The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues

A Night at Red Rocks


Get ready to enjoy the wondrous sounds of “Ride My See-Saw”, “Lean On Me (Tonight)” and “Isn’t Life Strange” live in concert, from the comfort of your own home! Are you as excited as me?

For those not familiar with The Moody Blues, they’re a U.K four-piece who’ve spent several decades creating, well, moody blues (although their music is really more like a bland rock and roll/folk hybrid). A Night at Red Rocks enlists the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and a middle-aged audience who would’ve been flower children if they’d been cool enough (they weren’t); the purpose being to celebrate 25 years of glorious Moody magic. And that’s what you get. It’s pretty simple really — song plays, audience looks under the influence of mild tranquillisers, song ends; repeat.

If the Moody Blues fan within you is anticipating extra footage or bonus content, you’ll be sorely disappointed — there isn’t any, and the concert itself is under way within a minute of the DVD opening (not before some mediocre aerial shots of Red Rocks, though. And don’t forget the close-ups on some of the more bored members of the audience, who always seem to turn up in this type of filming). A Night at Red Rocks typifies the “let’s grab a concert off TV, throw it onto a disc and sell it because we can’t be bothered making something worthwhile for the fanbase” type approach to DVD concerts. About the only saving grace, presentation-wise, is the booklet — sure, it’s ugly, but at least it’s three pages instead of the standard single sheet.

It may sound like I’m complaining for the sake of it, and perhaps I am, but this release typifies an overwhelming trend in the “music DVD” market that big labels are perpetuating — not taking advantage of the increased capabilities of DVD or the extra storage space of the medium, overpricing what is now a relatively cheap technology, and delivering the item in packaging that could have been designed by primary school children employed for extra pocket money. This Moody Blues release is a great example of how to say a resounding “fuck you” to your customers. Even if I liked the music that these guys make (and, after such an uninspiring performance, I can safely say that I don’t), Red Rocks would be something I’d think twice about buying, if for no reason other than it’s an insulting excuse for a 25-year retrospective.

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