Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Up For Review

Since I'm giving serious thought to pursuing journalism some day I figured I'd take this opportunity for a concert review. All constructive criticism is welcome.

Last night I took Dad to see the Moody Blues, his favorite band of all time, and, I must say, that I was pleasantly surprised. They played a two hour set that included material spanning their long and illustrious career that sounded well in the acoustics at the Lyric Opera House in Baltimore. The setting was fantastic and they sounded like I imagine they would have in their heyday.

The one thing that could not be overlooked was the crowd; the baby boomer's have all grown up. They moved a little slower, had less hair, and sat more than they stood; this was especially humorous when the band played Are You Sitting Comfortably. It took a few songs before they got the blood flowing but when they did you could feel the energy rise both on stage and off. The aging process was not lost on the Moodys either, with Graeme Edge making a comment that he wrote a song almost 40 years ago when, "my hair was brown and my teeth were white."

The musicianship of the original trio and four supporting musicians was right on par with the dusty vinyl sitting on my shelves. This was proven beyond all doubt on Isn't Life Strange with elaborate guitar solos, a pair of drummers, keyboardists, and a flutist all playing with precision and flawless transitions. The obligatory Nights In White Satin sounded fresh and was played with the raw emotion in which it was originally written. It was, surprisingly, not reserved for the finale, that was instead given to Question and Ride My Seesaw.

Overall the volume was set at a comfortable level, they weren't so loud your ears rang and they weren't so quiet that you couldn't tell what was going on.The sound quality was not with out flaws, however. John Lodge's microphone was a tad low, and when performing some of the lead vocals it became even more obvious. Justin Hayward's guitar had a tendency to overshadow the other instruments at various points too. As the night wound down the sound engineer made the necessary adjustments and toned it down a bit so that it blended with the rest of the band nicely.

Having never been to one of their shows before, I cannot compare it with a performance of the past, but in my own concert experiences this one is high on the list. I can say with all certainty that I would go back and catch their show anytime. The setting, the sound, the people, and the band made a combination that all shows should strive to achieve.