|Justin Hayward from my seat... not zoomed|
The band was Alan Hewitt on keyboards, Julie Ragins on keyboards and backing vocals, and Mike Dawes on guitars. Hewitt and Ragins have been part of the Moodies backing band the last few tours. Dawes was a new one for me, and a spectacular guitarist in his own right. He opened the show on his own and played four songs, similar in style to Andy McKee who Dave and I saw open for Eric Johnson a couple years ago. Amazing.
I have to admit that after a not-so-satisfying Moodies show last fall in Atlantic City, I had doubts as to whether Justin could perform well live anymore (he is 66 years old after all). In that show, they skipped songs on the set list and Justin seemed to struggle throughout the show. After seeing this, I am willing to chalk that up to an off night or an illness. In this set of 5 songs from the new solo album and 11 Moodies songs, Justin was simply terrific. It was wonderful to see some of these classic old songs in acoustic arrangements in such a small venue. Of the songs they did, despite having attended over a dozen Moodies shows, I am pretty sure I have never seen It's Up to You, The Land of Make-Believe, or It's Cold Outside of Your Heart. After that many shows, seeing an old chestnut that I have not seen live before is a special treat.
The exact set list is below, and courtesy of the omni-present iPhones, links to either the exact performances we saw in Wilmington or other shows on the same tour are given. Solo songs from the new album are noted "SotWS", and Moodies songs are noted with the album and year.
- Tuesday Afternoon, or, to be precise... Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?) (MB, Days of Future Passed, 1967)
- It's Up to You (MB, A Question of Balance, 1970)
- Lovely to See You (MB, On the Threshold of a Dream, 1969)
- In Your Blue Eyes (SotWS, 2013) [Taylor 12 string]
- The Western Sky (SotWS, 2013)
- The Land of Make-Believe (MB, Seventh Sojourn, 1972)
- New Horizons (MB, Seventh Sojourn, 1972)
- In the Beginning (SotWS, 2013)
- One Day, Someday (SotWS, 2013)
- The Eastern Sun (SotWS, 2013)
- It's Cold Outside of Your Heart (MB, The Present, 1983)
- Your Wildest Dreams (MB, The Other Side of Life, 1986)
- Forever Autumn (Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds project)
- Question (MB, A Question of Balance, 1970)
- Nights in White Satin (MB, Days of Future Passed, 1967)
- (Encore) I Know You're Out There Somewhere (MB, Sur la Mer, 1988)
There is a backstage clip of an Interview here, where Justin talks about future tour possibilities as well as some of the guitars used in the show.
We did have one funny experience as we were leaving the balcony area after the show. We walked out into the hallway to catch the elevator to the ground level, and ran into Mike Dawes and Julie Ragins in the hallway. They looked confused as to where they were going, turning this way and that. Mike said "I think it's over here...". As they came around the corner to the elevator, the doors closed in their faces. Julie Ragins muttered "Aww f&*$ing Hell". I said "Welcome to Wilmington". She turned and smiled, and they walked off down the hallway...
There isn't much more that I can say about the show, other than that as I write this a week or so after the fact, I am still basking in the afterglow of a fantastic concert by my favorite artist.