Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Moody Blues Unite With L.A. Philharmonic

September 20, 1993|PHIL GALLO

With lights shooting over the Hollywood Bowl like a re-creation from "Close Encounters," the Moody Blues re-created its most enduring hit, 1967's "Nights in White Satin," with the dynamic support of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

As the army of musicians created a magical symmetry before an enthusiastic crowd that packed the Bowl on Saturday night, the song's wrinkles disappeared and you could feel the emotional urgency that accompanies the most satisfying classical-rock mergers.

Unfortunately, only a fraction of the band's material deserves such dramatic treatment, causing most of the arrangements to appear grandiose and frothy. No one has ever confused Hayward, Lodge and company with Lennon-McCartney.

The Moody Blues' greatest success has been with lush and symphonic concepts, but Saturday's concert revealed just how meager that musical catalogue is.

The opening hour started perfunctorily with an overture by the Philharmonic so drippy that you'd have thought the musicians were making a recording for your nearest elevator. For the most part, however, the orchestra--led by Moodys' conductor Larry Baird--injected more grace into the music than the band itself.

Take away the orchestra and you'd have been left with a tepid walk down memory lane. There were exceptions, such as a version of 1970's "Gypsy," which was performed with a passion and pulse that simply was missing most of the evening.

Throughout the concert, one had the nagging feeling that this was a mixture of rock and classical forces that was 20 years too late. But it shouldn't have surprised anyone. For the last 17 years, the Moodys' music has contracted, succumbing to the latest trends and the nostalgic longings of its audience.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|