Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band - Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - June 30

Categories: Concert Review
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Sayre Berman
Overshadowed by yet another band.
Photos of Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band at Hard Rock Live
Ringo Starr is the baddest Beatle in A Hard Day's Night

Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band
Hard Rock Live Hollywood
June 30

I'm conflicted. On the one hand, a former Beatle played songs by the biggest band of all time at Hard Rock Live on Saturday night. On the other hand, it was the most boring part of the show.

That's the conundrum of Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band: Ringo is both the main attraction and the show's energetic low point -- everyone wanted to hear "Yellow Submarine," but they didn't stand until the band jumped into Toto's "Hold the Line." It's the risk of leading a supergroup cover band: Sometimes your songs aren't the most fun to cover.

This incarnation of the All-Starrs included Toto's Steve Lukather on lead guitar, Santana's (and Journey's) Gregg Rolie on keyboards, Todd Rundgren on rhythm guitar, and Mr. Mister's Richard Page (who was great, for what it's worth) on bass.

Mark Rivera, of Billy Joel's band, took parts on the saxophone, percussion, keyboard, and any vocal lines too high for the other singers, and Gregg Bissonette, from Santana and David Lee Roth's band, played drums. They brought their collective radio hits and managed to make Ringo's songs seem almost out of place.

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Sayre Berman
Ringo's song choice, however, is a minefield -- it would seem weird (and maybe insulting) to hear him trying to sing "Let It Be," for example, and the songs he contributed the most to -- "Octopus's Garden," anyone? -- aren't exactly Beatles superhits. "Ringo" means "Beatles," but it does not necessarily mean "Beatles songs." So the ones he did play were perhaps destined to fall short of expectations.

To hear Ringo play drums on Toto's "Africa," for example, means I pretty much have nothing left to live for. But he was in the back, playing a drum part that was, as in most of the show, dwarfed by Bissonette's efforts. Santana's "Everybody's Everything" was another high point, as was Toto's "Roseanna."

Page also played a new original, "You Are Mine," that made a cut from Starr's Ringo 2012, "Anthem" (with lyrics like "This is an anthem/For love and peace/We gotta keep trying, we can't give up/This is the day, no turning away/This is an anthem), seem, well... dumb.

(Ringo seemed to know this too: "I've got more copies at home than I sold," he said.)

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Sayre Berman
That said, Starr's songs were a lot of fun -- "It Don't Come Easy" and "With a Little Help From My Friends" were big and energetic, and I enjoyed his subdued dancing -- shifting back and forth in New Balance sneakers with his arm stuck in front of him, as if in an invisible sling -- was endearing, in that way 71-year-olds dancing usually is.

Still, the high-powered lineup of the All-Starr Band made songs like "Boys" (covered by the Beatles in 1963) seem anachronistic in context. A notable instance was Rundgren, wearing teal pants, playing a solo while running back and forth along the front of the stage -- during "I Wanna Be Your Man."

Maybe there's no way to compile a group of All-Starrs that will make Beatles songs sound fresh without the rest of the show being stale. But the performances from these All-Starrs -- particularly Lukather's guitar and Page's voice -- made it clear that Starr's role is far more about name and nostalgia than it is about music.

Set List

"Matchbox" (Carl Perkins original)
Sung by: Ringo Starr

"It Don't Come Easy" (Ringo Starr original)
Sung by: Ringo Starr

"Wings" (Ringo Starr original)
Sung by: Ringo Starr

"In Your Eyes" (Todd Rundgren original)
Sung by: Todd Rundgren

"Evil Ways" (Santana original)
Sung By: Gregg Rolie

"Roseanna" (Toto original)
Sung by: Steve Lukather

"Kyrie" (Mr. Mister original)
Sung by: Richard Page

"Don't Pass Me By" (The Beatles original)
Sung by: Ringo Starr

"Bang My Drum All Day" (Todd Rundgren original)
Sung by: Todd Rundgren

"Boys" (The Shirelles original; covered by the Beatles)
Sung by: Ringo Starr

"Yellow Submarine" (The Beatles original)
Sung by: Ringo Starr

"Black Magic Woman" (Fleetwood Mac original; covered by Santana)
Sung by: Gregg Rolie

"Anthem" (Ringo Starr original)
Sung by: Ringo Starr

"I Am the Greatest" (Ringo Starr original)
Sung by: Ringo Starr

"You Are Mine" (Richard Page original)
Sung by: Richard Page

"Africa" (Toto original)
Sung by: Steve Lukather

"Everybody's Everything" (Santana original)
Sung by: Gregg Rolie

"I Wanna Be Your Man" (The Beatles original)
Sung by: Ringo Starr

"I Saw the Light" (Todd Rundgren original)
Sung by: Todd Rundgren

"Broken Wings" (Mr. Mister original)
Sung by: Richard Page

"Hold the Line" (Toto original)
Sung by: Steve Lukather

"Photograph" (Ringo Starr original)
Sung by: Ringo Starr

"Act Naturally" (Buck Owens original; covered by The Beatles)
Sung by: Ringo Starr

"With a Little Help From My Friends" (The Beatles original)
Sung by: Ringo Starr

"Give Peace a Chance" (John Lennon original)
Sung by: Ringo Starr



Location Info

Map

Hard Rock Live

1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, FL

Category: Music


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