I was going to title this “A View From The Cheap Seats”, and here is why. You’d think that we are all poshy guest list all the time but no- we actually buy tickets and I am the cheapest person alive. Which is why the discovery of VividSeats.com is such a joy! You can follow shows like the stock market and as the cheap seats start to tank close to show I circled like a vulture. For the fair cost of$9.00 plus fees I was able to score a balcony seat to a band I have wanted to see for close to twenty five years. Confident it would suck at that vantage point I took my time and ended up in the worlds biggest traffic jam arriving at the theater 15 minutes past curtain time of 8pm- and I wasn’t pleased until I realized the band wasn’t on.
Hoofing it up to the rafters I found my seat to be smack dab center and 6 rows from the roof- and it was perfect. I had a great sight line and despite being crammed in like a stick of gum I was OK with it. I was shocked at the crowd. Blue collar working class or less stiffs with bad hair and beer guts. They weren’t the hip Polo wearing Connecticats I expected- far from it, this was trailer town.
The band hit the stage at exactly 8:18 stating they weren’t late but rather were asked to delay by the venue. Nice touch as a third of the crowd was stuck in the highway ramp.
So whats it like to see the Moody Blues? From that distance I didn’t see the age. I saw a grey haired drummer with slow perfect chops, a bassist with an old mans hip wiggle and a guitarist with a little less vocal power than in recording. I was instantly sucked in and captivated.
They got right to work “Gemini Dream”, “The Voice”, “Steppin in a Slide Zone” not much chit chat and not much fanfare. An odd and almost light bright psychedelic light show behind them. The first set was peaceful and lovely and I instantly understood what I loved about this band the vocals and the vibe. Its a comforting sound which may have something to do with my childhood but none the less engulfed me even way up in the rafters. By they time they closed the first half with my all time favorite “Story In Your Eyes” my mascara was gone I was nearly contorted into a ball and I couldn’t be more content.
But a 20 minute intermission? I know they’re in their 70s but.. 20? Hey after we were advised ceremoniously that the Moodies had been around for 50 year I shut my trap and gave proper respect to men of such age who could still hold a brat like me in the palm of their hands.
Second half was for the radio fans “Tuesday Afternoon” “Nights in White Satin””I’m Just A Singer In A Rock and Roll Band”, “Late Lament” they were all there and after a rather self serving prolonged bow, they rallied into “Question” with all the hard ass rock star of hmm maybe a 50 yr old. But it was OK. Vocally there were some clinks. Tones were dropped songs were slowed down the highs filled with girls who ran about playing everything from keyboard to sax. A lovely support to brilliant legends. I wont bash them for a million dollars. They were to powerful, and again I am the master of hate and I have not one word of it right now.
I do have a few issues 1- the crowd behind me nearly got smacked with my boot more than once but the Moodies diverted it by being fabulous so you shout thank them. 2- Oakdale Theater there is a little button on the left called “volume”, use it, it was far too low in the cheap seats oh and for fucks sake get some traffic control.
I have stayed to the end of a handful of concerts in my life, all the way to the very end and tonight was one of them. But I caught a glimpse of the jumbo tron and had to look away-they’re better from a distance with the filters of lights and squinting eyes. They were magical and I cannot wait til they swing my way again.
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