Thursday, May 22, 2014

Justin Hayward Solo Tour - 5/20/14 - Wilmington DE

Tuesday evening was another fabulous Justin Hayward solo show at the World Cafe Live at the Queen in Wilmington. Or perhaps Tuesday (very late) Afternoon if you prefer...

This tour is basically another small batch of shows in support of Justin's 2013 album Spirits of the Western Sky, wedged in between Moody Blues tours. After a Moodies spring tour leg, this show was the sixth in eight days (out of I don't know how many planned in total...). My write up of the August 5, 2013 show is here, and I won't repeat everything that I wrote there, as much/most of the same still applies. This time around we were in the second row of the balcony instead of the first. Brother Dave's Darling Wife and a friend were there again as well.

The backing band this time consisted of only two people, Mike Dawes on acoustic and electric guitars (and percussion on the guitar body), and the hyper-talented Julie Ragins on backing vocals, keyboards (bass parts with the left hand) and percussion. Alan Hewitt, the Moodies keyboard player, was not here this time around. This minimalist setup produced an amazing amount of good clear sound, and everyone sounded terrific.

Same as last time, Mike Dawes opened with a set of four songs by himself, and I was just as amazed this time around. You have to see this guy to believe it... Boogie Shred. And here is 10 minutes of his very first American performance opening for the first Justin show August 2, 2013... I know he did Boogie Shred, The Impossible, and Someone That I Used to Know. I think the fourth song may have been Somewhere Home, but I'm not sure.

Following a 20 minute break (to force a run up of the bar tab I think), Justin came out and played for about 90 minutes, doing 14 songs plus one more for an encore.

Set List: (links are to YouTube videos of the exact performance we saw)
  1. Tuesday Afternoon
  2. It's Up to You
  3. Lovely to See You
  4. In Your Blue Eyes (SofWS)
  5. The Western Sky (SofWS)
  6. I Dreamed Last Night
  7. In the Beginning (SofWS)
  8. One Day, Someday (SofWS)
  9. The Eastern Sun (SofWS)
  10. What You Resist Persists (SofWS)
  11. Your Wildest Dreams
  12. Forever Autumn (as an esoteric aside that Brother Dave might appreciate, the cutaway guitar in this is a James A. Olson handmade custom one of kind, prices starting at $12,000 and going up from there...)
  13. Question
  14. Nights in White Satin
  15. I Know You're Out There Somewhere [Encore]
Someone had posted a set list on SetList from one of the shows a week or so before, and it was exactly this show, but with New Horizons after I Dreamed Last Night. We didn't get New Horizons, which was a mild disappointment, but at least it wasn't I Dreamed Last Night that got dropped. In all of the dozen-plus times I have seen the Moodies or Justin, I had never seen that one live (to my recollection).
It is a beautiful song recorded on the Blue Jays album that Justin did with fellow Moodie John Lodge (while the band was on a multi-year hiatus in the mid 70's). The set list was almost identical to last year's, with only two changes (Land of Make Believe and It's Cold Outside of Your Heart out, and I Dreamed Last Night and What You Resist Persists in).

Anyway...seeing my idol in a small theater setting like this is a slice of heaven. I'd pay the ticket price for Forever Autumn alone. Or any one of a number of other songs for that matter... There is nothing like a small venue like this. Justin was telling stories, interacting with the audience, and seemed to be having a great time. As was I.

Following the show, Julie and Mike were at a table in the lobby signing autographs, so I bought a CD of each of their solo work and had them signed. So in addition to memories, I have some souvenirs (and the CDs are really good too).

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