The Moody Blues in Moncton: Precious Cargo Tour

The Moody Blues in 1969 - On The Threshold of a Dream
The Moody Blues in 1969. Seeing them live in Moncton last night was an awesome trip from a rainbow to the moon!

We knew it was going to be special seeing the Moody Blues in Moncton when we arrived at the Moncton Coliseum and there was a huge double rainbow across the sky right over the concert hall! The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow! Fans were parking and getting out of their cars and walking to the front gate under a huge double rainbow…we were so excited! The Moody Blues coming to Moncton on their Precious Cargo Tour and the heavens opened up and gave us a rainbow to celebrate the moment!

What a great show going through 20 of their songs…my favorite was Tuesday Afternoon, Peak Hour and Question. Those songs brought tears in my eyes!

DD here,  it was indeed a great show. I wonder if the Moody Blues crew knew about the rainbow? They were probably all in their dressing room.  For sure they saw the big almost full moon above the Coliseum after the show: from rainbows to the moon! WOW!

We hadn’t brought our cameras because when I phoned the coliseum to ask if we were allowed to bring cameras, the lady said “not that I am aware of”… well lady, be aware that there were about hundreds of cameras shooting and filming the show that our memory will have to work hard to replay for us.

The set list:

1. The Voice
2. The Day We Meet Again
3.  Steppin’ In a Slide Zone
4. Gipsy
5. Tuesday Afternoon
6. Lean On Me Tonight
7.  Meanwhile
8. Peak Hour
9. I Know You’re Out There Somewhere
10. The Story In your Eyes

Intermission

11. In Your Wildest Dream
12. Isn’t Life Strange
13. The Other Side of Life
14. Drift Wood
15. Higher and Higher
16. Are You Sitting Comfortably?
17. I’m Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band
18. Nights In White Satin
19. Question
20. Ride My See-Saw (Encore)

On a simply dressed stage, standing in front of a fabric background projection screen, Justin was all in white like a knight in white satin while John, his alter ego, wore a black V neck T-shirt with tight black leather pants. Graeme at the left rear of the stage reminded me of a gentle flaming tiger with his black striped orange shirt.  In front of Graeme were the two girls, Norda Mullen (flute, guitars, tambourine, vocals) with black leggings, a white shirt and a black jacket, and Julie Ragins (keyboard, guitar, tambourine, vocals), sporting a black t-shirt with a sparking silver fleur-de-lys: she has to wear it in Quebec City and Montreal, they’ll love her! Both her and Norda were awesome and so talented. On the opposite side of the stage to the right was Allen Hewitt (keyboards, vocals) dressed in black pants with a white shirt and a black vest. For some reason I thought he and Norda could well have been pirates carrying the precious cargo!  Speaking of pirates  I read that they call their tour bus The Good Ship Everything because it has everything they need: was the name of the tour inspired by the tour bus?  I was so impressed before the show by Allen’s  Memotron and I couldn’t wait to hear it, unfortunately I wasn’t able to hear anything clearly hidden behind all the other instruments and voices.

It felt to me like a roller coaster ride where I was brought up slowly to the top then speeding all the way down,  screaming my lungs out, and then slowly up again and the best part of it is I didn’t even get motion sickness! Instead I was jumping out of my skin and was completely blown away by drumming right hand man, Gordon Marshall. What a pleasant surprise it was to watch him step out of his drum kit and play some flute in a duet with Norda Mullen on “Are You Sitting Comfortably”.  Yes I was sitting comfortably but I couldn’t help the stomping, the kicking and the beating, using all surfaces I could find,  from my hips to my thighs then hitting the notepad with my pen I had to take  notes. I was like a kid going to “The School of Rock”: Now look and listen up kiddo this is how we do it!

The Moody Blues Live in Moncton! Thanks so much to John and Lori who emailed us this photo when they read we didn’t have our cameras! What a great panorama view of the group on stage!

My main attention was always pulled by the drumming and I think this makes it official that I have a little drummer girl inside of me. There seemed to have something gone weird during one of the first songs, not sure but I think it was during Tuesday Afternoon, like a strange noise that wasn’t supposed to be there; the guys all kept looking at each other smiling with question marks. Right after, John Ledge really took us where we’ve never been before while singing Lean on Me.

One of my first impressions when I saw Gordon Marshall was that he reminded me of a tall Ron James. For those who are not familiar with the name, Ron James is a comedian originally from Nova Scotia who runs a TV show by the same name. It felt kind of funny and I was expecting him to stand up at any moment and start making funny faces telling jokes; those visions slowly dissipated  as I got into the “mood”.

What a pleasure it was when Graeme stepped down pretexting he needed to stretch his legs from sitting down too long and told us he had just turned 70 which deserved him a standing ovation, and then he went on with Higher and Higher “With the power of ten billion butterfly sneezes ” which made us look at each other laughing as this refers to us to Alaska sneezing (our Burmese cat) and we changed the lyrics to:  “ten billion Burmese sneezes”!

During the intermission, we encountered a pregnant lady and I told her how lucky the baby was to attend this concert while in her belly! She told me this was a very special moment for her and her husband as Nights in White Satin was played at their wedding and their anniversary was coming up in a few days. I was so happy for them! This show will definitely stay engraved in our memory and we will cherish it for as long as we have it. This was to me one of the most meaningful concerts along with Hall and Oats in the 80’s. The Moody Blues has become our favorite band.

The Moody Blues Album Cover "On The Threshold of a Dream"
The Moody Blues Album “On The Threshold of a Dream” was the first Moody Blues moment I had…that album freaked me out when I heard it at 4 years old and I’ve never been the same since then!

Dami: I first heard the Moody Blues when I was 3 or 4 years old and I remember it quite well actually! Strange…so many years ago and I was just a wee-thing but I remember hearing the album On The Threshold of a Dream by the Moody Blues and being totally freaked out! The cover of the album, with this strange alien tree being grasped by some eerie robot really caught my attention and listening to the song “In The Beginning” with the odd dreamy voice of the dreamer and the mechanical robot speaking just was soooo freaky to me!

Ever since then the Moody Blue has had a place in my life…sometimes smaller parts but it seems that their music was always perfect to bring me back to a certain place…another mood or another planet!

Lately we have been listening to The Moody Blues on our trips to Nova Scotia when we go to the chalet or to the cabin we will play their music over and over while we sit by the fire or play scrabble or eat supper. Their music really works well out in the forest!

So when we heard they were coming to Moncton to do a concert we just had to go! This was their first Canadian Tour and we couldn’t dare to miss it! I would never have guessed that when we moved to New Brunswick last year that we would actually be able to see The Moody Blue in Moncton!!