. I asked one of them how many roadies traveled and slept in the bus, and he told me "about 12."
Prior to the concert, the local PBS station held a "meet and greet" for fans who had made donations during their spring pledge drive. I spoke with a couple who attended this event, and they told me that it began at 6:00 p.m. and that there were approximately 50 people present. There wasn't really any "meeting" or "greeting" going on, but all participants did get to have their photo taken with the band. The man I spoke with showed me the photo on his camera....he was very happy with it and said it was "going straight to their computer desktop" when they got home.
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This was, without a doubt, the best Moody Blues concert I've ever seen. The crowd was phenomenal! The minute the lights went down, the crowd jumped to its feet and began cheering and screaming. I've never seen such a reception for the band in all my seven-concert history! The mood continued this way for the entire show. Almost every song received a standing ovation, and the crowd was on its feet for the whole second half. When you play to such an appreciative crowd, you can't help but be energized by it, and I could tell that the band was really enjoying it and feeding off of it. I was so happy to see the band get such a wonderful response from the audience.
Justin was relaxed and full of smiles, and every song was absolutely perfect. The glowstick I packed in my bag was sitting back in my hotel room, but luckily a lady behind me had enough for our entire section. I'm told the display of blue glowsticks during The Other Side Of Life made a very impressive sight, and Justin obviously enjoyed it, as he acknowledged us during the bows after the song.
Before Higher & Higher, Graeme's jokes about Viagra, turning 69 and "carbon dating" were received with laughter and applause. Again, I can't stress enough how much the crowd added to the atmosphere of the show. During Ride My See-Saw, a lady in front of me turned to look behind us, and her expression made me turn around, too. I've never sat farther back than the third row, so I wasn't prepared for the sight that met my eyes. The entire audience was standing, singing and waving their arms back and forth along with John. It was incredible.
When the show was over, I was taking photos of the "tear down" while the venue employees were strapping on rubber gloves to pick up the trash between the seats. One lady said, "Wow, it's pretty clean!" I said, "We are a neat bunch, aren't we?"
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