Ringo Starr and his All-Starr band played the final show of their month-long tour at Prudential Hall (Newark, NJ) on Nov 16. This has been Starr’s longest running band which first toured in 2012. The band is selected and there is no audition process. The only requirement is to have had at least 3 hit songs. This is the 12th incarnation of the All-Starr band and Starr has said whenever he tours this will continue to be the band. The members are Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Mr. Mister bassist and singer Richard Page, solo artist and producer Todd Rundgren, All Starr band drummer since 2008 Gregg Bissonette, original Santana and Journey singer/ keyboardist Gregg Rolie, and Saxophonist Warren Ham who has toured with Olivia Newton-John, Franki Valli, and Donna Summer. As for Ringo Starr, it’s easy to say he is the most influential drummer of the last 50+ years there’s nothing like getting to see a Beatle in concert. Starr hasn’t aged a bit, sings great, and it’s always an honor watching him play drums.
The format of the show was that 4 of the band members play 3 songs from their own groups spread out through the set and Starr performs Beatles and solo songs. The usual opening song was Carl Perkins “Matchbox” which honors the music that influenced the Beatles. This is followed by one of Starr’s biggest solo hits “It Don’t Come Easy.” The first to hit to be played by an All Starr band member was Todd Rundgren leading the band on “I Saw The Light.” As Ringo went to the drums and played with the band. “Evil Ways” had everybody singing and dancing along. The incredible “Kyrie” by Mr. Mister left the crowd in awe. For “Bang On the Drum All Day,” Rundgren broke out the Timbales and had everyone jumping around.
In total there were 24 songs. For Toto, the band played “Rosanna,” “Hold The Line,” and “Africa,” The other 2 Santana songs performed were “Black Magic Woman,” and “Oye Coma Va.” For Mr. Mister Page led “Broken Wings” and his solo song “You Are Mine.” On “Black Magic Woman,” Starr stepped off the stage and let the band take over. Of all the songs performed this one seemed to be the most fun for the band as Rolie and Lukather were playing each others instruments during the instrumental break as Page and Rundgren were jumping around together.
The Beatles classics performed were “What Goes On,” “Boys,” “Don’t Pass Me By,” “Yellow Submarine,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “Act Naturally,” and “With A Little Help From My Friends.” Starr’s solo hits were “I’m The Greatest,” “Photograph,” and “You’re Sixteen.” After “With A Little Help From My Friends,” the band finished the show with “Give Peace a Chance.”
Text and Photos by Alex Kluft