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The Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed Live CD (album) cover

DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED LIVE

The Moody Blues

Crossover Prog


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Matti
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars On one hand, this is really an excellent concert (or DVD) celebrating the 50th anniversary of the wonderful and highly pioneering classic album Days of Future Passed (1967). And on the other hand, there are some frustrating things, mostly dealing with the set list preceding that album, which is of course performed in its entirety and with a full orchestra.

The way the band is introduced could have been better. Sure, Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge ("they are the Moody Blues!", declared in a pathetic voice as they enter the stage) have long been the core line-up of the band, but both the other musicians on the stage and the two absent key members of the classic line-up -- whose debut album the concert is centered on -- are pretty much ignored. Would have been appropriate if either Hayward or Lodge would have at some point spoken a few kind words about Mike Pinder and the late Ray Thomas, plus introduced the supporting players; Especially Norda Mullen on flute ( and acoustic guitar, backing vocals and percussion) does invaluable work on the concert, but is she thanked even once?

I don't think that 'I'm Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band' is a good choice for the opening song; it would function better somewhere towards the end. But at least the version is very good, due to Mullen's participation on flute that gives it a disctinct prog flavour. All in all I'm quite disappointed in the first part of the set list. Just think of their enormous catalogue full of gorgeous songs (NOT ONLY from the classic era), but they prefer to perform some pretty ignorable and blant songs such as 'Say It With Love', 'Steppin in a Slide Zone' or 'Your Wildest Dreams'. Perhaps they thought they must concentrate on the predictable pop hits and the more recent material balancing the set. I understand that, but I can't help thinking unfavourably of several songs here. 'Isn't Life Strange' and 'The Story in Your Eyes' are gracefully contained, though.

The main part however is Days of Future Passed, for which the group is joined by Toronto World Festival Orchestra. The whole album is being played very faithfully concerning also the orchestral parts. This is absolutely adorable. The visual look of the show is great, with beautiful lights and lots of background images depicting the course of day. And the music itself... wow! I'd even say that an orchestra have never sounded better on a rock concert. The band too plays well, but what is naturally missed is the warm voice of Ray Thomas, especially on 'Another Morning' sung by John Lodge. A special mention must go to Jeremy Irons whose poem-reading is projected on the screen; he's got a perfect voice for it.

Excellent choices for the encores, both being from the classic era: 'Question' and 'Ride My See-Saw'. Especially 'Question', not often heard on MB concerts, sounds terrific with the orchestra. As an extra material there's an interview of Hayward, Lodge and Edge, dealing with Days of Future Passed album, which is a nice addition to the DVD, if not very deep. Had the first half of the set included better songs, I'd happily give a full rating for this DVD. Strongly recommended to everyone who thinks Days of Future Passed is a superb album.

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Posted Monday, November 4, 2019 | Review Permalink

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