The Moody Blues Live at Ironstone, July 24, 2009 ****
Thoughtful, emotional, elegiac, yet always with a sense of humor and warmth which resonates through nearly every song in their repertoire, the 3 remaining members of the original band, augmented by 4 exceptional musicians including the star-in-waiting Norda Mullen filling in for departed member Ray Thomas put on a remarkable show tonight. Nothing new to promote except a DVD of a 1970 concert on the Isle of Wight, and no new material to try out, but their catalog is more than adequate to sustain a riveting 2 hour performance that ran the gamut from the near schmaltzy "The Day We Meet Again" to the iconic "Question". Maybe it's the fact that I have reached "a certain age" that I find the Moodies more and more compelling given their penchant for musing on the passage of time and the losses contained therein, but hearing them tear into their songs also is somehow reaffirming and uplifting. The lads may be paunchy and jowly, but they still love their music and their fans and life itself and seem intent on sharing that as long as they can.