Moody Blues Concert Review
October 29, 2008
from the Frankfurter Rundschau
This German newspaper has a nice review of the Moodies' October 29th concert at the Alte Oper. Here is the link to the German version:
It Matches Excellently - The Moody Blues
Below is an English translation, courtesy of Merlina at Travelling Eternity Road.
FRANKFURT'S ALTE OPER
IT MATCHES EXCELLENTLY - THE MOODY BLUES
by Jamal Tuschick
October 30, 2008
By now Justin Hayward is 62. Shots from the year 1968 show a canny-seeming boy with that special UK charm on the guitar. He is singing 'Tuesday Afternoon.' Next to him Ray Thomas is playing the flute - and Michael Pinder is sitting at the Mellotron "that we bought for 20 dollars from the Dunlop Social Club in 1967. It complemented our songs." The instrument generated the symphonic sound, which unhitched them from their rhythm & blues roots and lead them into complexity with magnet tape particles. The band was founded in 1964 in Birmingham. Pinder came up with the name, inspired by Duke Ellington's 'Mood Indigo' and the circumstance that back then, which was the zenith of the British Invasion, all the Birmingham clubs were connected with the brewery Mitchells and Butlers, short "M&B." Pinder and Thomas expected something from the takeover of the initials.
Still in the founding year the Moody Blues published 'Go Now," 1965 a Britain-wide number one track. 1966 there were redeployments, but ever since, apart from a break in the 70s, the band consisted of Hayward, John Lodge (bass) and dinosaur Graeme Edge (drums) - now live at the Alte Oper. They have sold 55 million sound carriers.
Using the example of their clientele, one could examine the silver fan phenomenon. Does it coincide with the varieties of Silver Sex? Maybe one should occasionally ask Ruth Westheimer about it. A woman from Rhineland tells that she was proposed to a long time ago to 'For My Lady.'
The first thing you heard from the Moody Blues was 'Lovely To See You Again (My Friend),' a 1970 song, played down pleasingly undramatically. "The back-door to rock credibility," to vary a destructive verdict regarding the Moody Blues by Paul Sexton, "closes" definitely not at this point. The band is well received through its British R&B impact from rock's stone age in the retirement home - aka Alte Oper - (just a little joke, actually all age groups are present). What follows is 'Tuesday Afternoon,' with the difference that Norda Mullen plays the flute instead of Ray Thomas.
Whereas John Lodge pushes the audience's enthusiasm with broad mimic and gestural repertoire and all characteristics of indestructibility, Justin Hayward appears like a silent epicure of his own creations. Blow-dried and amazingly unaffected, he is standing there like the impersonated laconic or if you wish, a Netzer (authority) in his profession. I like 'Never Comes The Day' because of it's bluesy nuances. The harmonica is played by Norda Mullen.
Overall much has been shaped, wrapped in "sound-sheets", dusted with cymbals, but then they are quite straighforward again, not least because of the second drummer, Gordon Marshall, who acts up on his drum set. The drummers are splendidly coordinated and in best mood.
During the second halftime the gents appear in changed clothes. John Lodge in leather trousers now, that obviously needed to be. Thereby projections of past excitements illustrate, like on a time travel and much better than any present action, the uniqueness of that era, during which The Moody Blues defined themselves building a style in their own right. 'Your Wildest Dreams' comes with wonderful drive from the drum section. It's followed by 'Isn't Life Strange.' John Lodge contributes with his doubleneck guitar with one bassneck. Elegiac antiphony crashes towards pomp: you've got to like that, millions of people like that, for me 'Isn't Life Strange' sounds like a rock & roll error.
Like Methusalem as dervish, Old Edge comes up to the ramp and heralds high mass. He is sitting again, when finally 'I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock & Roll Band)' is pitched. That's so fit and proper, that I don't know anything to say about 'Nights In White Satin.' Now the auditorium is standing and is stretching towards the sky-high ceiling.