Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band shined bright for two hours at Toyota Music Factory in Irving, TX filling the atmosphere with peace, love, and classic rock from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. These are hits that could be considered to be buried treasures. Ringo Starr, the English singer, songwriter and the most famous drummer in the world has an all star lineup of extraordinarily talented musicians, each with hugely successful careers formed decades ago, performing a myriad of songs by Ringo, THE BEATLES, TODD RUNDGREN, SANTANA, TOTO, and MR. MISTER. The superstars that made this All Starr Band complete 6 years ago were outstanding in every aspect! The lineup featured Gregg Rolie on keyboards, Todd Rundgren and TOTO’S Steve Lukather on guitar, Richard Page, bassist/vocalist from MR. MISTER, Gregg Bissonette (too many to list!) on the drums, and Warren Ham (vocals, woodwinds, percussion).
Starr at 77 years young looks marvelous with the appearance of being in excellent physical condition. Wearing black jeans, black t-shirt with music notes and bright colors layered with a black jacket with his peace sign around his neck he opened the show singing “Matchbox” from the BEATLES album Something New released in 1964, “It Don’t Come Easy,” Ringo’s first hit single in 1971, & “What Goes On” from the Rubber Soul record.
After much anticipation the moment arrived that everyone awaited. Ringo took a seat on his throne behind his four-piece Ludwig drum kit. He then said, “Everybody on stage is a “Starr” in their own right.” Continuing on, each individual sang songs from the bands that gave them their claim to fame. First up, Todd Rundgren with “I Saw The Light. His unique sound is still recognizable today. Ringo’s drumming was solid, clean, and precise throughout the entire evening. I was truly astonished at his technique and ability of playing with a reminder he’s 77. How groovy! I believe he deserves way more recognition than he receives. Rundgren continued with “Bang The Drum All Day.” Dressed in a bright orange and black t-shirt, black stretch pants and his matching black and white tie-dyed looking hair Rundgren was amusingly eccentric for the duration of the concert.
Ringo joked, “I just released a new album Give More Love and all five of you who bought it are here tonight.” Alternating from frontman to playing drums he was extremely spry as he scurried up the stairs to his drum riser. The hippie style backdrop onstage had colorful interchangeable patterns of flowers, spinning stars, peace signs etc. giving a visual hallucination effect.
Keyboardist Rolie took the lead on “Evil Ways” which was recorded on the debut album Santana in 1969. Later he sang “Black Magic Woman” and “Oye Como Va”. Rolie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame as a member of both SANTANA and JOURNEY, as he was a co-founder of both bands. He plays magically and his flavor has always been exquisitely tasteful, one of the best in the business, still playing his Hammond B3 Organ. Numerous Ringo and BEATLES songs also covered included “Boys”, “Don’t Pass Me By”, “Yellow Submarine”, “You’re Sixteen”, “Back Off Boogaloo”, “I Wanna Be Your Man”, and “Photograph.”
With Lukather on lead guitar and Ham taking the lead on vocals and playing saxophone they performed “Rosanna” and “Africa” from the 1982 album Toto IV. Lukather’s guitar licks are highly impressive, his style a mixture of rocking soulful Latin fusion blended together. Ham, from Fort Worth, is majorly multitalented, his vocal range superior, and one of the highlights of the show was listening to him reach the high notes on “Rosanna” which proved his voice is in mint condition and finely tuned as well as being a phenomenal saxophonist and clarinet player, a real asset to the group.
Page sang “Kyrie” and “Broken Wings” both from the MR. MISTER album Welcome to the Real World. He is a powerful bassist and his flawless vocals on “Kyrie” were captivating. and with two drummers on the risers, including Bissonette who is one of the most musically educated, versatile and technically skilled drummers today this trio together made a powerhouse rhythm section.
Ringo really appears genuine and It’s obvious he has a true love and passion for playing drums and that’s all that really matters. The fan base ranged from young children to great grandparents. In a world full of chaos there was an overwhelming feeling of peace, love and fun shared on stage that vibrated through to the audience and during the last several songs security waved to the fans on the floor allowing them to move closer to the stage. It’s only fitting that a BEATLE would end the night with words of wisdom as Ringo thanked the audience by singing “I Get By With a Little Help From My friends,” and “Give Peace a Chance.”
LIVE IMAGES: GUZPIX
LIVE WORDS: JANICE SPICER