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The Moody Blues - Lovely To See You Live (DVD) CD (album) cover


The Moody Blues


Crossover Prog

3.32 | 15 ratings

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3 stars Lovely to see you indeed

I often rail against rock and roll senior citizens. Too often I have to agree with Grace Slick's ranting on the subject. She says rock is a young person's game and that her peers should have the common sense to know when it's time to take up painting. Instead we now have "rockers" around age 70 still hauling in the big paychecks singing material they wrote as young men. Worse than having little true conviction to the material is the inability to "get it up" anymore. They play the songs slower, they can't hit the notes (coughhhrobertandgeddy), or they can barely move. Come on people. You're still gonna pay huge bucks to see such mediocrity?

However, occasionally I come across veterans who not only manage to pull it off, but actually do it well enough to put across something genuinely moving and worthwhile. The Moody Blues deliver a set here that is dignified, well done, and enjoyable. This is probably because they wrote timeless material that doesn't sound silly coming from an older person. And they can still sing their parts with relative ease. As only three of the long timers remain they have filled in the rest of the stage with new faces who do a fine job, especially flautist Norda Mullen who seems to have won over the fan base already with her energy.

The show is recorded in Los Angeles and features a simple stage presentation but tasteful lightning, bathing the band in blues and soft purples. Highlights include an early Tuesday Afternoon and The Actor. I would have preferred more Long Distance Voyager but they do sample it with The Voice and Talking Out Of Turn. There is a beautiful acoustic number called Forever Autumn from a Hayward soundtrack collaboration. Then they bring down the house with a poignant, beautiful Isn't Life Strange from the Seventh Sojourn album. This one really seemed to touch people with its melancholy lyrics, I believe there are a few tears in the audience. It also seemed to energize everyone in the band.

They got better as the show went on and positively rocked on Question, Higher and Higher, while delivering all the regal majesty on their classic Nights in White Satin. Hayward just excelled at the show's climax, the fast guitar part at the beginning of Question seemed faster if anything, and his leads were right on the mark though he rarely deviated from the album leads. The Moodies have proven remarkably resilient over all this time and their material holds up. I got a little emotional at the end. It is not lost on me that I'm watching old friends here, voices that have been a part of my life for all of my life, and are rapidly nearing retirement based simply on the math. These voices will be missed and this is a great final document....if it proves to be their last major DVD release. While they were never my favorite band and still aren't I consider their music a treasured part of the last half century.

The extra is a warm and laid back 30 minute interview with Hayward, Lodge, and Edge. At first the questions are short ice breakers moving quickly back and forth between members, but eventually they all take them into more philosophical areas discussing family, art, and fans. They seem genuinely grateful for their long ride and they seem to enjoy being together yet, without the animosity we know exists in some of the other long time bands. The sound on the DVD is decent enough although not perfect. At times there are some anomalies which irritated me and I could use more bass. But don't let that stop you from catching up with old friends.

Finnforest | 3/5 |


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