The Moody Blues Newcastle City Hall 1981 and 1984

The Moody Blues Newcastle City Hall 1981 and 1984
moodiestix After not touring for a long time, the Moody Blues began to tour extensively, coming to the UK every couple of years. I saw them at Newcastle City Hall in 1981 and 1984. Their concerts started to take a similar format, which to some extent they still follow to this day, consisting of two sets with an intermission, and no support act. The setlist would consist of the classic tracks, with some new songs (less new songs these days). My favourite “Tuesday Afternoon” would come quite early in the evening, while one of the other songs I would wait to hear, “Nights in White Satin”, would be played towards the end of the show. The hit “Question” would be the last song, and the encore was always “Ride my See-Saw”, which is as much rock’n’roll as you will get in a Moody Blues concert. Predictable, yes, but also always high quality and always a good show. I find it strange how the Moodies have “disowned” their early incarnation, and never ever play Go Now or anything from their first album, “The Magnificent Moodies”. I have a copy of that 1965 debut lp, and its actually pretty good. I understand, of course, that the band changed out of all recognition in terms of membership and style in 1967, but it would still be good to see them play Go Now just once :), and, at least in the 1980s, two members (Ray Thomas and Graeme Edge) remained from that original 1960s line-up.
moodies81prog The 1981 tour was to promote “Long Distance Voyager” and the 1984 tour, which was in aide of NSPCC (the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), promoted new lp (and they were still lps in those days) “The Present”. From the 1981 tour programme: “The Moody Blues blast off into musical orbit for ’81 with their first new album for two years, ‘Long Distance Voyager’ featuring ex-Yes Keyboard ace Patrick Moraz for the first time on record, in company with original members, Justin Hayward (vocals-guitar) Ray Thomas (flute) John Lodge (bass) and Graeme Edge (drums). Although the Voyager album is the group’s first original concept since ‘Octave’ in 1978, the group has been continuously in demand throughout the world and Moraz is already the veteran of several U.S. tours where the group retain legendary proportions.”
moodies84prog From the 1984 tour programme: “The facts are that The Moody Blues have sold in excess of 30 million albums worldwide since their inception in 1964, that they have more platinum albums than any other surviving super-group and that their last release “Long Distance Voyager” was number one on the American charts. Their new LP, “The Present,” proves once again that The Moody Blues’ strong melodic structure within a rock framework has enduring appeal.”
Setlist from 1984: Gemini Dream; Sitting At The Wheel; Tuesday Afternoon; The Voice; Steppin’ In A Slide Zone; The Story in Your Eyes; Painted Smile; Reflective Smile; Veteran Cosmic Rocker; Driftwood. Intermission. Talking Out Of Turn; Running Water; Gypsy; Isn’t Life Strange; Blue World; I’m Just a Singer; Nights in White Satin; Legend of a Mind; Question. Encore: Ride My See-Saw

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