Thursday 22 October 2015


Before the 75-year-old drummer’s All-Starr Band arrived at Massey Hall Tuesday night – mere days after his former Fab Four bandmate Paul played the Air Canada Centre on Saturday – Ringo was being interviewed at Indigo Books in support of the wide release of his book, Photograph, in the afternoon.
When CEO Heather Reisman asked for a show of hands amongst the women in the room of who fell in love with Paul first, Ringo also raised his hand.
 So while Ringo is playing theatres on his latest All-Starr trek and Paul is in arenas. Much like Macca earlier this week, Ringo is having so much fun onstage, you can’t help but enjoy the experience and just go along for the ride.

“I love this place,” said Ringo of playing Massey Hall – unbelievably – for the first time. “The sound is so good in here.”
Whether playing his trademark Ludwig kit high up on platform or planted near the front, sliding from side to side, smiling and flashing the peace sign, Starr is a physical wonder.
He literally skipped onstage to open the two-hour-and-five-minute show with Carl Perkins’ Matchbox and was doing jumping jacks by the end of the night during The Beatles’ With a Little Help from My Friends.

And when a young girl in the front row held a sign that said it was her birthday, he gave her a hug, then lay down to pose for a picture for her at the front of the stage.
“First it’s a selfie, next it’s money,” he joked in his trademark Liverpudlian accent.
Starr is certainly at ease with his All-Starr Band which remains the same since 2012: Guitarist-singer Steve Lukather (Toto); bassist-singer Richard Page (Mr. Mister); keyboardist-singer Gregg Rolie (Santana, Journey); guitarist-singer Todd Rundgren (Utopia, The New Cars); drummer Gregg Bissonette and sax player-singer Greg Ham.
The routine also remains unchanged since Starr’s first All-Starr Band in 1989.
Ringo runs through his best known solo and Beatles numbers, plus a few covers, while his bandmates do the same – all on rotation.
So it’s basically all the hits, all the time with the exception of one new song, Islands in the Sun, from Starr’s 2015 album, Postcards from Paradise, and Page’s newer tune You Are Mine.
Of the group, Page has the strongest voice on such Mr. Mister tracks as Kyrie and Broken Wings while Rundgren is the band’s resident genius weirdo appearing to be decked out in guitar print pyjamas while he performed I Saw the Light, Bang The Drum All Day and Utopia’s Love is the Answer.

“Why don’t we do this more?” he said of coming to Canada. “We should have a potluck.”
Starr’s solo classics It Don’t Come Easy and Photograph, and Beatles tunes Boys, Don’t Pass Me By, Yellow Submarine, I Wanna Be Your Man, and With A Little Help From My Friends, were among the standouts while Rolie’s Santana hits Evil Ways, Black Magic Woman (during which Starr left the stage) and Oye Como Va, along with Lukather’s Toto tracks Rosanna, Africa and Love Isn’t Always on Time also hit the mark.
And when the show ended with John Lennon’s Give Peace A Chance, Ringo’s early prediction in the show that it was going to be “peace and love concert in Toronto,” appeared to have come true.

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