Ringo Starr brought his All-Starr Band to a sold-out show at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix AZ on Tuesday, November 15th. The show was “In The Round”. Celebrity Theatre is a unique venue in that it has a circular stage that turns and the audience rings the stage. The other nice feature of the venue is that even the people in the last row are only 75ft from the stage and everyone has a great view of the performance.
Having been born in the mid-50s, I was lucky enough to see the original British Invasion of Rock and Roll artists. Having an older sister, I actually got to hear a lot of that music from the early 60s. I can even remember seeing the Beatles the first time they played on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. I even had a Nehru Jacket like the Beatles wore in the late 60s. Since the Beatles stop touring in 1966, I was never lucky enough the see them live. However, in the 70s, I did get to see John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney individually or with their new bands. Ringo Starr was the only member of the Beatles that I had never seen. When I heard that Ringo was coming to the valley with his All-Starr Band, I couldn’t wanted to see them.
Ringo started the All-Starr Band as a touring band in 1989. Since that time he has toured with a large number of superstar artists from many different bands. The current band consists of guitarist Todd Rundgren (Utopia), guitarist Steve Lukather (Toto), Keyboardist Gregg Rolie (Santana), bassist Richard Page (Mr. Mister), Warren Ham on sax and percussion and Gregg Bissonette on drums. A little less than half of the songs were either Beatles or Ringo songs. The remainder of the songs were a mix of songs by the other All-Starr Band members. This was a good mix of music and allowed each of the other artists to take lead and showcase their works.
The show started with Ringo out front singing the first 3 songs, “Matchbox”, “It Don’t Come Easy” and “What Goes On”. Then Ringo went back to his drum set and the band played songs by the other All-Starr band members. First up was Todd Rundgren’s “I Saw The Light”, then Gregg Rolie with Santana’s hit “Evil Ways”, followed by Steve Lukather and Toto’s “Rosanna”. Last but not least was Richard Page and the Mr. Mister song, “Kyrie”. Ringo came back out front to sing “Yellow Submarine” and the audience were on their feet clapping, dancing and singing along. When the band did “Black Magic Woman”, Ringo left the stage for a short break. Then Ringo came back and sang “You’re Sixteen”, “Back Off Boogaloo” and “You Are Mine”. Again in the second half of the show, the other band members got to showcase their songs including “Africa” and “Hold The Line” by Toto, Santana’s “Oye como va”, Utopia’s “Love Is the Answer “and “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister. They ended the show with Ringo singing “With a Little Help From My Friends” and “Give Peace a Chance”.
The music was great and it was nice to see the different band members get to showcase their works alongside some of the great Beatles classics. Ringo is the consummate showman singing to the audience and leading this band of outstanding musicians. I was amazed how well Ringo and Gregg were able to synchronize on drums so it sounded like just one drummer. I was also delighted that the voices of Ringo, Todd, Steve and Gregg Rolie were still in good shape. I can finally say that I have seen all of the Beatles, if only individually. The audience also seemed to really enjoy the show by the number of standing ovations and cheering that was done. If you like Beatles music and want to see one of the members of the Beatles, then this is a great show to see. You will not be disappointed and should really enjoy the other great artists and their songs.
Review and photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: Celebrity Theatre
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2016
Matchbox (Carl Perkins cover)
It Don’t Come Easy (Ringo Starr song)
What Goes On (The Beatles cover)
I Saw the Light (Todd Rundgren cover)
Evil Ways (Willie Bobo cover)
Rosanna (Toto cover)
Kyrie (Mr. Mister cover)
Bang the Drum All Day (Todd Rundgren cover)
Boys (The Shirelles cover)
Don’t Pass Me By (The Beatles cover)
Yellow Submarine (The Beatles cover)
Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen (Santana cover)
You’re Sixteen (Johnny Burnette cover)
Back Off Boogaloo (Ringo Starr song)
You Are Mine (Richard Page cover)
Africa (Toto cover)
Oye como va (Tito Puente cover)
I Wanna Be Your Man (The Beatles cover)
Love Is the Answer (Utopia cover)
Broken Wings (Mr. Mister cover)
Hold the Line (Toto cover)
Photograph (Ringo Starr song)
Act Naturally (Buck Owens cover)
With a Little Help From My Friends (The Beatles cover)
Give Peace a Chance (Plastic Ono Band cover)