Ringo with his All-Star Band sings "It Don't Come Easy" for the crowd at the INB Performing Arts Center, Sunday, Oct. 16
Ringo and His All Star Band set up shop at the INB Performing Arts Center on Sunday, he’s done since 1989, has gathered some talented friends and headed on the road. Ringo performs tunes from his past – hits and songs recorded with the Beatles, “Yellow Submarine” followed up by “Black Magic Woman,” and “Hold the Line” leading into “Photograph.”
The musicians performing them are deeply talented: singer-guitarist Todd Rundgren, singer-guitarist Steve Lukather (Toto), Gregg Rolie (Santana) on the organ, singer-bassist Richard Page (Mr. Mister), with sax and additional keyboards from Warren Ham (Kansas, Badfinger) and drums from Greg Bissonette (David Lee Roth, Steve Vai).
Ringo kicked off the show with “Matchbox,” a Carl Perkins’ tune the Beatles covered in their early days. It has a ’50s rockabilly vibe that set the right tone. He followed up with his 1971 solo hit, “It Don’t Come Easy.” Then there was “What Goes On,” from “Rubber Soul”, then headed back to the drum kit where he bobbed his head in true Ringo fashion and backed up his friends. Rundgren sang “I Saw the Light,” Rolie led the band in “Evil Ways,” while Lukather took the lead for “Rosanna.”
The Page took the mic for the 1980s hit “Kyrie,” followed by Rundgren and “Bang the Drum all Day.”
Ringo singing from the drum kit, took lead vocal duties on “Boys,” a rockin’ old Shirelles tune he performed with the Beatles and his previous band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. The it was to the front of the stage for energetic performances of “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Yellow Submarine,” both as fun as you’d expect them to be.
Ringo then took a break as the band launched into a terrific and extended version of “Black Magic Woman.” He was back in short order for delightful versions of “You’re Sixteen, You’re Beautiful (and You’re Mine)” and “Back Off Boogaloo.”
The All Starr Band packed 25 songs into a little more than two-hour set. There wasn’t too much banter, but Starr cracked a joke or two. At one point, he asked all the women in the audience to cheer. “I just like to hear the screams,” he said. “It’s memories.”
The show really was like a roadshow celebrating the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, as most of the songs – save the Page single “You Are Mine”. From the crowd-pleasing Toto hits “Africa” and “Hold the Line,” and a fun, funky version of the Tito Puente song (popularized by Santana) “Oye Como Va,” the Utopia song “Love Is the Answer,” and Mr. Mister’s No. 1 hit “Broken Wings,” the second half was a hit parade.
Of course the end was all Ringo. He led the band through a lovely and lively version of “Photograph,” the No. 1 hit he co-wrote with George Harrison. “Act Naturally,” the Buck Owens song the Beatles recorded in 1965, was country-tinged and fun. Then there was “With a Little Help From My Friends,” the Beatles classic that brought the crowd to its feet, where they stood as the show wrapped up with the Plastic Ono Band song “Give Peace a Chance.”
Throughout the show, Starr displayed a voice that seems undiminished by age. He was amiable and energetic. And watching him work the drum kit was a wonder.