Being a member of the most successful group in history, The Beatles, there isn’t a single rock music fan in the world who doesn’t know Ringo Starr. For me The Beatles are the greatest band that has ever been. Of course, depending on whom you ask that will always be debatable along the same lines as ‘˜who is the greatest guitar player, etc.’ Apart from his success with The Beatles, Ringo has been a star (pardon the pun) in his own right since his inception into the band round about fifty years ago. Yes kids, it’s really been that long. Over the years he has released his own solo albums and made his mark with such hits as “Photograph,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Sweet Sixteen.” “Oh My My,” and “Act Naturally.” At a ripe young 70 years of age (just turned 70 this year) Ringo himself as well as The Beatles seem ageless and timeless, garnering new generations of fans every day. He has once again embarked on a concert tour that according to some rumors may actually be his last. But don’t quote me on that, you know how these things go in rock’n’roll. So for the time being his “Peace and Love,” mantra may be coming to a town near you. But for Ringo this isn’t just a sentiment for the moment. It’s been an on going way of life for the English gent for as long as I can remember.
This inclination of the All-Starr Band is in its eleventh touring version. Every musician who shares the stage with Starr is famous in their own right with years of experience and hits of their own. This time around joining Starr is Rick Derringer, Edgar Winter, Gary Wright, Richard Page, Wally Palmer, and Gregg Bissonette. The show itself is a throw back into the archives of rock hits and nostalgia ranging from the 1960’s through the 80’s. Ringo performs his own solo hits along with his most famous Beatles tunes. “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “It Don’t Come Easy,” “Photograph,” “Act Naturally,” and “Yellow Submarine.” His vocals are sharp and clear, his presence on stage is endearing and charming. He really does seem to be having a great time. I must admit it is a kick to watch him sit behind the drums and play. I found myself gazing back in his direction more than once while other solos were going on. Not to be the ultimate spoiler, though I am, the pseudo-encore is a must see and hear: “With A Little Help From My Friends,” paired with John Lennon’s classic “Give Peace A Chance.” This alone is worth the price of admission and the two hour show is nothing short of a spectacular musical rock adventure.
Each member of the All-Starr band interweaves their own classics throughout the set, claiming the spotlight if just for a moment as their own with Starr formidably seated behind his drum kit. Some of the infamous musical moments are “Hang On Sloopy,” originally released in 1965 (Rick Derringer) “Frankenstein,” (Edgar Winter ‘” whom jumped from keyboards, saxophone and percussion with ease; forget the fact that the guy can still hold a tune with the best of them and had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand ‘” never mind the standing ovations) “Dream Weaver,” (Gary Wright) “What I Like About You,” (Wally Palmer from the band The Romantics) and “Broken Wings,” (Richard Page from Mister Mister) just to name a few. As an entertaining rock evening you really can’t do better than this. All the boys in the band are first rate, tight and blend so well vocally one would think they have been playing together for years. It’s like gumbo soup, many different ingredients thrown together, blended well, and served up hot and ready to roll. Rock fans of all ages will certainly have a great time. For those of us Beatles fans it’s a wonderful step back into the music we grew up with, really love and have a passion for. The memories that go along with each song, each musician opens a great floodgate of pure rock enthusiasm. So put on your Beatles and Ringo t-shirts, join the rock faithful and step on into a great musical time capsule. A smile on your face and skip in your walk is guaranteed.
Spoiler alert: (don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
All Starr Setlist:
It Don’t Come Easy
Hang on Sloopy
Talking in Your Sleep
I Wanna Be Your Man
The Otherside of Liverpoole
Back Off Boogaloo
What I Like About You
Rock And Roll Hootchie Coo
With A Little Help from My Friends/Give Peace a Chance Finale