19 June 2012 (gig)
19 June 2012
The hoopla surrounding Paul McCartney turning 70 this week overshadowed the fact that his former Beatles’ bandmate, Ringo Starr, had begun his current tour just a few days before.
Starr is once again hitting the road with his (“thirteenith edition”) All-Starr Band touring lineup. On board for this jaunt is Todd Rundgren, Steve Lukather (ex-Toto) , Gregg Rolie (ex-Journey and Santana), Richard Page (ex-Mr. Mister) , Mark Rivera (on loan from Billy Joel’s band), and Gregg Bissonette (former stickman for David Lee Roth). To say that Starr picked a perfect collection of musicians is more that accurate and the ensemble performed on June 19, 2012 at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston, MA.
Opening with a cover of Carl Perkin’s rockabilly classic "Matchbox," the group then launched into Ringo’s biggest hit, “It Don’t Come Easy” before pulling out a much lesser known song from Starr’s 1977 solo album, “Ringo The 4th”, “Wings,” which had been newly re-recorded for his latest CD release,”Ringo 2012.”
What is always great is the diversity in a All Starr Band tour and Starr was once again very generous in giving some of the better known members a trio of songs each to perform.
Save for Starr, Rundgren was the best know member onstage and captivated on “I Saw The Light” and the noveltish “Bang the Drum All Day.” “Hello It’s Me” was also fine, but suffered a bit from the distraction of witnessing Rundgren’s awkward dance steps.
Lukather was the standout star of the night, not only when he unearthed the Toto classic “Hold The Line,” but also when he did a blistering copying of Carlo Santana’s guitar solo on “Black Magic Woman.” Page also had some strong moments, and he looks as if he has not aged a day since 1985, but Mr. Mister's “Kyrie” was stellar, as Paige amazingly still has the same vocal range he did in 1985.
While Starr’s song selection was mostly good, a couple of more well known songs, such as the Beatles’ “Octopuses’ Garden," and Starr’s solo hits “No No Song,” and “Your Sixteen” would have added up to an even stronger set.
The Starr tour has (intentionally?) coincided with the recent re-issue of long out of print the Beatles cartoon celluloid classic, "Yellow Submarine" (EMI-Capitol),on DVD and making its debut on blu ray. The blu ray edition is nothing short of phenomenal. The psychedelic artwork of late of the films art director, the late Heinz Edelmann, still resonates wonderfully and is a real time period piece of the flower-power era.