Alex Kluft Photography
Legendary Moody Blues guitarist/vocalist Justin Hayward played the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, CA last night. Before Hayward came on, his guitarist Mike Dawes played a 30-minute solo acoustic set. Hayward was not a founding member of The Moody Blues, but replaced original member Denny Laine (Later Wings) just two years after the group formed. Hayward along with bassist John Lodge (Also joined in 66), and the original and only drummer Graeme Edge were members all the way until their final tour ended in 2018. The group’s final tour celebrated 50 years of their album Days of Future Passed which included a performance at the Hollywood Bowl. Following the tour Edge retired while Lodge and Hayward continued to continue to tour as solo artists. Edge passed away last year at the age of 80. The Moody Blues were inducted into the Vocal Hall of Fame in 2013 and in 2018 were finally inducted into the Rock N Roll hall of Fame. The Moody blues were a big influence on pro-rock legends Genesis and Yes as well has Deep Purple and ELO. Hayward was appointed OBE this year.
Hayward played a 15-song set of mostly Moody Blues songs starting with a solo song “The Eastern Sun” performed without the band. Backing Hayward is guitarist Mike Dawes, Karmen Gould (Flue), and Julie Ragins (Keys). Hayward turned 75 last year and still sounds incredible. A few Moody Blues classics performed were “Never Comes the Day,” “The Voice,” and “Nights in White Satin,” and the three song encore of “The Story in Your Eyes,” “Your Wildest Dreams,” and “I Just Don’t Care.”