Chicago Theatre Review
Moody Blues – Ravinia
On a beautiful Friday evening, we were treated to not just a concert but a theatrical event showcasing the 50th anniversary of one of the most successful concept albums from the 1960’s Days of Future Passed. The show opened with the three remaining members Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge telling us they are just singers in a rock and roll band. But clearly they are much more then that. They are the true definition of classic rock. Some of the highlights of the first half of the show included “Wildest Dreams,” “Isn’t Life Strange,” (one of my personal favorites) “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere,” and “The Story in Your Eyes.” This was just a small taste of what was in store for the 50+ hippie loving crowd.
After a 20 minute intermission the orchestra music began with “The Day Begins” the first song of the concept of an entire day. Using a sophisticated multi media presentation including a giant screen, beautiful videos, and psychedelic imagery to help tell the story, this was truly an experience that grabbed a hold of you and never let go. Jeremy Irons was the familiar voice that we have come to know reading the poetry that opened and closed the album. The two biggest hits from this were “Tuesday Afternoon,” and “Nights in White Satin,” but there was much more to this album, including musical interludes between songs written by Peter Knight connecting and setting the mood for the next part of the day. Some of the other highlights were “Peak Hour,” “Twilight Time,” and the trippy “The Sunset.” As the day ended the audience was brought to their feet after witnessing this masterpiece that established them as pioneers in the development of art rock and progressive rock. But it didn’t end there.
As the crowd kept cheering they returned to the stage to perform two of their biggest hits as encores “Question,” with the audience eager to join in on the vocals and “Ride my See Saw,” wrapping up an evening of nostalgia and great music.
The weather report had called for a chance of rain, which true Ravinia goers are never affected by. But the rain stayed away until about half way through the show. During “Tuesday Afternoon” we felt a cool breeze and a mist over the Pavilion which added to the mood of a perfect summer night. The only way to sum up this evening was an incredible experience for the eyes and ears.
Reviewed by Terry Giardina