Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band, at the Tobin Center – October 7, 2014
What a show! Ringo Starr & his All Starr Band put on a great show at theTobin Center for the Performing Arts last night! When I was 16, I played Ringo Starr’s “You’re 16” repeatedly – so much that I’m actually surprised the record still plays! I think it was released the year my Aunt turned 16 and I remember her playing it over and over too. I pass the torch (well actually the 45 record) to my daughter who turns 16 next month. Though it was our mutual dream to hear Ringo Starr sing it last night, I guess he doesn’t consider it one of his greats – so it wasn’t on the set list. I guess it’s not orthodox to start a review of a fantastic concert with a negative comment, but now that it’s out of the way, we can focus on all the perfection that it was!
I was born after the Beatles invasion, around the time Revolver was released. I guess you could say I grew up listening to their music, but I never experienced their magic first hand. In fact, it was only a few months ago that I watched some Beatles episodes from the Ed Sullivan Show with my daughter. If you watch those clips, you see Ringo happily smiling and playing the drums but doing very little, if any, singing. Despite his being “so hard to see”, from my perspective, Ringo was the main ingredient. As my daughter says, take away the drums and you have no song! He was (and still is) my favorite Beatle! Nothing against the other 3 greats, John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney, or George Harrison, I’ve just always had a thing for Ringo and his upbeat personality. I digress.
I’m embarrassed to say that I was not really aware of its members or how awesome the All Starr Band is. So, I was not expecting that last night would not only be a concert of a lifetime because we were seeing Ringo, but we also got to experience the music of Steve Lukather, (Santana, Toto, Journey) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Lukather, Todd Rundgren http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Rundgren, Richard Page (Mr Mister) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Page_(musician), Gregg Bissonette (Santana, David Lee Roth) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregg_Bissonette, Gregg Rolie (Santana, Journey), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregg_Rolie, and Warren Ham (Toto) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Ham.
Ringo sang one of his newer songs called, “Anthem (for Peace and Love)” but I think Todd Rundgren, dressed in a psychedelic pant suit like someone right out of 1971, sang another anthem Ringo subscribes to – “Bang the Drum all Day.” As Ringo said, “Well, that’s what I do.” He looked genuinely thrilled to be playing the drums while the All Starr Band members belted out classic tunes that made them famous, such as “Africa,” “Roseanna,” “Oye Como Va,” “Love Isn’t Always on Time,”. He even sat in the background playing the cajón drum while Richard Page showcased his new song, “You are Mine.”While he never said the word, “Beatles,” he enjoyed directing fans to sing along to classic Beatles tunes – “Yellow Submarine” and his finale, “I get by with a Little Help from my Friends.” Ringo even made a sarcastic remark after he sang, “Don’t Pass me by,” about how after he wrote that song he “was like, watch out (John and Paul), I’m coming through!”
Despite his fame and financial status, I think all will agree that Ringo is a down-to- earth kind of guy with whom you could just be yourself and chat with at a party. Ringo’s infectiously joyful personality shined through last night at the Tobin Center. As fans yelled out his name, he acknowledged them with “don’t just say my name, say ‘Ringo, we love you’. . .it makes me feel good.” He also acknowledged a fan dressed in a pink Sgt. Pepper costume. The intimate layout of the Tobin Center allows the artist to interact with the fans and the fans to feel as though the artist is speaking directly to them. Several times during the night, I felt as if Ringo was looking right into my eyes – even though I was about nine rows back and he was behind his bright red drums. If you want him to really look into your eyes, that’ll be $3,000, but it’s for a good cause, the proceeds go to Ringo’s charity, the Lotus Foundation. Fans were also able to purchase Ringo’s artwork, drumheads, jewelry, and various other reasonably priced items to help the Lotus Foundation and of course, the usual T-shirts, photos, and other memorabilia from the band’s merchandise booth.
Ringo is a real star that is not afraid to let the spotlight shine on his co-workers – a technical term because I don’t think any of them were “working” last night. Music is a passion for most people, but only a select few get paid for fueling that passion. True, as fans we provide their source of income, but our reward is the wonderful feeling they leave us with when they take their final bows. The acoustics in the Tobin Center are amazing. We shot some video using our phones and small digital cameras. I think you’ll agree the sound quality is pretty good and you’ll forgive me for their jumpiness. I hope you enjoy these video clips and photographs at least half as much as my daughter and I enjoyed being there to take them. Peace & Love. – BMT
*Originally posted on Facebook October 9, 2014 – https://www.facebook.com/ReviewsoftheArtsSA/posts/754744957924532