Friday, August 22, 2014

The Moody Blues at Frederik Meijer Gardens ~ 8/21/14

We were lucky enough to get these tickets that sold out in about 15 minutes when they went on sale to members. Doors were opening at 6 and we were there at 5, closer to the entrance than most times, and with an ever-growing line behind us.
Kathy was playing with her new phone, trying to post this picture of me in the drizzle. Yes, it rained heavily earlier in the afternoon and continued to lightly rain while we were waiting.
We finally got into the park, snagged the Meijer's appetizers (don't look for it in Meijer Grocery stores because it's made only for the concerts), found a spot on the lawn, got our beverages, broke out our food, and waited.
Interestingly and irritatingly, there were gnats swirling everywhere until the sun went down. People were swatting them off themselves and their friends. It was an infestation we've never experienced before. I even had to wipe them off of my glasses. But finally, the band walked on stage. We were thrilled to see that it was the Moody Blues and not an opening act.
Technically, the old drummer (Graeme Edge) is the only original member (1964) but no one would quibble with calling the three white-haired men the original Moody Blues (Hayward and Lodge joined in 1966). They are the people we recognize.
Hayward and Lodge
Say It With Love
We were sitting back far enough to not have much trouble with standing people but we did get a few in front of us, unfortunately.
An announced intermission took place that lasted about 20 minutes. We ran into some old friends, continued to swat gnats, and caught the sunset.
After the intermission, Graeme Edge (original member, old guy drummer) took the mike, told a lame joke about losing Bob Hope, Steve Jobs, and Johnny Cash (so now we have no hope, jobs, or cash). He also let us know that the group was celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding. That was amazing. Edge is 73, Hayward, 67, and Lodge, 69. And they're still just singers in a rock 'n' roll band.

Edge then began the introductory narration for the song we were all waiting for, Nights in White Satin. "Cold-hearted orb that rules the night..."
The screens behind the group varied between psychedelic images and old photos of the group, and all together, this was a professional, well-staged performance. Later in the evening most of the crowd was on its feet and by that time, none of us minded. And the gnats were gone :-) We heard the music that we knew, and some we didn't, but the concert was one we were happy not to have missed. Beginning at 7:10pm and ending at 9:25pm, minus the intermission, this was just under 2 hours of solid music and an entertaining performance. They congratulated us on making it through the 60's and we do the same to them.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meijer Gardens ~ 8/17/14

It was a perfect, lazy morning to take a walk after a busy weekend and we decided to take it at Meijer Gardens. Roy had only been there a few times so I was the tour guide. Being a member and an ex-volunteer, I know the place like the back of my hand ~ probably better :-)
The Boardwalk is my favorite place to start and we saw egrets, mallards, and swans.
We thought this perching bird in the distance was a juvenile Green Heron but my Michigan Birdwatching group insists it is a Great Blue Heron, and I bow to their expertise.
When we spotted this fast-moving caterpillar, nearby visitors moved in for a closer look.
David Nash is exhibiting indoors and outdoors and here are his things that we found. And if you haven't seen them, you're out of luck because today was the last day. First, indoors:
Then, as we came across his sculptures in other places:
Some awesome creations in the children's garden:
Our walk around the perimeter brought us to many standard bearers, most photographed many times before, but here are a few highlights ~ the Neuron and Resting Men :-)

The horse, always the horse, and the beast.
The waterfall is a consistent draw, for koi and photographers:
It's my go-to place when I need serenity ~ in the off-season :-) But today was lovely.