Justin Hayward Shines at the Balboa Theater in San Diego

Photo (c) Derek Russell

Friday, the legendary Justin Hayward, former frontman of The Moody Blues, graced the stage of the Balboa Theater in San Diego, delivering a mesmerizing performance that transported the audience back to the golden era of classic rock. The acoustic set, complemented by bass, alto electric flute, and occasional electric guitar, showcased Hayward’s timeless voice and musical prowess, captivating the audience from start to finish.

The evening began with an impressive opening act by Mike Dawes, whose versatile guitar techniques added a unique percussive and melodic layer to the performance. Dawes later joined Hayward on stage, further enriching the acoustic ensemble with his dynamic playing.

Hayward’s voice was in excellent form as he navigated through a setlist that featured both classic hits and deeper cuts from The Moody Blues’ extensive discography. The concert kicked off with “Tuesday Afternoon” from the iconic album “Days of Future Passed,” immediately setting a nostalgic tone for the evening. This was followed by “Driftwood” from “Seventh Sojourn,” reminding the audience of the timeless beauty of these classic albums.

Among the many highlights were three tracks from the fan-favorite album “Long Distance Voyager” – “The Voice,” “Meanwhile,” and “In My World.” Each song was met with enthusiastic applause, reflecting the deep connection the audience had with these beloved tracks.

Hayward also treated the audience to a selection of other memorable songs, including “Question,” “The Story in Your Eyes,” and “Voices in the Sky.” The hauntingly beautiful “Forever Autumn,” originally from Jeff Wayne’s ‘War of the Worlds,’ was a standout moment, showcasing Hayward’s emotive vocal delivery.

The concert reached its peak with a stunning rendition of “Nights in White Satin,” one of the greatest ballads ever written. Hayward’s performance was flawless, eliciting a wave of emotion from the audience. Not bad for a 77-year-old rock legend.

The encore featured “Blue Guitar,” a collaboration between Justin Hayward and John Lodge, followed by “The Story in Your Eyes” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere.” Each song was met with thunderous applause, capping off a night of extraordinary music. After all, Justin Hayward’s concert at the Balboa Theater was a testament to his enduring talent and the timeless appeal of his music.

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