The orchestra pit is filled with people and at first I believe that those are orchestra musicians from the Pittsburgh Symphony ready to play along with the Moody Blues, but then I realize instead that those are other patrons who have been seated there to watch the concert just like myself.
My impression that the orchestra would be playing
along with the band perhaps originated from a concert many years ago that was billed as having the PSO play along with the Moody Blues. I assumed that the same thing would be on tap for this evening but to my slight disappointment that was not to be.
I have been in a lifelong fan of the Moody Blues going all the way back to the early albums of the sixties and seventies. I've got most of those on long playing 33 1/3 vinyl records and I've listened to them over and over for many years. Their music is somewhat of an enigma just like their name. Moody as in 'moody' or not quite upbeat and Blues as in 'blue' or perhaps sad. Yet the amalgamation of the two names moody and blues becomes upbeat and happy in my estimation. Now they are a legendary trademark, just the "Moody Blues."
Each hearing of their music is a temporal masterpiece painted upon my visceral brow bringing lush pinpricks of joy and deep feelings of poetic harmony. The sound is symphonic, melodic and spectacular. It's hard to separate them from the rock band genre, and the symphonic element interlaced with that sound.
Almost indescribable sounds emanate to penetrate the either, providing lyrical passages which the listener can often identify with, like "nights in white satin" or "letters I've written never meaning to send," "beauty I've always missed with these eyes before."
Poetry in motion always flowing always fresh never growing old and now I'm glad I am finally seeing them live in concert. It's hard for me to believe that it has taken me all these years to do so and I'm glad that I did because being here in person is a genuine treat.
The lighting on the stage and even projected into the audience is something I have not seen since many years ago - the last time I had gone to a rock concert - its been that long because I've pretty much been into classical music. Oh what a difference between this kind of concert and the classical here at Heinz Hall. This concert is so very loud, but I have to admit that I used ear protection to prevent ringing in my ears. The decibels are so loud I can easily detect clipping of the amplified audio making for unnatural distortions. If they had only turned it down a bit the sound would have been so much better. Yet I forgive them, as I am so excited to be here.
The music of the Moody Blues has always seemed to me to be very close to orchestra type music. It almost sounds as if there is an orchestra in many of their songs and I suppose that's why I also felt like an orchestra ought to be playing along with them, but the lack of the orchestra did not matter because I was so thrilled to see the band that I love.
Justin Hayward's voice is amazing. In fact John Lodge and Graeme Edge - all of their voices are really good especially considering their age. I wonder how they are able to keep their voices so fresh after all these years especially considering that they perform in concert every year.
"Tuesday Afternoon" and "The Question" are two songs in which Hayward must maintain a note that goes up and down for a very long period of time, presumably taking a very deep breath. He is still able to do a pretty good job of it - it's amazing.
If one would envy another, would it be for their appearance, or perhaps for their youth, or maybe for their wealth? I can admit in my case it's none of those but that I envy the voice of Justin Hayward - The Voice - Voices In The Sky - still amazing after all these years.
I made a list of the songs they played for the concert:
- Gemini Dream
- The Voice
- Steppin' in a Slide Zone
- You and Me
- Say It With Love
- Peak Hour
- I Know You're Out There Somewhere
- Story In Your Eyes
- Your Wildest Dreams
- Isn't Life Strange
- Higher and Higher
- Tuesday Afternoon
- I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock and Roll Band)
- Late Lament
- Nights in White Satin
- Ride My See-Saw
Interview on CNN 1986