The voice of The Moody Blues, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Justin Hayward brought his acoustic solo tour to the Granada Theater in Dallas. Unlike the big arena shows with the Moodys, the intimate setting of the smaller venues allows Hayward to really connect with the audience and tell stories behind some of the songs.
Before Hayward came on stage, British guitar virtuoso Mike Dawes played a short but entertaining set of acoustic instrumentals. Dawes plays a very unique finger style of guitar that allows him to perform multiple parts at once. Along with some brilliant original compositions, he included an amazing acoustic guitar cover of Van Halen's "Jump" and ended his set with a highly original take on the classic "All Along The Watchtower." His incredible performance and great sense of humor completely won over the crowd and earned him a well deserved standing ovation.
Following a short intermission, Hayward took center stage and opened with "The Eastern Sun" off his Spirits of the Western Sky album. Following that he was joined one by one, by musicians Julie Ragins (keyboards/vocals), a returning Dawes and Karmen Gould (flute/vocals). Together they played a nice set of Hayward's solo material and Moody Blues classics. Highlights from his solo career included "Hope and Pray," "The Western Sky" and "Forever Autumn" from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.
But it was The Moody Blues favorites that everybody came to see and Hayward and company gave the people just what they wanted. "Tuesday Afternoon," "The Story in Your Eyes," "Question," "The Voice," "Your Wildest Dreams," "I know You're Out There Somewhere" and the epic "Nights in White Satin" all brought the crowd to their feet. As the night came to a close, the band left the stage, leaving Heyward to end the show as he started it with a final Moody Blues song, "I Just Don't Care."
This was a great show by one of the all time great voices in rock.