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Click here for the venues and set list performed on this tour. Thanks to Linda Bangert and Neil Ottenstein

by: MATT ELLIOTT World Scene Writer
Moody Blues pleased fans with simple classics

The members of the Moody Blues aren't spring chickens anymore but the passage of time has not eroded the class and spirit that moved them in the 1960s.

The band spoke little to the audience in its Thursday concert at the Brady Theater, but the message was received. Bassist John Lodge, guitarist Justin Hayward and drummer Graeme Edge led the sold-out crowd by the hand through the band's classics, including stunning performances of "Nights in White Satin," "Isn't Life Strange," "One More Time To Live," "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" and the politically charged "Question."

"From the Moody Blues, thank you for keeping the faith," Lodge told the crowd. The band played benignly on stage, not bounding back and forth, but bathing in the blues, reds, purples, greens and yellows from the stage lights while a projector showed grainy black-and-white photos of the band on the back wall of the stage.

The Moody Blues made its name in 1967 with "Days of Future Passed," which merged classical music with the bombast of rock and roll, a style that also earned them derision from critics who called the style too grandiose. But the band's string of hits stretched into the 1980s, with "Your Wildest Dreams" from 1986's "The Other Side of Life" and "I Know You're Out There Somewhere" from 1988's "Sur La Mer."

Lodge worked the crowd, strutting his lanky frame to the front of the stage, waving his hands and clapping over his bushy and graying blond head. Hayward stood quietly to the side, intently peering through his blond hair at his guitar, playing with determination.

Joined by a flutist, a keyboardist and an extra drummer to assist Edge, the band showed the musicianship that endeared it to musicians and music fans alike through eloquent acoustic guitar melodies and sweet harmonies.

Perhaps the pinnacle of the show was "Question," a fast-paced acoustic guitar strummer with oohs-and-ahs from the backing vocalists decrying greed, persecution and war.

Other songs were more personal such as "Tuesday Afternoon," the second song of the night, in which Hayward sang
"Tuesday afternoon/I'm just beginning to see/Now I'm on my way/It doesn't matter to me/Chasing the clouds away.

"Something calls to me/The trees are drawing me near/I've got to find out why/Those gentle voices I hear/Explain it all with a sigh."

Much of the crowd appeared to be baby boomers who grew up to the Blues' music. While a few stood up and danced in front of their seats, most kept to their seats until frequent standing ovations, at least one of which stretched on for minutes.

There's something to be said about music that's as innocently simple yet as grandiose as that of the Moody Blues, who seem to be masters of saying much with few words.

The songs aren't about glorifying drug use, misogyny or revelling in fame. They instead focus on love and the simple pleasures in life. Whether or not the Moody Blues' members keep to those simple pleasures today doesn't seem to matter because they make it sound so good.

Matt Elliott 581-8366