by Jeff Barringer - Staff Writer & Photographer
"Lovely to see you again my friend..."
I have a long history with the Moody Blues and so does my music collection. Starting with their "Caught Live +5" release in the 70s, a staple of mail order music clubs, I backtracked and ended up with most of their catalog from the 60's and early 70s. My first live experience with The Moody Blues was in 1981 at the Frank Erwin Center and I saw them there again in 1994. Compared to those shows, seeing them in 2011 at the intimate ACL Live at The Moody Theater was like welcoming friends in for coffee.
Of course they played all their old classics, and yes that included "Knights In White Satin", probably the second or third most requested song in 70's AOR radio, and a late night staple for many. There have been roster changes with a band of this vintage, most notably flutist Ray Thomas who retired in 2002, but frontman Justin Hayward along with Graeme Edge on percussion and John Lodge on guitar remain. Though they had a number of backing musicians doing yeoman work to fill in the rest, they stayed true to the mark. It's stunning to see how well the 65 year old Hayward has aged, its almost as if time stood still.