RINGO STARR AND HIS ALL-STARR BAND, REVIEWED (2013): All together now . . .

 |   |  1 min read

RINGO STARR AND HIS ALL-STARR BAND, REVIEWED (2013): All together now . . .
Given that previous incarnations of Ringo's All Starr Band included members of The Band, Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren (a one-time solo act, now of Springsteen and Neil Young groups), Ian Hunter (Mott the Hoople) and other luminaries, this line-up looks like the B-team.

Although they have fine pedigree -- Todd Rundgren (who played an indifferent and undersubscribed show here in late 2010), Steve Lukather (session guitarist and founder of Toto), Greg Rollie (the keyboards and voice of early Santana, then Journey) and Richard Page (of short-lived Eighties MOR rockers Mr Mister) - just don't have quite the same cachet.

And their diverse backgrounds made for a show which spun weirdly from Sixties nostalgia (Ringo with Honey Don't, I Want To Be Your Man, Yellow Submarine etc), Latin-flavoured rock (Rollie taking lead for Santana's Evil Ways and Oye Como Va) to Eighties FM radio (Toto's Rosanna, a flat treatment of Africa, Hold the Line, and Mr Mister's ballad Broken Wings).

Into this was squeezed Rundgren who presumed his songs (the great I Saw the Light done a disservice) were better known than they are.

Holding this together, however, was the trim and healthy 72-year-old Starr who provided humour ("What's my name?") and singalong songs.

Constantly flashing a peace sign, he kicked things of with It Don't Come Easy, joked that only four people bought his last album Ringo 2012 (then unfortunately sang the reggaefied Wings from it and later the dreary if well-intentioned Anthem).

He introduced Boys as a song "from that other band I used to be in [loud cheering] ... Rory Storm and the Hurricanes" (a reference to his pre-Beatles band) and such quips -- doubtless well practised -- were appreciated.

But any show which gear-changes between rock 'n' roll (Boys), pub singalong (Yellow Submarine), Black Magic Woman (Lukather shining in a such setting), the countrified Honey Don't, the leaden Anthem, a new ballad by Page then into Toto's Africa, sounds like a setlist programmed by someone with a short concentration span.

The musicianship was (mostly) undeniable but too often this came off as a very good covers band "featuring the original artists", which I suppose it was.

Ringo must have felt the love as the audience sang along to his melodically simple and lyrically memorable songs (anyone can hold the tune of Act Naturally and enjoy bellowing With a Little Help from My Friends).

But in a stop-start, stand-sit-stand again show nothing gelled for any duration.

So, an unusual and interesting show.

Interpret that as you will.

.

Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band, Vector Arena, Auckland, February 2013


Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Live reviews + concert photos articles index

THE BETHS, REVIEWED (2020): The sheer pleasures of certainties

THE BETHS, REVIEWED (2020): The sheer pleasures of certainties

The group of about 10 excitable teenage girls – probably age 15, dressed to party, one with a large love heart in lipstick on her cheek – were sitting on the ground outside the Auckland... > Read more

Peter Brotzmann; Silo Park, Auckland. May 3, 2014

Peter Brotzmann; Silo Park, Auckland. May 3, 2014

There were a couple of key junction points where jazz parted company with its broad audience. The first came when it uncoupled itself from dance music in the post-war period and by the Fifties... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE SOUND OF THE PAST COMING ALIVE: The Whittaker's Musical Museum on Waiheke

THE SOUND OF THE PAST COMING ALIVE: The Whittaker's Musical Museum on Waiheke

The journey takes less than an hour from downtown Auckland, but at its end you have stepped back in time. Here the sounds of the 19th century fill the air: the rich swell of notes from a... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Warner Music albums

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Warner Music albums

Although we've recently shone the spotlight on the Sony Music 5CD sets (for a mere $20) it is worth noting that Warner Music have opened up a huge chunk of their back-catalogue at a budget price.... > Read more